A Photo Per Day || March


March was most certainly a memorable month. Not only did I get engaged (not that you know that, right? I've totally kept it on the down low. But if you didn't there's a blog post all about it HERE.), but I left the States to return home. I'd be lying if I said I had wanted to, and I'd also be lying if I said I didn't wish to wield the power of turning back time. But alas, we aren't all skilled humans. All in all, March was a month for the books. Here are my photos of this month:
01/03/2017: Why do you do when your path appears straight but you don't want to take it? When it appears as though your windy path is your future, going down, but you just want to turn around and stay at the top? I need someone to tell me what to do. Because.. I'm lost. Despite the straight path.
02/03/2017: The past hour of my life photographed. I wonder, are days better lived when there is nothing to photograph? When it's just a blur of emotion that can't be visible. Questions, questions.
04/03/2017: Something precious: This was a gift I received off of my mum at Christmas (2016). It's of course St. Christopher, and she gave it me with the sentiment that he resembles safe travels - seen as I seem to be bouncing all over the place lately. It's close to my heart and means a lot. I'm extremely grateful for her. 
05/03/2017: Pretty views with a prettier companion. Yesterday was a peculiar day. The past few days have been peculiar, actually. My mind is muddled. But happy.
06/03/2017: Quotes to live by. This isn't mine (stolen from Google image after finding it on Amazon) but now I really really want this. Tut, Etsy! 
07/03/2017: "Nature does not hurry, and yet everything is accomplished." I fret too much about time. I see it as a ruler between planned good things in life, and refuse to see the possibilities that the emptiness offers. I visualise the time as already used up with waiting, when in reality, I could use those lines between the big moments to create something beautiful. I need to adapt my way of thinking, which is hard when I'm stubborn minded. Blegh. I'll get there.
08/03/2017: This is the outcome of a fidgety Anne waiting for her better half to get home, and procrastinating from writing blog posts. Voila. Time badly spent. Doodling does help calm my mind though when I'm getting overly anxious. I hope to remember that.
09/03/2017: #TBT: Rooms cluttered with books and a weight of love on my heart. Adventuring with a one Mr.@BilliamSWN is never boring and I long for the days where we're able to be together whenever we'd like - distance not even being a second thought. Though I hope to never grow to be unappreciative of his company. I suppose it will become a new normality to be together but I'm almost positive that my heart will hold onto the sparkle it gets when offered the opportunity to see his smile in the morning. I digress. Books, yay!
10/03/2017: New Post: 5 Things Not To Say To Someone With An Invisible Illness || Click HERE to read. This is an oddly personal post, but one I felt the need to write. I hope it helps at least one person feel better in their frustrations, or helps guide someone's loved one to the right words. Let me know your thoughts.
12/03/2017: Took a road trip with the one @BilliamSWN today to visit a supposedly haunted pub. Didn't see any ghosts, but ate a good burger and had the opportunity to watch the sun go down as we drove toward it. A beautiful day.
13/03/2017: So tomorrow is the day I felt home. I'm leaving my little oddball family (yes, that's a puppet. Or as he's known around the black, Henry the Seal.) and going back to my even odder family. It's weird. This entire journey. Huge life changes happened during this trip and I am torn on how to feel. The happiness is overwhelming yet there is an undertone of fear. What if things go wrong? Why do I have to lose something to gain something (that is likely to be better)? I don't know. I'm happy with the man in this photo (the human, not the seal) and that's all I'm going to try to remember. Distance isn't so large.
14/03/2017: Feeling spendy? Shop my blog! I've compiled a list of 45 "preppy inspired" pieces, all of which are under £45! Bargain! Better yet? They're all on ASOS. Have a scroll. I apologise to your wallet in advance. Click HERE to read.
