• BLOG

    My Cheesecake Story

    I just have to share a small act of generosity I received on my way home from work two days ago. Anyone who knows me will know that it’s really on my heart to encourage a culture of generosity, and be a resource.

    Well, I was so encouraged by the hand of generosity from a kind lady in M&S supermarket the other day that I just had to share. If anyone follows me on Instagram, you’ll have noticed I’m calling it my miracle cheesecake!

    Living in London isn’t cheap, and after many many weeks and months of finding a job, moving home 3 times in a matter of 3 months, and attending to the ebbs and flows of life in between. I was struggling to find money for food. After a day of temping, and a lingering cold I popped into the shop on my way home for a little TLC. After careful calculation of cost, and choice between food and cheesecake, and then which kind of cheesecake. Would I go for the raspberry and passion fruit cheesecake, or the smaller hazelnut version. It looked so cute. I went with the hazelnut in the end. By the time I got to the counter, I encountered trouble with my card. As I stepped aside to check my banking app, I ushered the woman to continue serving the growing queue behind. Just a few seconds later I hear the shop assistant ask the lady to repeat herself, and I look up I see the lady behind me asking the lady to scan my cheesecake. The look of confusion passes across my face, and as small as it seems this act of kindness really took me by surprise. The lady insisted on paying for my cheesecake, and whilst I was insisting on paying for it myself, she simply asked me to pass it on to someone else.

    There will be some who read this and think, it’s just a cheesecake. However, to me it was more than that. It was an ease of a burden, a moment of delight, and a slice of comfort.

    Dear Princess,

    You have experienced many acts of kindness already, but I just want to encourage and remind you of those moments of generosity. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, or a gift. A gift can be many things, and culture can often teach us that we must receive before we can give. Darling, that’s not true. You don’t have to wait to receive before you can give.  It’s not the amount you give, it’s the heart motive that you give with that matters most. What seems small to you, can make the world of difference to someone else. We ‘the human race’ are really good at wearing masks, placing incorrect labels, and some are also good at hurting you, but don’t let that stop you from giving. Remember darling that a gift really does make a way.

    Much love,

    Leanne x

    #mycheesecakestory #miraclecheesecake #agiftmakesaway #makeadifference

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  • BLOG,  BOOKS,  COMMUNITY

    A novel update

    As my fellow writer friends will tell you novel writing can be a lengthy process, and whilst I practically wrote the first draft of my novel in a matter of months, it has taken me almost 3 years to get to a finished edit state. I am so excited to finally be closing the end of my first novel. After many many failed attempts at being disciplined, I have once again found a passion that so far has led me straight to my computer every day.

    Why so long?

    Good question. I used to use the excuse of writers block, but truth be told I don’t believe there is such a thing. For as long as I can remember (and I have a pretty good memory) I have been widely known for my love of books (mainly carrying them around) writing scripts, poems and every noun and then I’ll put my hand to song writing. In the end it really comes down to finding the courage to share something so close to me, with the world.

    Why am I sharing this with you?

    To encourage you (or my younger self) not to be scared, or put off that which can be done today. It’s too easy to become complacent with the gift of today, and there are many distractions (some good, some not so good) that can help us miss what we really want to achieve with our lives, relationships, career. Our decisions today shape our future for tomorrow.

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  • BLOG

    Sow to grow

    I am feeling rather inspired this evening after a packed day of interviews, work, editing and listening. As I prepare for move number seven in a few weeks time, and think about some of the plans I have coming up in the next few months, I am more excited than ever about the fruit of this seasons labour.

    #sowbabysow

    Dear Princess,

    Remember the principle of seed, time and harvest, and how we must sow wisely with our thoughts, words, and actions. Be thinking about what kind of fruit you want to see come from your life, and the kind of person you want to be. Be sure to check it matches up with the seeds you are sowing today too. Don’t be fooled now, even inactivity is a seed sown. Do something great. Do something wonderful. You don’t need more than a mustard seed.

    If you find an area where you lack, then think about how you could sow into that area for someone else. Don’t give an ear to the voices that can often be screaming from within, telling us that we must hold on to what we have or we miss out. No, darling. In order to grow, you must sow.

