July 2018

July has been a bit of a whirlwind month for me, as has August so far hence the delay in this post going up!


The month began with Max, his parents and their friends all having a cute garden party. It was all very sweet with some delicious nibbles and drinks being passed around alongside great company and conversation. The 28 degree heat and glorious sunshine definitely played a part too!


Getting to see Erin and Gina is a dream as of late. When I left school at 16 life took us all in very different directions, and the 7 years that have passed have been difficult in a sense of trying to see each other or even having time to send messages between ourselves. But this Summer has been amazing for being able to see them, and I am grateful for our patience over the past 7 years that we managed to persevere because being able to see them semi regularly has been super rewarding!
We take it in turns to host nights, and I was in charge this time! Vegan pizza & ice cream, wine, board games, gossip and catch ups, it’s like no time has passed at all.


The wonderful Angela dyed my hair but you can read all about that right here.


The journey to Huddersfield began and I decided to stop at Manchester for a little catch up with Amy and Sara which was lovely!


With the World Cup in full swing we went to watch the semi’s at Corner (a fave cute find Huddersfield) with so much hope for the England team but we were left feeling totally deflated when we lost. We did however have a great evening, throughout the whole world cup the general spirit of the nation was so surprising and uplifting!


The weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine, drinking cold coffee in Espresso corner and pottering around town. We got to see The Incredibles 2, which definitely lived up to expectations, I felt like a big kid all over again! Afterwards I wished that we had watched the first one directly beforehand, but regardless, it was a great watch and I really want to see it again.

I planned a surprise date night for Max on my last evening in Hudd. Whilst he was at work I tidied the house top to bottom, pre-ordered Dominos, got out some freshly washed pj’s, lit some candles and poured two gin and lemonades. Once he was home from work the pizza arrived and we put on his choice of film, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (not a bad choice but not quite ‘Clueless’…) and snuggled up into bed and just had the most chill evening we have had in a long time. It was lovely just to see Max truly be able to relax after months of hard work!


Erin told G and me of a pub quiz in one of our fave local hangs, so we headed down and absolutely bottled it if I’m totally honest hahaha! But it was such good fun, we did come 3rd so at least we weren’t last and we had such a laugh and a much needed catch up.


My parents took me out for a meal at a local tapas restaurant. Now, this was a big deal for me, two things terrify me when it comes to eating, 1. Public eating, and 2. Tapas. This was a big, emotional hurdle for me but the world didn’t crumble around me and I didn’t implode so that’s a massive step forward! But moving onwards…


Erin, G and I went to ASK Italian for a catch up and I ate exclusively vegan, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. As I have previously mentioned, I am in eating disorder recovery and I am on a very strict eating schedule currently. I have been vegetarian for a while, but skip out on dairy to try and help control my endometriosis better. I’d love to go vegan but it’s not the right time for me in my recovery, but eating out I do challenge myself to eat vegan!

I had the most beautiful customised vegan pizza with peppers, mushrooms and olives and a delicious glass of wine!

It was the perfect time for a good long catch up and we spent hours upon hours chatting which was much needed for all three of us.


The next day was a long car journey up to Huddersfield, in an attempt to move Max from one house to another with his parents. We took a break and went to Halifax again for the day, it was an odd combination of blue skies, 30 degree heat and sunshine, mixed with random bursts of thunder and lightning rain storms!

I was worried John (the cat) wouldn’t be about especially with the weather being so bad, but he pulled through and came to say goodbye, which broke my tiny heart, I love him so so so much and I firmly believe that he always knew when I was feeling down, he would always pop up whenever I was having a bad day. I know it sounds crazy and kind of cheesy but that street cat was my absolute fave and always cheered me up!

Of course it would be torrential the weekend of moving house, but we managed to get it done over the two days and felt very accomplished whilst sat in the new house eating Chinese food and having a good catch up with Joe and Chris.


After a couple of days of settling into the new house, we jumped back on a train and I went straight into work, before packing for 110 Above Festival.

This festival is really special to me, Max and I have been going for the past 3 years, the first year we attended by chance, whilst we were looking for something to do over our anniversary weekend, we loved the line up so had a bit of a ‘yolo’ moment and we haven’t looked back since!

But that will have a whole separate other post, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for that one!


Some July faves…

Album / Playlist: The 110 Above Festival playlist on Spotify to prep me for the festival at the start of next month!

Song: Another The 1975 track this month (soz, not soz) “Love It If We Made It”, major heart eyes.

