The End, A New Beginning.

After some sleepless nights and careful consideration, I made the decision to move house. This may not seem like the biggest change for some people, but for me it is. In December 2017, I finally moved out of my mothers home and into my first home. In April 2018, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety which eventually left me housebound. I managed to find a safe space in my home and wouldn’t leave the house for weeks at a time and even then I would only travel to the local shops and back.

My severe anxiety left me feeling trapped in this house I once called ‘Home’.

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Being cut off from the outside world eventually started to trigger my depression as I felt like I couldn’t leave my house, see my friends or have any normal human interaction. After a while I began to feel like moving out would help my anxiety get better. This thought began to flood my mind more and more which lead me to hate the place I’d once felt safe in. I began to blame the house for my anxiety which may sound stupid but that just proves how much of a bad place my head was and still is in.

For the first time in my life, I actually have no idea what lies ahead for me and as much as this prospect scares me. I know it’s for the best, this could be the change I really need in my life to help improve my mental health. Part of me is still worried, in case I’m making the worst decision of my life which I will regret later on. But for the first time in a long time, I’m living in the moment. I’m standing on my own two feet and not stumbling through my life. I am in charge of my own future and I’m striving for better. I am taking control of the fear and not letting it consume me.

Whilst I am sad to say goodbye to my first home, I am excited for the new journey ahead. Part of my heart will remain in this leafy lane, my first home. Thank you for being my safe place when I needed it. Thank for protecting my family and giving us room to grow and make beautiful memories that will live with me forever.

Since moving into my new home I have noticed a huge change within myself. I am thriving for a real change in my life and moving forward with my recovery. The absense in my blogging was due to me moving home and then priorotising my mental health and seeking the help I needed. Now that those are ongoing, there is only one part of my life that I am wanting to work on which is bringing this blog back to life. I will be continuing to share my mental health journey and update you on what has happened in my life during my blogging break. I will also be picking up the other aspects of my blog such as book posts and lifestyle posts. Thank you for all of your support and I hope you are looking forward to my new content!

 

What it’s like living with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

I was talking to a friend recently when I ended up opening up about this disorder, and I think it was one of the first times in my life where I had actually explained what APD actually is to another person and admitted to having it. It was then that I realised it was probably time I opened up about it and it may even shock some of my close family and friends as it isn’t something I talk openly about usually.

Auditory Processing Disorder or APD is a disorder in which the person struggles to process information that is heard. It is not a hearing problem, it is, in fact, a problem within the brain. It is when the brain is unable to process the information being given verbally and cannot distinguish similar sounds. This makes any audible information difficult to process. Auditory Processing Disorder affects around 5% of school-aged children and is classed as a learning difficulty.

I don’t really recall being badly affected as a child or at least it never really seemed to iritate me back then as much as it does now. It wasn’t until much later in my teens that I was actually diagnosed with APD and I chose to keep it to myself out of embarrassment and being misunderstood. I was always a rather closed person until I started this blog and I feel like I’ve revealed more about myself in almost 2 years of blogging than in 22 years of living.

That doesn’t mean that my APD has gone unnoticed. There are many things that my family and friends pick up on and ask questions about such as:

‘Why do you always wear headphones whilst on the phone?’

‘Why don’t you just phone them up yourself?’

‘Why do you always have the subtitles on your TV?’

‘Were you even listening?’

‘Why do you hate going to the cinema?’

And there have been many times in which I have just lied and said ‘I have a hearing problem’ because that’s easier to explain. But the truth is, I don’t have a hearing problem. I can hear perfectly fine, and it’s time I opened up about it.

I’ll say “I can’t hear” instead of “I can’t understand”.

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This makes having a conversation very difficult at times, and it does create a barrier when I am meeting new people who do not understand or are unaware of my problem. The people close to me don’t seem to mind so much when I ask them to repeat themselves multiple times in one conversation.

Being on the phone has added complications such as not being able to use their mouth to attempt to lip-read if I can’t understand what they are saying. I find wearing headphones can help block out the sounds around me so I can try to really concentrate on the single voice and not any background noises. It can also be made difficult if the other person has a lot of background noise and I find that certain accents can be harder to understand and make out.