    #growbabygrow

    Leanne

    x

  • BOOKS

    I got thick skin, and elastic heart

    I had to make a very important phone call this morning, and after being on hold for an hour and a half, I decided to turn my frustration into creativity and found myself reading Dr Caroline Leaf’s book on toxic thoughts. It’s such a good book. I have learnt so much about the way my brain works, and how important it is to be mindful and selective about the thoughts I use. Did you know our thoughts can impact our psychical health? I’ve been aware of the power of thought from a very young age, and how it’s important for me to guard what comes into my mind. I had a conversation with some girls this weekend about how I can’t watch horror films because my mind is too active, and it can flow off the TV screen and have an impact on my daily life. Gosh, there was one point where I had to stop watching Casualty on a Saturday night after the bloody accident scenes before bed caused me to have nightmares! I know, it’s only Casualty. I get how weird I am, but I guess it’s important to know what is right for our well being. The same thing happened with Twilight, I loved the first film, and after the second I realised I’m going to have to say no to the rest. It felt so unfair too because all my friends were holding competitions to see how could finish reading the books first! Gutted.

    Dear Princess, I think it’s really important for you to:

    1. Use your waiting time to prepare, to learn and to grow

    2. Be good stewards of our lives and know where to place our boundaries.

    Just because something works well, or feels good for one person that doesn’t mean it will bode well for you. Don’t be afraid to make healthy boundaries for yourself. It’s very important that you do. Also, be careful not to let your emotions cloud the great potential of this day. Rise up, and shine bright for those who matter will be there, and those who don’t won’t. That’s ok. You’ll need thick skin, and an elastic heart for this world. Now you’ve got work to do, a dream to chase, and a wonderful life to lead. Let’s go!

    Leanne

    x

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  • COMMUNITY

    Creative and resourceful ways to give

    From a young age I dreamed about the day I would be able to have enough money to redecorate my mum’s house for her, surprise people, and help people where I saw a need. I’m not perfect by any means, and through life I have been challenged in this area in many ways, but as I decide to embrace my imperfection and go after the dream in my heart I am starting in the best way I can think of right now. I am setting myself the challenge to do something (#doSomething) every month to contribute towards organisations that I’d love to be apart of. To find creative and resourceful ways to give, even though my beginnings may seem small. I am reminded by some great people in my life that if we can’t give from the little we have now, we’ll never give when we have much.

    November – Watoto

    December – Pencil of Promise

    January – Sisterhood

    February – TBC

    March – TBC

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  • BLOG,  COMMUNITY,  LIFESTYLE

    Be beautiful and create

    I had such a special day yesterday. It was so much fun to head to the studio, and hear one of my closest friends share some of her music. As I was listening to her music and trying to figure out where I’ve heard one of the songs before. I even found myself thinking she sang it better than then original, I’m sure. As it turns out she is the original!! I was so funny, but such a beautiful moment to hear her create and use what she has to make something beautiful.

    As I continue on my own journey of creativity, I am truly excited about this new season and all that is ahead. If I could speak to my younger self today I would say this: Be beautiful and create! Why wait for the perfect conditions; they may never come.

    Happy Sunday y’all! (Yes I’ve developed a new Southern accent overnight) 😉

    Lee x

  • BLOG,  TRAVEL

    It’s good to take a break

    After months of wanting to take a break from my personal social media page, I have finally did it. It feel so good.

    I came across the image below and thought it was perfect for tonight’s blog. Too often we can become so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget the importance, or free guilty for taking time out to invest our energy into ourselves, or into other things. What we need to remind ourselves is that taking breaks are healthy. There are many studies that show taking regular breaks from your desk or daily job is an essential component to increase productivity.

    I love pondering on this thought. Taking a break is an art, and as art is an expression it takes various combinations of colours, strokes and time. Whether a break for you is to be in the busiest of cafes with a book, or in a tranquil room having a beauty treatment. Whatever form that takes for you, do your best to set some time aside to perfecting this art for you.

    Today I decided to take a break from Facebook! I’ve been wanting to do it for months, and for the next season I will now be Facebook free (apart from my website page of course). It feels so good! …My Facebook sabbatical!

  • BLOG

    Growing pains

    Have you ever experienced pain so deep that you had little space to think, or function beyond the prominent feeling of agony?

    I was recently drawn into a moment of complete wilderness when I lost my job, a relationship ended, and lost my home within a matter of 6 weeks. I really didn’t know what to think, feel or believe, and the woman I knew, the happy, positive and self driven young woman had suddenly found herself in a place of uncomfortable, uncertain, and abandoned. Trying to make sense of it all took a greater amount of time than I expected, and only months after the pinnacle point of pain can I look back and see how far I have come, and how precious that break actually was. You see somethings have to be broken, in order to mend and grow healthy and strong.