15/03/2017: So I'm home and away from my better half. I dislike it. Everything feels so wrong and distorted. Normal seems wrong. I don't know what to do with myself.
16/03/2017: I miss being able to stand above the ocean and watch how it takes over the sand. The sound of waves rolling in. The eerie silence of people watching the sun go down. The bitter cold that grazes your skin. Everything that amounted to the experience I will continue to long for. If you haven't stood somewhere and watched as the sun disappeared below the water, I recommend you do. It's there offering itself to you everyday, go for it.
17/03/2017: Engagement announcements are always a tricky thing.. I say, never having done it before. It's a big thing. A life changing thing. And it's strange to have to share something that you've kept under wraps for almost 2 weeks with everyone you know. The outcome? Not as bad as I thought. A huge chunk of me was afraid nobody on my side would care too much. Social media is intimidating when you haven't really got close friends.. alas, I worried for nothing. Shocker, right? Oh, yeah. Instagram.. I'm engaged. 
18/03/2017: Obligatory #nofilter selfie because you can't go through life commending others for showing their true selves online without doing it yourself. It's just a face. People see it everyday - made up or not. Life is too darn short and social media seems to just make it smaller. Be brave.
18/03/2017: Happy belated St.Patrick's Day from my little Irish fella! He hopes you all aren't suffering too badly today. 
19/03/2017: NEW POST: "Getting a Tattoo and The Meaning Behind RootingBranches." ||Click HERE to view. This is a super personal post and I hope someone can relate to my tree analogy without thinking me mad. This is a future plan but alas, something I wanted to write about. I'm trying to do that more. Post things that I wholeheartedly want to post - even if a bit conky. Enjoy! And Happy Sunday!
20/03/2017: "I'm going ti try to pay attention to the Spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen." It's officially the first day of spring (or so Facebook tells me. Surely it can't be wrong.), so here's waiting for the chilly evenings, smell of cut grass in the air, and the view of blossoming flowers. It'll be a beautiful season.
21/03/2017: Throwback: It's been a week since I returned home from my 5 week stay in the States. God, time moves quickly. I remember taking this shot like it was yesterday. Hidden in the corner of SFO airport, waiting for my partner to call when he got back on the road, trying not to cry. I snapped it with the intention of uploading here and being all instagrammy with the caption "#airportbound" but alas, realised my ring was in shot and got too embarrassed to take another as some woman was staring at me. Don't fret Past Anne! Photos can always be recycled for the future throwbacks, Just wish I was still there with the option of getting out of the airport and returning to his arms. We can't win 'em all.
22/03/2017: Pretty engagement flowers off @BilliamSWNs aunt. I hve a fascination with baby's breath flowers. They're so beautiful. Definitely a bouquet necessity. There's a new post on my blog discussing everything engagement accompanied by a snippet of how we're shaping our future. Click HERE to read.
23/03/2017: I'm a vintage/thrifty girl at heart. Give me something with history that's also a bargain? I'm there. This little bag cost me a grand total of £2 in a charity shop. I love it. Being a cheapskate works out a whole lot of the time. The cardigan was free, as I stole it from @BilliamSWN. I really can change my wardrobe on a budget.
24/03/2017: Happy International Puppy Day! If you have any sense at all, stick to the kitties! (I kid, I kid. Okay, kinda. I'm way more of a cat person but dogs aren't overbearing.. once they're out of the puppy stage. That of which Lily is not. God help me.)
25/03/2017: #MarchForMarch: Pretty surroundings accompanied by a heavy heart, I hate the confusion that is visas. I simply want to return to my second home and grow old with a certain gentleman. Is that too much to ask? LDR problems.