I watch TV, YouTube and any other entertainment with the subtitles and if subtitles aren’t available it’s unlikely that I will watch it. I barely go to the cinema despite the fact that they have special subtitle screenings, my earliest memory of actually struggling to a point of frustration with this disorder was when I was 13 trying to watch Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 in cinema. I had to walk out mid-screening because of how hard it was to understand.

I think suffering from APD has definitely contributed to my love for reading. It’s really nice to be able to read and understand the words and not have the complications that I have with watching TV or having a conversation. I recently started listening to Audiobooks which is something I have avoided for a very long time due to this disorder. I have to take a gamble on which books I choose as some of the audiobook narrators are harder to understand than others but I have found a favourite, who happens to be Zachary Webber. He seems to talk slower than most narrators, I found his words were pronounced fine and his voice was generally pleasing to listen to. There is an option to control the speed of the voice but I find that it generally affects the quality of the verbal input. I will be sharing my thoughts on listening to audiobooks in another post so if you are interested in reading more about that please keep your eyes peeled.

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There have been times where it’s provided entertainment in my life such as when I have misinterpreted something I’ve heard whilst I was with a friend of a family member and we have had a laugh about it. I will find out years later that I’ve been saying things wrong or singing a song wrong. But when it is someone I am not as close to or a complete stranger, it is rather embarrassing.

I can say openly that it does affect my social life, despite already suffering from severe anxiety when I am able to tackle that I am faced with not being able to tolerate a loud social setting and finding basic conversation difficult. With my 4-year-old starting school this year, I am finding myself put in more regular social settings which have caused my embarrassment for this disorder to spike as I don’t want it to come between starting a new friendship and stop me from wanting to socialize.

I decided to write this post because I need to be honest with myself, and with those around me. I have opened up about topics that are sensitive to me in the past and it has always made me feel rather liberated and I’m hoping this will be one of those posts. I also hope that this post helps educate some of you about this disorder.

Do you have your own expeirence with APD? Share them with me in the comments as I’d love to speak to someone else who also struggle with this learning difficulty.

 

Anxiety and I: An Update

It’s been a while since I wrote ‘Confronting my feelings about Anxiety‘ and I wanted to write a little bit of an update about my progress since then as that post was written back in March and a lot of things have changed since then. As World Mental Health Day (October 10th) is upon us I felt it would be fitting that I share some more of my own story to help raise awareness and update you all on what has been happening since this post.

In my post ‘Confronting my feelings about Anxiety,’ I spoke about how I felt after being diagnosed with severe anxiety and how it was affecting me at that point in my life. When reading this blog post back to myself I can see how far ‘down the rabbit hole’ I actually was. At the time, it seemed bad but looking back, I can see that I was defiantly at one of my lowest points back in March. I wasn’t getting out at all and I was struggling massively to stop worrying about what other’s felt about my anxiety.

I was very paranoid, depressed and irritable. I never admitted to myself at the time how bad my anxiety was and I think a huge part of me was still very much in denial over my diagnosis and recovery. I feel like I remained very much in this state of mind up until around July when I realised I needed to make a change in my life because I couldn’t carry on the way things where and I realised I was going to have to try harder than I had ever done before and truly believe that my recovery is possible.

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Fast forward, 6 months.

September brought me a lot of new challenges and also a lot of newfound freedom into my life. Amelia started Primary School last month meaning I have had to adapt to the school mum life and if I’m being honest it’s changed my life for the better so much already. I am waking up earlier, I am getting out of my house 5 days a week guaranteed, I even try to get out on the weekends now too. Sometimes it’s just to school and back home, and other times I will venture a little further but this has had a massive impact on me.

I am beginning to socialize with other school mums and even hang out with some of them in my free time. I am beginning to feel the most like ‘myself’ that I have done in two years. I am so pleased with the change in my life and for the first time in a while, I feel really positive for the future. I feel like I am in control and I finally feel as though I am slowly starting to take back my life that was consumed by this horrible deliberating disorder.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, she became a buttefly.” – Barbara Haines Howett.