TV / Movie: Started watching Ackley Bridge, was so sceptical at first as it just seemed like a new era Waterloo Road but I am really enjoying it so far

Place: I feel like my feet haven’t really touched the ground this month, so my favourite place this month would have to be the train!

Memory: Getting to see my lovely Erin and G, it makes the world of difference when I’m stuck at home.

Accomplishment: This will have to be going for tapas and not having a total meltdown! A big F you to my eating disorder and a big step forward in my recovery!!


This month was lovely, intense, hard, and all the emotions in between, balancing the socialising, travelling, full time working, weekly hospital appointments and regular flare ups, it’s all getting a bit much!

So please in advance accept my apologies for the potential lack in posts over the next month or two. I’m about to hit a very crucial point in my eating disorder recovery process and I need to give it 110%, so I’m possibly going to have to put the blog on the back burner for the foreseeable as my recovery is my main priority right now.

I hope you all had a beautiful July and I will see you soon,

All of my love as always,

Journaling Maddie 

xxxx

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23before23 #10 Dying My Hair

When I was 12 I got dared by my sister’s best mate to dye my hair ginger…I did, I loved it, and the hair dye addiction begun.

 

I started to dye my own hair when I was sixteen, I remember so clearly having my last day at school, walking out, getting my nose pierced and colouring my hair purple to match my new nose stud. It is safe to say that I haven’t looked back since.

 

My hair has been every colour that I could have imagined since then, pink, purple, green, blue, black, grey, blonde, brunette, and every colour in between.

 

Honestly, I don’t think I ever want to give up colouring my hair, it’s always been a way of showcasing my personality and speaking for me without me having to open my mouth.

 

Recently my wonderful hairdresser Angela offered me a hair modelling job! She got some absolutely beautiful metallic colours in from the new milk_shake range and needed to try them out on someone and she said I’d be the perfect candidate. I of course said yes, who says no to a free day in the salon knowing that you’re going to leave with fresh hair?!

 

We opted for two colours to run through my hair, the metallic violet and metallic pink. The colours are beautiful and really add a shimmering metallic undertone, especially when out in this beautiful sunshine we are having!

 

I also want to add that the smell is something else, and I mean that in a really really good way!! The sweet scent is subtle but much more pleasant than the classic hair dye chemical smell.

I am so excited for a summer of experimenting with my hair!

Journaling Maddie 

xxx

 

23before23 #9 Going to a New Place – A Day Out In Halifax

As much as I would love to be on a plane to a hot country, sunning it up and exploring a tropical island, that just isn’t the case! Instead I am making the most of exploring the beauty of England this Summer time.

 

Just 20 minutes away on the train, it’s odd that I’ve never thought to visit Halifax before now!

 

Halifax is a little West Yorkshire town, known for the Piece Hall and it’s beautiful historic architecture.

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The Piece Hall

Stepping off the train, the Piece Hall was at most a five minute stroll away, and was striking to set my eyes upon when we turned the cobblestoned corner. The majority of the day was spent pottering around the Piece Hall, weaving in and out of all the little shops.

 

Loafers is a coffee and record store, basically mine and Max’s two favourite things under one roof, so that was a great start for us! There was also a teeny baby sausage dog in there too which made the whole situation even better. After a coffee and listening to some records, we moved on around some of the other shops, mooching around, looking at some beautiful vintage clothes and the homeware pieces of my future dreams, before popping off to a cafe for lunch.

 

 

The Deli had a great range of food (there were so many tasty veggie options too which was great!) and drinks, so we stopped off there for some lunch before heading back out to look around the rest of the shops.

 

 

A definite favourite shop of mine was The Yorkshire Soap Company. The soaps, candles and other sweet smelling products were so beautifully displayed, I just wanted to bring it all home with me! Max picked up a Mango and Lychee candle that smells so divine even when it’s not burning.

2aba7c0b-a64c-4b45-9c6a-232d599cee81Gin Lane Shop was another obvious fave as Max is a gin fiend! We browsed some bottles and had a really great chat with the guy who worked there who was super clued up on all the different gins that they stocked.

 

Underneath the shop, they also have a bar where they serve the gins that they stock upstairs, so naturally we had to give it a go!

 

Sat out in the sun that decided to peep out for a short while, I tried a Rhubarb Gin with elderflower tonic and Max went for Manchester Gin’s Violet Liquor coupled up with Mediterranean tonic, which tasted just like parma violets, so if that’s your thing then I’d definitely recommend for a trip down memory lane.