26/03/2017: From Where I Sit: Throwing it back to yesterday. I'm enjoying Outlander by Diana Gabladon a whole bunch, but I'm becoming conflicted on the characters. Jamie especially. The "beating" scene bothered me a whole bunch and I'm on the fence about it. I can see it from both sides and although it's a realistic look at that time, Claire's ability to "forgive" or let things slide is starting to weigh on my bothersome side. But this might be a good thing. The book is clearly having an affect on me and a torn mind is proof that a book is more complex than your average "she is good! He is bad!". What are your thoughts?

27/03/2017:  For the Lorelai to my Rory || A new post that you can read HERE. Dedicated to my wonderful Mother. 🌻 Happy Mothers Day to all the mum's out there (biological or not). Whether to a child, a doggy, a kitty, or anything in between. And to all the Grans who watch fondly over their Grandchildren. It's a day to be proud of what you've achieved. 
28/03/2017: It's a bright and crisp Spring day and I'm stuck in the house watching Prison Break. I think I'm doing something wrong.
28/03/2017: Those paws. That face. Them ears. 1, 2, 3... awww! Can you believe he's 6 years old? I would be lost without this little man. He's the only one who will always listen to me, at any time, and won't leave or forget. Pets really can be your sanity. It helps that he's adorable. 
29/03/2017: I introduced @Billiamswn to Moulin Rouge earlier this month. I forgot how much I love this movie. The gut wrenching heartache that the love story brings. The art behind every scene. The clothes. The actors. Gah. I also watched La La Land on the plane home and I fell head over heels for it. Many believe that it's overrated and I guess I can see why, but it didn't stop my enjoyment of it. You have to accept musicals for what they are and look past the minor unrealism. It's a freaking musical for God sake! With La La Land I thoroughly enjoyed the story aspect. The end. The way it was almost a story of the things between your start and end. The smaller things in life that shape everything. The "what if's". I could relate to it all. The love was realistic albeit heartbreaking. The clothes! Okay, I'm done gushing. Musicals = yay! 
29/03/2017: Did y'all know I have a Tumblr account? 'Cause I do. Full of quotes, pretty photos, and cats. Give it a looksy if you'd like. A follow if you're generous! Just type this into your browser. ➡ rootingbranches.tumblr.com 
30/03/2017: Throwback to ancient Castles and newfound love. I can't believe it's already been a year since I had bats in my stomach waiting to meet my love for the first time in April. Since then, so much has happened. I wish I could go back and soothe past Anne's worries. But, more importantly, why does it look like I'm taking his pulse?
31/03/2017: Mini charity shop haul. All coming to the grand total of £3! I will never understand people who look down on thrifty finds, or refuse to buy anything that has been previously owned. Old books need love too! And you're giving money to a charity, which makes it feel more acceptable to get spendy. People confuse me. And yes, I totally bought Wild because of Gilmore Girls.

Next month my goal is to both read and adventure more. Even if it's a short walk to take a snapshot of the world's twiggiest looking tree. Air is what I need, at least, that's what my mind is screaming at me. Here's to a bloody great April. 
- Anne x

For The Lorelai To My Rory


A woman who, out of all the choices in the world, chose "Vanilla Fudge" as her nickname. The woman who has an unhealthy obsession with Jensen Ackles. A woman who hates wearing dresses as she sits with her legs open. The woman who once slipped at a wedding in the least graceful way you possibly could (that of which I later admitted to being at fault of. Damn you, spilled Pepsi.). A woman who can't wink. The woman who, after two rum and cokes, wants to go to the park. After 3? Wants to go ghost hunting. A woman with the strangest of crushes (Charles Logan from 24.. I mean, reeeeaally?). A woman who once took a photo with a boat captain, only to later find out that it wasn't the boat captain. The woman who is ordained and wants to  wear a black veil to my wedding, all the while dancing to something unexpected. The woman who currently has a broken toe and is likely still at the scene of the first questioning in Gone Girl... My mother. 

It's Mother's Day and I figured, what better day to write up something about the wacky but wonderful relationship she and I share? This is half a gift to her, and half a gift to me to repeatedly look back on and bask in the happy memories. Enjoy the ride, it's been a crazy one.

We haven't the most conventional of relationships nor do we have the smooth sailing of many. We bicker, stamp on each others toes (too soon, mother?), put our noses where they shouldn't go, refuse to talk about the things that matter, and hurt each other more than we ought to. But during times like those, it suddenly dawns on me that we are actually related after all. Family is meant to drive you up the wall, right? Maybe that's our problem. We've never been overly good at seeing that, she and I. We're too similar in our own ways and that is a good ol' chunk of the problem. Before I was ten-years-old, we classed each other as best friends. We did everything as one and people still find themselves asking urgently if the other is okay if we're seen apart. We relied on each other for sanity and companionship, finding other company unnecessary in our little bubble. Okay, that's a lie. We also included Jess (the dog) in our bubble, so theoretically it was the three of us. It was, in all likeliness, unhealthy. But the healthiest  we could've possibly been at that time given what the world had handed us. It's almost as though, faced with the gruesome reality, we made our own little safe haven at home. 