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And since, I am sharing the ups. I have to share the downs. It’s not all been great, since September you may have noticed a decrease in my blogging activity and this is because I am absolutely shattered all of the time. As many of you know changes in your lifestyle can severely affect your physical health. My body is just not used to being this active anymore and I am getting horrible migraines as I’m just no longer used to the loud social settings that come with being outside of my home. It’s taking a big toll on my physical health as I try to adapt back into the real world outside my four walls. I am trying to adopt a healthier sleeping pattern for the first time in my life which hasn’t been easy and not always the most successful. It is simply a work in progress and I am proud of the progress I have been making.

I still struggle massively to plan for the future. I live one day at a time now as I still struggle to commit to plans as I don’t know what the future holds and sometimes that prospect still scares me. I know that I will not always feel this way and it is all part of recovery and in time. In MY own time, I will be ready.

I am hoping over time my body will begin the adjust to the changes in my lifestyle and that I can feel less tired and spend less of my time with a migraine. That way I can carry on doing what I love and sharing it all with you. I hope by sharing my experiences that I can show other people who are suffering that there is a light at the end of the tunnel even though the journey to it can be bumpy. I want to share my story and encourage others to do the same.

“You are not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.”

Tips for preparing for the first year at Primary School!

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Can you believe we are in August already? I can’t! Summer is here and although the UK weather can’t make up its mind, Amelia and I have been trying to make the most of our last few weeks together before Primary School starts in September as I mentioned in my last post.

My sweet four-year-old graduated from nursery last weekend and I can not believe how quickly this year has flown by! Whilst I am excited for her to start school, I am also raging with worry. I’ve now got to be one of those mums queuing for uniforms and stressing over the small stuff which I do anyway.
Not only do I have to worry about getting her uniform and everything else she will need. I also have to worry about preparing her for school and preparing myself for her to start school. It’s going to be hard for both of us. Even though Amelia attends nursery, she is only in for 2 days a week and now she has to go to school for 5 days a week which is a big change for a child. The first few weeks will be hard for both of us and I hope we find it easy to get into the routine.

I thought I’d write a post sharing some of the tips and things I will be trying out. I hope you enjoy this post and that you will find some of it useful if your child is starting school this year!

Tips to prepare your child for their first year at school.

Talk to them about it, try your best to explain to them that soon they will be doing to school every day, wearing a uniform and that they will be meeting a lot of new people. These are big changes for children and the better you explain it the more likely they are to accept and understand it.

Try getting into the school morning routine, getting them up, dressed and had breakfast in time for the school run. This can be really beneficial for you both as it will make it easier come September to adapt to the routine.
Take your child to the school events they have planned so they know what to expect from the school itself. This is a great opportunity for you both to get to see the school and get to meet the people you will be interacting with, it also helps you get involved with that community.
Break-in school shoes before school starts. Obviously not too much that they ruin them but you don’t want them to get blisters etc.
Walk to the school with them, show them it from the outside. If you will be walking your child to school this may also help you plan on how long it actually takes you to get there.

Tips for the first day.

Get there early. You don’t want to be late and give off a bad first impression of yourself or your child.
Try to socialise with other parents, they feel exactly the same as you do!
Don’t cry! I know it’s going to be hard but do not let them see you cry. Wait until your child has gone into school or until you get back into the car.
Make sure your child is wearing the correct uniform! Don’t be that mum who sent their child in the wrong uniform.

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I hope you find these tips useful and that your child has a wonderful first day, and that everything goes according to plan. Let me know of any of your tips that you feel I have left out in the comments.

Where have I been? Knee deep in my to-be-read pile.

 

I actually feel really down about my recent absence from blogging and I feel like I need to clear up a few things in a blog post rather than a small social media post which only a small amount of my followers will see. I’ve decided to write this post to tell you all what’s been happening in my Wonderland.

So as you know the Summer Holidays have started and I am a mum of a 4-year-old who is about to start her first year in school this September, so I’ve been making the most out of our time together. When Amelia does start school and we’ve gotten into a routine, I hope that my blogging will go back to a regular schedule like it was before.