 

 

We of course couldn’t leave the Piece Hall without popping into the old-timey sweet shop Spogs and Spice, jars stacked high of all the traditional sweets you could imagine from your childhood.

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Finishing up in the Piece Hall, we weren’t quite ready to go home just yet, so wandered into the town centre where the cobbled streets are littered with shops, but also some lovely independent finds too. We ended up having a mooch around a record store which had such a good range of genres (of course, Max didn’t leave empty handed!) and was lovely to just have a good sift through.

 

 

The Piece Hall is a perfect day out for anyone and everyone, and I think that’s proven as when we were there, the place was full of people of all ages, kids with their grandparents, young couples, big groups of moms, dog owners and coffee lovers.

 

I would so highly recommend planning a day out there, especially in the sunshine because the building truly does glisten in the heat of the day!

 

Journaling Maddie xxx

June 2018

June has just involved a whole lot of back and forth between Manchester, Huddersfield and Birmingham but I wouldn’t change it at all!


The month kicked off with Toby Burton’s EP launch at The Parish in Huddersfield. Toby is the first artist that Max and I worked with for In Session so we naturally wanted to go and show our support. The gig was great and we picked up one of his EP’s, although you can listen to it on Spotify and I’d really recommend it because he is such a talented songwriter and performer.

The following day Max and I got the train into Leeds to spend our Wagamama’s voucher and have a wander around the record stores. There was a cute dog on the train back so obviously that day was a 10/10.


I went home and started a new job, just a Summer job picking up a few hours here and there at my mom’s office doing odd jobs and filing, but it’s been keeping me busy whilst at home which is always a plus.


Jumping in the car with Max’s parents to spend a bit of time with them in Huddersfield was lovely, before getting on the train to Manchester to see Taylor Swift at the Etihad. Honestly I’d never been a big fan of hers but seeing her live has changed my opinion highly! I happened to go by chance, but if you ever get the opportunity to see her I would beyond recommend it and I’m looking forward already to when she next tours again!

Back to Huddersfield the following day, I spent the beautifully sunny afternoon with Max and Peter, having a drink in Greenhead park and a good chin wag. We also walked by Max’s new house that he’ll be moving into next month so it was good to get an idea of the area he’s living in.

Once again, back on a train to Manchester, this time with Max, to see Haim at the Apollo, and it was incredible! I saw them last in 2014 at Glastonbury and I was obsessed, so it was amazing to see how much they’ve changed (for the better) over the years. They played a good amount of their old songs too rather than just the whole of the new album so that was refreshing!

The following evening was spent in A&E due to my worst endometriosis flare up since my surgery last September. It was a bit disheartening that this has happened again, however the doctors were lovely and very understanding, I was prescribed a lot stronger pain relief and they gave me a clear plan of what to do if this pursues.

A few days of bed rest was made better by meeting up with Max, Chris, Henry and Matt after a training day for their new job (suddenly ruined by me being sick in the toilets *classy* and having to go home).


Back to Manchester again but this time to walk across the city with some amazing people for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. The weather just about held dry, and it was just lovely seeing everyone again and being able to raise some money and awareness for a really important cause.

You can find more information as to why we did this walk, and donate money too, here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ibd-warriors-walk-it-manchester-2018


We had a chill few days in Huddersfield, Max took a couple days off work too which was really lovely as we got a proper chance to have some us time and relax a little!

Our 4th anniversary rolled around and we celebrated with a lie in, a walk into town fuelled by coffee, and an evening date night at Lala’s Indian (incredible, 10/10 would recommend).

The following day was spent pottering around The Piece Hall in Halifax, but I’m going to do a whole other blog post on that so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon!


I went back to Birmingham but only two days at work before going to the caravan in Bournemouth with my parents and Lady. This was Lady’s first time at the caravan, but also her first ever trip to the beach and seaside!

(It should be noted that I’m currently writing this in 30 degree heat, on the veranda of the caravan with a beer in hand – cheers!)

She has been so good, I was worried at first because she’s so nervous around other dogs, but I think as it’s a whole new place to her she’s just focussed on taking it all in rather than crying at other dogs haha.

The weather has been incredible, as previously mentioned, so each day has been spent trying to get out and do stuff as early as possible to avoid being out in the heat of the day, chilling during the middle of the day then going to the beach for a walk in the evenings.

Honestly I wasn’t sure about coming away, as much as I adore spending time with my parents, like every twenty-something, I need my space too, but this has been a perfect combination of the two which has been very pleasant and not at all suspected.