We'd spend entire weekends watching shows such as Angel, Buffy, Charmed, W&G or SatC hidden under duvets on our makeshift couch-beds. We'd eat frozen lasagna at 2am, doing crossword puzzles on the kitchen table. We'd play our own versions of games until Jess got bored and sabotaged whatever we were doing. We'd eat enough junk food to make someone get a sympathy stomachache and then go in for an extra piece. Yeah, okay, we were acting like students who were allowed to move out for the first time and went a bit OTT. But alas, that was my childhood. At least a good portion of it. We treated each other as friends, we were friends. But alas, like everyone, we grew up. Times got harder as I aged and people pushed their way into our lives without asking. Our little nook in the world was taken out from under us and for many years, we lost what was good. It felt as though we were strangers and I hated it. So much. Thankfully, as time once again moved forward, we seemed to being back what we loved about our relationship. There's a thin line between family and friends, and I think we're constantly balancing on it. Do we have a great balance? Some days, yes, some days, no. But that's okay. We manage as best we can and often have days that feel as though they could belong in our happiness filled past. We're learning to deal with the changes and that's a good thing, I think. You can't live in the past forever.

But alas, for a bit more of this post, we can. We never had the most money and that was perfectly okay, we dealt with it in a stride and never went without something that truly mattered. On frosty mornings, due to lack of gas, we'd throw our day clothes into a tumble-dryer and quickly change into them the moment the fabric felt like a hot water bottle. We'd blast each other with the hot heat from a hairdryer as we got changed, causing our hair go wild and laughter to fill the kitchen at 8:30am in the morning. 

We'd daydream about travelling the moment I turned 18, and all the embarrassing things we'd do along the way. Speaking of which, we're taking our first trip together this year to the ghostly Edinburgh and I can't wait to document it all for you, again. Less pain and a clearer mind makes for better blog posts! Who knew?

We'd hold onto traditions for dear life and break if something ruins them. I've 100% got an issue with this that far surpasses your usual "We do this every year", but alas, I blame my mother for that one. We're ladies of structure and have had routines since I can remember. Watching Charmed as we ate Cheese and Pickle sandwiches on Saturdays - that one was when I was six or seven. Saturday movie nights once I was no longer staying overnight in my Nain's. Christmas shopping in a certain place, every year. Angel Season 4 when my mum was cooking in the kitchen. Charmed on Tuesdays, after school, with chocolate cake and cheesecake. Everything that I looked forward to, was a tradition. It's the same now. Back then though, they were easier to uphold and we both counted down the days until our next one.

We'd spend weeks planning day trips and (cheekily) I'd stay home from school so we could experience the wonders of ancient Castles and various Zoo's without the hustle and bustle of people. We'd take homemade sandwiches (due to my mum's once traumatic experience of having strawberry put on her salad in a cafe. The travesty!), disposable cameras, and magazines for the bus ride - that of which we'd instantly regret once realising that we'd have to carry them with us all day, due to my magazine hoardingness (that's totally a word). We'd laugh until our stomachs hurt and come home with exhaustion in tow. 

Our Birthday's (mine, her's, Jess's and my Doll's) would last days, and we'd still have left over snacks the following month. 

Together we seem to have a knack for finding the most bizarrely brilliant movies such as Treehouse, Hack and The Christmas Star.  All of which are great, just FYI. Ignore the disapproving looks certain people are giving us right now. Just wait for the "DARRRRYYYYLLLL!" scene in Treehouse and you'll instantly agree with us that it's a masterpiece. 

We're known that have conversations that go like this:
Her: "Like the Shane thing!"
Me: "Yes, or Gilmore Girls!" 
Her: "Huh?"
Me: "Weatherspoons. Tables and bolts."
Her: "What does that have to do with Shane?"
Me: "Seriousness! Like Prison Break."
Her: "Oooh. But what does that have to do with Gilmore girls?"
Me: "I never said that."
Her: "Yeah, you did."
Me: "No, I didn't. Did I?"
Her: "Yes."
Me: "Huh."
Her: "But what does all of this have to do with Shane?"
Me: "Who's Shane?"

Real conversation. True story.

We've watched Supernatural at least 10 times over, and flat down refuse to watch an episode without the other. We re-watch the episode "Yellow Fever" whenever one of us feels down and have yet to find the scene of Dean yelling because of a cat funny. We found ourselves in the characters and quote the show to each other more often than not. You just hold out for the Halloween when we can finally go as Sam and Dean. Yes, I'm Sam. After all, we almost have the same hair length. 