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I carry on telling you all about my coursework and my ‘massive to be read pile’ so I’d like to elaborate on what I mean by that. I enrolled in a Level 2 in Awareness of Mental Health Problems which I passed, and I have now enrolled in another course which is a Level 2 in Counselling Skills. My reason behind doing this is because I am interested to learn more from a medical point of view on Mental Health so I can write more posts and hopefully help others who are suffering from their Mental Health. I want to be able to help not just through sharing my experiences but to be knowledgeable enough to offer advice as well.

And now for the big reason, my massive to be read pile.

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So at the beginning of this year, I aimed to ‘up’ the book category of my blog as it was incredibly bare so I really pushed myself to get books to read and reviewed as quick as I could and didn’t turn down any opportunity I was given. I’ve absolutely loved the amount of book mail and countless great stories I have read but I do feel like it’s beginning to drain me, physically and mentally. I feel like the pile has become never-ending and every time I tick a book off, five more take-up it’s place.

You may be saying, but Georgia that’s only 12 books, that isn’t that hard. This is just the physical copies that I am wanting to read. I have a massive back catalogue on my Kindle to finish to and some of them have deadlines set by the author of the novel. If you want to see what book reviews will be coming up, make sure you keep an eye on my GoodReads account as I always update my want to read and currently reading on there.

Alas, there is a silver lining here guys, I am trying to get as many of these books read, reviewed and published on here before the start of September. I feel like this is my wisest choice rather than procrastinating or worse, crying over spilt milk or should I say a large pile of books. All jokes aside, I’m trying my hardest to read, review and post them all so I can take a book break in September, and then possibly think about of limiting the number of books I accept per month but I’ll talk about that when that time comes.

This means that I’m going to be spending a lot of time reading and this blog may get a bit flooded with book reviews and author interviews. For that, I apologise as I don’t want to drive you all book mad like I am beginning to go. The plus point is though that whilst I am on a reading spree, I am able to continue studying and spend time with my little girl before school starts.

I hope this has helped clear up a few things that have been going on and I would like to wish you all a wonderful summer!

Vogue Parody – 73 Questions

Naomi from Inching Forwards tagged me to participate in the Vogue Parody: 73 Questions tag. The 73 Questions tag is a parody of the Vogue’s ’73 Questions’ series, which is popular on YouTube, in which they visit a celebrities house and ask them 73 Questions about themselves and their career. Obviously, I cannot show you into my house but I can give you a bit more of an insight on myself by answering the questions below!

This post will be kind of long but also fun and gets you to know me a bit better. I also have way too much time on my hands and thought it would be fun to photoshop myself a Vogue cover.

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1. What is your usual Starbucks order?

I don’t drink at Starbucks and I haven’t for a while now because there is none local to me. Regardless of where I go, there is only 2 possible answers, tea or hot chocolate!

2. What does your workstation look like right now?

A mess? It’s not even my mess either. My partner and I share an office, and for some reason ‘tidying,’ his desk involves dumping things from his desk to mine…

3. All-time favourite food?

Pasta bake? I really love pasta bake!

4. Favourite author?

I feel like I give the same answer’s to these questions all the time and it probably changes slightly. At the moment, I’m loving J.K Rowling as I am re-reading the Harry Potter books.

5. What do you think of open relationships?

It’s not for me but whatever floats your boat.

6. What is your favourite video game?

Do Sims and Zoo Tycoon count? Rather excited to try Lego Forza…

7. Guilty pleasure treat?

The chocolate stash.

8. Favourite movie?

The Breakfast Club. I had Simple Minds as my ringtone for 3 years, and I have proudly just changed it back!

9. Favourite book?

Alice in Wonderland is my all time.

10. Twitter or Instagram?

Twitter. I was never a fan of Twitter until I joined in November 2018. It’s an awesome way to get in contact with likeminded people.

11. Desktop or laptop?

Laptop. I’ve never owned a desktop, but even if I did, I think I like the laptops portability and the fact it doesn’t take up too much space.

12. Best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I can say I’ve received is the good old trusty ‘be yourself’. I’ll tell you why, because there is no point in pretending to be anybody but yourself. Nobody can be you but you!

13. What project are you working on right now?

I am in the midst of planning a few things which I hope you will all love.