My month ended the best way possible, Max came home for the weekend and I got to see Erin and Gina too! It’s so difficult trying to find time to see the girls, as they live here and for the past two years I’ve not left Manchester for longer than a week (until now). But even now that I’m back we all still have so many commitments, Gina is smashing it at work and Erin is somehow balancing working full time and being in a really cool band, playing festivals all Summer! So it is really treasured when we do get to spend time together, especially because it is so few and far between.


It wouldn’t be a monthly without some faves so here goes:

Album / Playlist: My role at work means I basically lock myself in a room for hours on end sorting files, which can send you a lil stir crazy as I’m sure you could imagine, so I needed some motivational music to get me through, and the album I am constantly going back to is “Death of a Bachelor”, which is a massive revisit, however the more I think about it, it’s definitely in my top 5 albums.

Song: Although June has been the month of all months for new releases, The 1975’s new track “Give Yourself A Try” was top of my priorities and it did not disappoint!

TV / Movie: I binged hard on TV this month after all of my deadlines were out of the way, but my favourite has to be Hollyoaks, it has covered so many important topics these past few months and it’s amazing to see the hard work and dedication put into portraying them excellently and accurately.

Place: The caravan, it’s the home of a million of my childhood memories and I love being in my 20s and still enjoying it and making more memories!

Memory: Taking my gorgeous doggy for her first seaside holiday.

Accomplishment: Getting into the swing of having a job again!

Journaling Maddie x

January 2018

January has been one helluva month!

I saw it in dancing in someone’s kitchen in Manchester with some amazing friends, drinking weird concoctions and having the best time! The following day was, of course, full of hangover so consisted of sleeping, watching Greys Anatomy and a walk as far as Sainsburys (2 minutes up the road).

From then on in, it kinda went downhill. I got sick (shock, eye roll, eye roll), went home for some TLC from my parents, and jumped right back into university and 4 deadlines!

In between all the crapiness there has been some fun too! Sara turned 20, we decorated the flat and celebrated with brunch, bowling and cupcakes, then the following weekend celebrated again (this time with all the boyfriends) with a buffet, Mr and Mrs and cards against humanity.

My dad also had a birthday and I was there to celebrate which was so nice as I missed it last year, so the four of us (mom, dad, me and Max) went for a curry and some drinks, it felt so good being able to spend some quality time with my dad (and my mom of course) because I honestly feel like he is my best friend.

I spent a couple of weeks apart from Max which was rough when we spent all of December, Christmas and New Year together, so it felt special getting to see him again and have a good old catch up!

By some miracle I submitted my first essay of second year, and am now well into reaching my next three deadlines! I feel good with how I’m doing so far, stressed, but it is going well!

I have done a lot more bullet journaling this month! I started using my bujo in December when I was planning blogmas, and I am currently daily tracking some habits to make sure I’m taking care of my self, drinking water, taking meds, going for walks and getting uni work done but also having down time too.

Here are a few snaps from this month…

and not forgetting this month’s favourites…

Album / Playlist: Simply Classic Hits Playlist (basically some great throwback tunes that you used to dance to at family weddings)

Song: IDGAF – Dua Lipa

TV / Movie: Greys Anatomy

Place: Manchester (obvs…)

Memory: Sara’s second birthday weekend with Max, Trav and Brad (I had not seen Brad for 7 months prior to this!)

Food: anything stodgy to be honest haha

Drink: peach fizzy water

Accomplishment: handed in first assignment of second year

M x

365 Days in Photos

Last year I set myself the challenge of documenting 365 days in photos on Instagram. I did this because I was stuck in a rut, feeling down and depressed, full of the January blues.

It was an incentive for me to get out of the flat whilst taking photos which is something I’ve always loved doing!

This definitely worked, I found myself exploring more of Manchester than I’d of ever imagined, even if it was just finding cute independent coffee shops in the Northern Quarter, or going the extra mile to find some cool street art to share.

I can’t quite believe that I managed to share a photo every single day for a year, but I got the desired affect so I couldn’t be happier – I felt less depressed and more motivated to go out and do/see something new!

Now that the challenge is over, I’ve decided not to do it again this year. Although I really enjoyed doing it, I don’t feel like I need it anymore at this moment in time! I’d love to document an important year in the future, but for now it’s back to aimlessly scrolling and uploading whenever I feel like it (probably not for another month or so now, I feel all Instagrammed out hahaha)!

I thought it’d be cute to share on here some of my favourite posts that I made over the past year and reflect on the good times, the hard times and the past 365 days!

 

The past 365 days have been amazing, and it has been even more amazing looking back through them and reminiscing!

M x