I could go on, but some memories are best kept for your own enjoyment. And sanity. She raised me into who I am today, and a good portion of my person is her. We'd be lost without each other and due to travel and life changes, we're beginning to learn that the hard way. But I haven't a doubt in my mind that we will find ourselves new traditions that we will be overly protective of. 

For the 
Lorelai to my Rory
Dean to my Sam
Grace to my Will
Melissa McCarthy to my Sandra Bullock.

We did really good. You did really good. Here's to new stories, new traditions, and more Supernatural rewatches. Maybe the world won't implode if we spend a few weeks apart. Who knew, aye?

I love you.

- Your Daughter

Life Update || I'm Engaged!


Yup, that's right. I am now an engaged woman. My best friend popped the question under a white wooden arch in his garden (after I sabotaged his original plan. Sorry, love.) and I said yes. Well,  duh, of course I did. Not only is he a wonderful man so I'd have to be mad not to, but this post is tilted "I'm Engaged!" so it would be awfully clickbaity if I had said no. This isn't Youtube.. Jokes, jokes! I digress. I wasn't originally going to write anything on here about this change in my life as I didn't know what there was to say. Okay, that's a lie. I was worried it wouldn't interest anyone. But this is my little nook of the Internet and I want to document these things to look back on - much like my Photo Per Day series. I know it may not be exciting to a random reader but it's important to me, so that's what I need to go on.

My better half lives across the pond in the not-so-sunny California, so as you can imagine, the next year of our lives will be complicated. Immigration, visas, certificates, interviews, tickets.. I already have an ongoing headache caused by it all. But I need to keep looking at the end picture. He's my sanity. For years I've felt as though I've been watching my life through a foggy window. Nothing has felt particularly real until I was stood in front of him. Sounds crazy and perhaps a bit dumb, I know, but it's the truth and I can't shy away from talking about that. It feels as though my mind hasn't been in a healthy state since my age was in single digits. I still don't particularly feel like my pieces have been put back together stably, but they're holding up and that's more than I could've said 3 years ago. My other problem has always been my mind running off with me. I was talking to him about this the other day. My mind seems to enjoy running back to the past for the happy (or not as happy) moments, or worrying about the future when it isn't a certain thing yet. I live in the past or future and rarely in the moment. He keeps me present. He stops my mind from wandering too far off with a mere touch. I didn't know that was possible.

Wedding Plans: We hope for the wedding to be in July, or early August. Yes, of this year. Partly because we want to start our forever as soon as we're able to. It will only be a small occasion with less than 25 guests, which was a easy peasy decision to make when crowds are my kryptonite. We hope to renew our vows in a few years when money flows a little easier and we're better equipped to invite a bigger party and throw a more "socially acceptable" wedding. This time, it'll be quaint, private, and romantic as all hell. We're in the process of trying to pick a date that suits both sides, as I'm hoping to fly my mum out to be there to give me away. *sappy tears* Any other family members are more than welcome to come, but I know it's a tricky thing to ask given the cost of flights and such. It will be strange not really having people there on my side, but to be entirely honest, I'd hope for my wedding to small in the UK too. Anyone who knows me will know that.

All of this may seem sudden and many critics out there will be all; "What's the rush? Do you even know each other well enough to commit to something so massive?". All fair questions, but easily silenced by the feeling in our hearts and minds when together. I can't accurately put it into words, but when you know, you just know. I haven't a doubt in my mind that my person is safe in his hands. He's gentle and kind with my heart and mind, and that's all a human can ask for in this crazy world. The engagement wasn't a rash decision or question - we'd been discussing it for a few months - and we have gone over every possible detail or problem that will arise during our soon-to-be future. We aren't children, so if you're a family member reading this, please don't worry. We know what we're getting ourselves into. Trust our judgement. I will be going to him, because at this moment in time, it seems like the most logical option. It will of course be a big change, one I don't wholeheartedly know whether I'm ready for. But are you ever ready? Not really. Am I going to welcome the change with open arms? Yes.