14. Favourite colour?

I really loved the colour yellow when I was little, then I hated it. Yellow is making a comeback, I love yellow.

15. Did you get good grades at school?

Debatable. Very debatable.

16. Dream job?

A job that allows me to live life on my own terms.

17. Played any sports?

I used to enjoy netball but I’ve not played in years.

18. Do you have a degree?

Maybe one day.

19. Nationality?

British.

20. What is your favourite kind of blog post to do?

I enjoy writing all my blog posts but I especially love when I am able to write my thoughts and experiences based around a certain topic.

21. What do you like to collect?

I love to collect cameras, which is dangerous because it’s expensive.

22. Describe yourself in three words

Can I go for ‘down to earth’?

23. If you were a rapper what would your rapper name be?

I don’t even want to answer this question.

24. Who was the last person you DMed?

My dad, he sent me a photo of a stray cat in Cyprus.

25. What’s on the top of your wish list right now?

Physically or Mentally? Mentally I’d really like to get my anxiety under control and physically I’d love to get my laptop fixed.

26. Hogwarts house?

“You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true, And unafraid of toil.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

27. How many tattoos do you have?

2. I have my daughters handprint, name, and D.O.B in Roman Numerals on my chest by my heart. I have my dog’s name in Russian and her D.O.B in Roman Numerals on my back by my right shoulder.

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

My boyfriend. I’ve had a bad 6 months so far this year and he has had my back and gave me the support I needed and so much more.

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

My mum’s breast cancer surgery went well so that has made my month.

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

Spending time with my boyfriend filming. He’s been working a lot this month and I have barely seen him.

31. What’s the best thing ever?

My daughter, she makes me smile even on the worst days.

32. Favourite season?

Spring and autumn, not too hot, not too cold!

33. Favourite holiday?

I hate to say it but Christmas. It’s such a lovely time when everyone can get together, feel festive, crunch the snow, light the candles, put up the Christmas tree. Spend time with your loved ones. Ahh. You’re making me wish it was Christmas.

34. Which fictional character do you relate to most?

I feel like there are many fictional characters I can relate to, I feel I mostly relate to Cassandra Clare’s Clary Fray.

35. Do you like surprises?

Not really. My anxiety hates them.

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

Getting accepted for Uni!

37. What’s a surprise that made you cry?

The only thing that comes to mind at this moment was the other month my best friend who lives in Lincoln surprised me with a trip home. I came back from shopping to find her hiding in my Office. I CRIED.

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given anyone?

I surprise myself every day?

39. Do you like muffins?

Blueberry muffins are life.

40. Do you cook often?

I used to cook every meal but I started to really get drained coming up with new ideas all the time. My boyfriend and I split the cooking now.

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

Chocolate cheesecake.

42. Is there a dessert you don’t like?

I don’t like cake, only chocolate cake which is a problem because I like to bake. I just don’t eat what I bake.

43. Cake or pie?

Cake, but only if it’s chocolate!

44. What’s your least favourite food?

I’m not a huge fan of greens. I like fruit but not vegetables.

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

I do not have one. I gave up Salt & Vinegar like 6 years ago and stopped eating sauces 4 years ago. Does gravy count? I like gravy.

46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?

4am on a Saturday night? I’m sleeping sorry.

47. If you could teach a college class what would it be called?

Some sort of writing class would be nice.

48. Best animated film?

Big Hero Six, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin.

49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?

I’ve had a fair few people ‘lies’ to impress me, but not small white lies. Big eccentric lies, which I fell for at the time because I was naive. I love to laugh about them now. I would repeat them back to you, but unfortunately, I am unsure if they read my blog and I don’t wish to embarrass them. They’ve already embarrassed themselves enough!

50. The best thing to do on a first date?

Coffee and stroll beside the beach!

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?

Swimming?

52. What’s the funniest pickup line a guy could use on a girl?

I hate pickup lines. I mean let us be honest for a moment; none of them are good!

53. Best comic book character?

Wolverine, I really loved him!

54. What are three things that are always in your purse?

Notebook & Pen, Spare phone charger, and Kindle.

55. Favourite drink?

Dr. Pepper, but I don’t drink it too often.