    If you’re into gardening, and I’m not. In fact I recently stayed in a room with a beautiful plant pot that was placed by the owner. I’d like to say I kept that plant alive in the month that I stayed there, but unfortunately I only got round to watering it around once or twice (which is another post in itself. How often do we really water and nourish ourselves, the relationships in our lives, the things we have to hand to make them grow healthy). To keep a plant alive, there is a certain amount of pruning that must take place during the course of its life. This is where a branch is broken off to make room for new growth, and to maintain life within the rest of the vine. It’s essential to keep the rest of the vine and branches alive. This can often resemble the seasons in our lives.

    I have learnt so much through each of the said situations that I now see the valuable in all that took place. Even though I still wish I made different choices along the way, I now have a greater understanding, which effectively pushed me to grow. I thought I said yes to growth when I moved my life 500 miles to the other side of the country, when indeed I learnt that growth would be a daily option that would continue to push me further out of my comfort zone.

    Often when we feel pain in our lives we can try to mask it up, by pushing it deep down inside attempting to ignore it, or over compensating for ourselves through other extreme behaviour. This my friend only delays the process, so let’s take the risk and embrace the uncomfortable, and come out taller, healthier and more fruitful on the other side.

     Lee x

    #painpoints #godeep #growthisaprocess

     

  • BLOG,  LIFESTYLE

    Dear Princess

    I recently asked myself the question: Knowing what I know now, what would I say to my younger self to help her navigate this latest season of life better?’

    Dear Princess,

    Sometimes life can reflect a storm at sea. When everything seems up in the air, and unclear, or uncomfortably choppy you will be challenged about what your future holds, and what you believe. Make sure you decide early on that you are in it for the win. Remember the win is more than a team, a nice word, or label. It’s an attitude and a mindset to believe in yourself no matter what.  There is a verse in proverbs 21 that says ‘do your best and prepare for the worst.’ Make sure you do your homework and prepare well for the many opportunities that come along. Consider them carefully before you say yes, and be mindful of your thoughts along the way. Sometimes the sun may shine, the rain will fall, and fog will be present all on the same day, so make sure you are ready, and dress your best each morning.

    Sweetheart, if you do experience all three in one day, then do not worry. Hold on tight to the rope of hope, which you’ll find anchored deep down inside. It’s the inner compass that floats somewhere between our tummies and our heart. Some call it a spirit; but if you get into trouble, or feel panicked and pressed by external circumstances, then listen in closely for that still small voice. There is instruction waiting on your heart, and instinct on your mind. Reach in my darling, and hold on tight. The beauty of a storm is that when you hold on to that rope of hope, you will always come out stronger than before you entered in.

    Leanne x

  • COMMUNITY,  LIFESTYLE

    Being brave

    I have come to think about this concept of being brave as an act of willingness to look like the fool when the result, or outcome is uncertain.  With a situation in mind, I wanted to take the time to explore with you in my blog, and offer up a suggestion that we must indeed take the time to reach deep into our core, and throw off the debris of life that has gathered upon us over the years, and dare to be fearless once again.

    There have been many times in growing up where I would attempt to step out and do something radical. To dare to ask the question that everyone wants to know, but no one is willing or brave enough to slip up their hand and ask. When people started to point out this feature in me, by making fun of me I used to wish I could be like the ‘cool kids’ instead it seemed that I didn’t really belong any group. I searched and searched for a table that I could fit into, and many times found myself spending lunch times alone, in tears. After years of trying to fit into the mould of other people’s ideas and opinions, I have come to realise that there are many people who life to project the image of confidence, but underneath the reality is something quite different. The scary thing is some even have gone through tough situations, and suppress their feelings so deep that they end up not even aware of how they feel. This can cause even more destruction in our lives.

    I don’t know about you, but I have found an awakening to life over these past few months that extends beyond anything I could have, or allowed myself to imagine. I am discovering that whilst I find a repeat of certain circumstances in life, and a stronger desire to change, and deeper struggle to take what I have learnt and apply that to my life I am discovering something far greater and more valuable than anything I’ve discovered before. The power to be me in every season.  Yes, I have always been known by those close enough to my life as a fearless dreamer, but in honesty as life happens I have found myself fall into a place of deep conflict. I have spend a rather long time running from those dreams in the opposite direction, and hiding behind the labels and boxes that life inevitably tries to put us in. Now in some weird and mysterious way I am learning that it is important to be bold in all that you do, to be brave and deliberate with your life. To be willing like to bible character Noah who said yes to building ahead of a something he had never been exposed to or experienced before.

    #bebrave #believenomatterwhat

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    creativity flows from mint tea infusion