The cat! Your cat! You may be yelling this as your eyes buldge with worry. Okay, probably not. But that was my reaction every time Bruno came up in conversation prior to the Engagement. We're going to play it by ear. I will be staying in the states for 90 days in July (as that's all my current visa will allow), and Mr. Bruno will be staying home. He doesn't do well with my absence; we're talking a strike to eating, wallowing in bed the entire time, and fits of anger towards my mother and anyone else who dares choose to existence in his universe when his mama isn't there. But, we have to think of the bigger picture. He's a 50/50 kitty and likes sitting in the garden with his independence in tow. He couldn't do that where my partner currently lives, he'd have to convert to being *dramatic music* an inside cat! We're hoping he'll somehow adapt to my not being there during the 3 months, so he can stay home with my mum - in an environment he knows. As much as that would shatter my heart. But, if he remains to be hidden in my bedroom, refusing to eat anything that isn't £18 chicken, and getting himself unwell from sadness.. He's going with me in the next (longer) trip. I haven't a doubt in my mind that he'll adapt and it'd be better for him to be annoyed at his place of living with me rather than being in his home but an emotional wreck for the remainder of his kitty days. We just want him happy, so evidently, this is Bruno's choice to make.

As always, there is plentiful more to go through and if you're like me, many things to scrutinise under a microscope for days on end. But everything will work out. I'm coming to learn that a life spent unhappy or unfulfilled is a life wasted. I have to go with my gut and that may simply mean growing up.

I want to do a few blog posts discussing various things about the wedding that'll come up (yes, wedding dress shopping included), so I hope you'll enjoy that and it won't get to be tedious. For now though, yay for engagements and free flowing champagne! I look forward to seeing where the next 6 months take me. I hope you join me for the journey.

- Anne x

Ink On The Skin. || The Meaning Behind RootingBranches.


I've never been the most rebellious of humans. Actually, it'd be laughable if anyone put my name and rebellious in the same sentence. I've never gotten drunk with friends, never thought about taking drugs, never been in a physical fight, nor have I ever gotten a secret tattoo. I wouldn't do that. But for the past few years, I have been thinking about getting something permanent on my skin. Due to not being the most spontaneous of humans, I'm never one to jump into something without giving it months of thought and a pro/con list. That isn't going to change with this decision, but I'd like to mark the date that I officially decided to get ink stained on my skin. It's unlikely to be anytime soon, but what's the rush when it's going to be with me for life?

So here's what I want... A branchy tree. (Shock horror, right?) I like the notion of branches, as you can probably tell by my blog's domain  and any social media handle I've had. But more than that, I like roots and the hidden message you can find behind them. The depths of ourselves that others are unable to see. I like that your branches may be tiny, but the roots that it takes to get those woody wonders are large. More often than not for me, the roots far out weight the branches I gain. But that's okay. It simply takes a lot for me to grow the little things that are visible to the naked eye (I'm a tree in this analogy, are you getting that yet? The way my brain talks and the way it looks on paper a document are quite different.)

Let's go with a trusty example. Someone seeing a 20 year old girl walking into their local shop and buying milk, probably seems like nothing to them. A usual daily act. To their eye, it's just a teeny tiny branch on my tree of life. But hidden inside, it took a lot of roots for me to get there. May sound stupid, but it's the truth. I can loop past the shop multiple times, not working up the courage to go in. The very same shop that I've been visiting since I was born suddenly seems like unsafe territory. What am I afraid of? Nothing particularly, and yet everything. My mind races as I pace, but all the while my roots grow deeper and deeper. Planting me in the worry, but yet strengthening me with the growth. Helping me grow that sodding "entering the shop" branch. Get it? No? Different example/analogy? Okay. As someone who struggles with both mental and physical health, I worry that my future is going to be bleak. And to be entirely honest, that's because my successes at this particular point in life are minuscule. I'm working on bettering myself and putting together plans that will hopefully build my life into one of happiness, but the progress isn't visible.. So am I really making any? I ask that a lot. Is it worth working on yourself if it doesn't ease anyone else's opinions around you? Illogical and yet a dominating thought. They aren't seeing anything spectacular, as the progress I'm excelling at is invisible. It's in the inside of me. Thus.. roots. As I get older though, I'm learning to accept that. Or at least, I'm trying to. The logical side of my brain says "You have to work on your inner self first. The parts people can't see. The wonky ones that are hidden and covered in dirt. Because you won't grow without them succeeding first.", Maybe my brain isn't always sensibly challenged. 