56. If you could play a historical character who would it be?

I’m not too sure!

57. Kittens or puppies?

How about both?

58. Favourite sushi roll?

I don’t like sushi, which basically means I’ve never tried it. I just don’t like the way it looks.

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?

Anything that’s vegan. I like the lip balms from the body shop.

60. What kind of foundation do you use?

I don’t use foundation. Never have, never will.

61. Blow dry or air dry?

I’m assuming we are talking about hair? Air dry is better but sometimes I will blow dry it depending on the situation.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

Bowie? Gaga? Someone weird. I don’t have a normal sense of fashion. I like what I like and I’m terrible at coordinating which is why I occasionally look a bit crazy. I always get other people to pick for me!

63. Favourite Disney character?

Baymax, Alice, Jasmine or Eeyore.

64. What are you doing tomorrow?

Hopefully, I’ll be working on some blog posts, finishing some coursework and reading!

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?

I’m not a huge comedy fan. I mostly watch Horror, Romance or Fantasy. The last film I can remember laughing at is I Feel Pretty, you can read my review of that here!

66. A movie that made you cry?

Marley and Me. I used to love this film and cry every damn time but since losing my dog. I can’t even begin to think about watching it.

67. If you could sing a duet with someone who would it be?

My dad. I have always loved singing, especially with my dad. Now that he lives in Cyprus, I wish I could have sung with him more before he moved.

68. If your life was a song what would the title be?

She who dares wins.

69. What’s your favourite animal?

Wolf or Owl.

70. Favourite illustrator?

I don’t really have one but my great uncle was a famous illustrator.

71. The person you want to have coffee with?

Vicky from LeaBellaBlogs, we have been talking since what feels like forever and not officially met. I look forward to that day!

72. What country do you wish to visit?

Cyprus to see my Dad.

73. Best way to decompress?

Reading, writing, and Netflix.

I tag LeaBellaBlogs, BeardedIgorBlogs, Harri Elizabeth, dungareesanddonuts, Pages, Places and Plates, Undercover Superhero and Disney Mummy Abs.

 

Art by Lena Review

I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember and spent most of my years dabbling in different forms of it. What I love most about art is the expression. A single piece of art can contain many different feelings. My 4-year-old daughter Amelia struggles which her speech which causes a lot of built up frustration. She loves to create art and I can sense her emotion within what she creates. I encourage her to create and express herself this way, it gives her a voice.

I dabble in painting, drawing, and oils, and a lot of my family members also create art. Art fills my home with joy and brings us all closer together as a family. I will always encourage art in my home and sorround myself by it as I beileve it benefits my families mental health.

 

Lena from Lena’s Notebook has opened up a brand new shop here for her handmade prints, paintings, bookmarks, and mini art. I jumped at the chance when Lena was looking for reviews in exchange for some art! I had no idea what I was going to receive which only added to my excitement! I hate suprises usually because I am quite impatient but luckily for me Lena’s art arrived in no time! Not only was it a quick arrival but all of art arrived safely and neatly packaged!

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I received four beautiful handmade pieces, pictured above are three bookish themed art pieces by Lena. Aren’t they gorgeous? I don’t know if Lena checked out my profile and realized I was a massive book lover, but I am so in love with these and they are going to look brilliant in my office!

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The detail in Lena’s art is incredible, the colours are vibrant and eye-catching and the quality is fantastic. I am so impressed with Lena’s art, it is unique, beautiful and would make a lovely addition to anyone’s office, home or bookshelf. I love the quotes that she has picked and I feel like they suit my personality very well.

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The fourth and final piece I received from Lena is pictured below. I absolutely love it, it’s so beautiful and it gives me holographic vibes and reminds me of potato printing but with flowers. This is like a miniature art piece which would look so cute in a little frame on a shelf or table.

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I’ll be sticking these up around mine and my partner’s home office, I can’t wait for the splash of colour to be added to our workspace. Thank you so much, Lena, for sending me your art! If you like what you see, make sure you check out her new store here! Find some of her details below and check out her blog here. Lena is a very talented young woman and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with her and I wish her all the best on her journey with her new art store!

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