My other twisty meaning behind the branchy tree is chronic pain. I have fibromyalgia which gets handed out with really bad fatigue. I find it a joyous thing if I go out for a 10 minute walk and don't get pain or a desire to nap afterwards, because it's rare and a success in the health section of my tree. To others? It can seem tiny and trivial. "A walk? Big whoop. I was on my feet for 8 hours today." Which, don't misunderstand, I fully understand. People can't wrap their minds around another persons problems unless they've experienced it themselves. Walk a mile in another persons shoes, and all that jazz. Nevertheless, that can sometimes make my successes feel belittled. See where I'm going with this? Small branch, a heck of a lot of roots. 

My last reason behind this particular tattoo desire (yup, I have more. I put a lot of thought into this.), is the notion of leaves. Now if/when I get this image inked onto my skin, I want a bare tree. Because that's where I started. But something I wanted to mention was my own personal idea behind the symbolism of leaves. Trees have leaves, so my brain of course had to factor that in. Otherwise it'd just be weird (*eerie silence*).Can you guess what I visualise leaves as? I'll give you three seconds.. 1, 2, 3... people! Did you guess right? Shoot me a tweet if you did. (@RootingBranches, just FYI.) To me, people brighten your life. They turn your dreary branches into something of colour that the sun looks down on with joy. They make you more fulfilled. They make you different. And the leaves that fall down, are ones that you no longer have room for on your twiggy life. It's sad, but necessary. Sometimes an entire branch will fall down with it, but that's also okay. You'll grow again, you just need time to heal. You need to wait for your roots to spin their magic and help you grow again. That's where the inspiration came from for the first image on this blog post. I was feeling a little lost, wandering around my partner's garden, wondering whether a single person can change the entirety of your world. My thoughts never seem small anymore. Anyway, when I spotted that single leaf sitting proud upon a thin branch, it put everything into perspective for me. It was beautiful. Which means that you can look okay with a single leaf. Sometimes it's all you need to be spotted in the midst of the others. I was surrounded by luscious hearty trees, and this little fella was the one that grabbed my attention. It brightened my mind.

Right now you're either thinking; "What the hell is this crackpot blogger on?"; or if you're fully invested into this analogy, you're thinking; "So a tree with roots, eh? Nice choice for a tat." To which I respond with.. nope. That's not what I want. Originally, I did want to get a tree with roots but something seemed off to me. At first I put that down as insecurity over the idea of getting something I had not once thought of growing up, but then dismissed it when I still had this yearning to see a tree when I felt lost. My notebooks have tree doodles everywhere and it's my first thought when trying something new. I imagine myself as this piece of nature, and no matter how weird it may sound to others, I've always been thankful for it as it helps me through tough situations. It's my little secret. Then it dawned on me.. a tree is enough. I don't want the roots visible on my skin. Because the entire symbolism of this darn tree is that others can only see my branches. Roots are hidden. And they're what makes you beautiful - the unseen parts of you. It's how lovers and loved ones connect to you, because they somehow wield the magic of being able to catch a glimpse under your hard ground. So I have this idea of one day looking at the tiny tree that'll be on my skin, and I'll know that my roots are inside my entire body. I'll be okay knowing that I can be beautiful in the inside and continue to seem so plain on the outside. Nobody else may see that, and maybe that's okay. People see what you want them to see, you know? Roots are sacred. Nobody knows you until you let them. My branches may be dull, thin, and minuscule compared to your blossoming oak, but just maybe.. my roots are stronger. 

So there. If you made it this far, you're likely my mother or partner, but at the unlikely chance that you're just a stranger who stumbled across this post and understood a single sentence of my rambling nonsense.. Thank you. I appreciate the time, And I hope that maybe one day, you'll be in a uncontrolled situation and you'll use this tree analogy to strength yourself without guilt or worry. Because you'll know that everything of strength remains to be hidden.

- Anne x

5 Things Not To Say To Someone With An Invisible Illness


I have fibromyalgia. If you're a regular reader, found me through #MentalMovement or know me personally, you may know this. If you're new and simply stumbled across my blog due to this post being published (first hi, welcome, take a seat. Coffee? Tea? OJ? Hug?) you can read my story HERE. If you're just another suffer of an invisible illness and hope to find clarity in the way of someone else understanding the words that frustrate you, I hope to do you justice. If you're someone who knows somebody with an invisible illness and want a better understanding of the right things to say, fair play to you for giving it the thought. We all too often throw around words, assuming that they're fly away comments and will be forgotten. But here's the thing, when you're stuck in bed or resting for a good portion of your current life, you have the time to over analyse every word that was said to you - because when most of your day is filled with silence, those words matter.When loved ones cease to amaze you with their thoughtless words, it grows to be a root of sadness inside of your heart. It's a sad truth. To you, your words may seem caring enough, but to us it can be extremely frustrating to repeatedly hear things that feel like a stab to the heart. 

Here is my list of throwaway sentences that I've heard all too many times.

"You're looking better."
Guess what? Invisible illnesses are invisible, shock horror, right? When you say that to us, we feel unable to disagree with you. You're backing us into a corner and we have no other option than to go along with it - true or not. If we disagree and say "Actually I still feel like death." we're going to feel moany and like we're crying out for attention. Instead, why not ask "Are you feeling any better?"? Chances are, we aren't, but it gives us the freedom to answer with what we want to.

"Whats wrong?"
If we tell you that we're in pain, don't ask stupid questions like this. I mean, really? Widespread pain is simply that. Widespread pain. We can't pinpoint exactly whats wrong as it's all consuming. It's taking over our entire body and you have to understand that words cannot accurately describe the pain. Our body barely understands it and that is why it sometimes shuts down.

"This'll help you."
We've all seen the articles offering a miracle cure to our illnesses. No matter what you have, chronic or not, adverts and online forums are packed with things that will help you. They're "guaranteed" after all. No. It's horse crap. And over time, we learn to take everything we read/see with a pinch of salt. But when our loved ones come to us, adamant that their particular "miracle" will work, it's a harder pill to swallow. On one hand, it's incredibly sweet that you're looking into things that may help us. The thought is wonderful. But don't say things like a statement, and learn to not believe them yourself. If something seems plausible, don't state it as a fact to us, instead simply say "Do you think this might help you in anyway?" Let us decide, and don't make us feel bad if we're not as fast to jump on the hope train. We've been let down multiple times in the past and it's near impossible to think that there is a light down these dark tunnels. (There normally is, but it takes time. It's all dependant on the person and where they are on their journey.)

"Can I do anything to help?" 
This is a kind question, of course it is. But we're going to say no. Unless we're really open with our needs and aren't mortified at having to constantly ask for help, we're going to decline because we don't want to be a nuisance. That's one of our greatest fears, after all. Isn't it everyone's? This isn't so much the question, but the wording. Try "What can I do to help?" instead. There's still a 75% chance we're going to say "Nothing, but thank you.", but it's an open ended question. It feels kinder. Sounds illogical, but it's true.

"I wish I could sleep that long."
I'm sorry, but seriously? This one grinds my gears. We're sleeping because our body literally gave up on us for an unreasonable amount of hours. We're constantly exhausted because we're in pain. And you're trying to make us feel lucky for being stuck in bed, most likely in the fetal position, wishing for just a second of normality? We all lead different paths in this life, and I understand that people are tired and sore after a day of hard graft at work. I tip my hat to you, it's respectable. But.. we as people with invisible illnesses do not choose to be unwell. We don't want to spend days on end - sometimes weeks - stuck in the house, our four walls feeling more and more like a prison.

A Notable Mention: Lastly, unless you're in a large amount of pain - I'm talking the kind that makes it hard for you to do anything that one would class as "easy" - please don't drone on and on about how sore you are after you merely slept funny. This is probably a taboo thing to say, but we hate it. We hate to hear you groan and moan about a little stiff arm or a headache caused by your choice to stay up until stupid o'clock in the morning when we can lead the most healthiest of lifestyles and still find it tremendously difficult to stand up without support. Whats more annoying? When you moan that you're in pain but say "nah" to doing things that could help. Do you realise how much we wish that we could have something that'd ease our pain? You're lucky. I'm sorry that you have to feel a smidge of pain, but you're lucky to be able to heat up a hot water bottle/heat pack, have a hot bath, a massage, or pop a simple aspirin and get relief. If you don't want to do any of those things, you aren't in proper pain. Talk to us, of course, we're your loved ones. But think about your words. Please.

- Anne x

A Photo Per Day || February


February was the big month. The month I travelled back to California to reunite with my partner. Keeping in mind that this is only my second long-haul trip, I had me some jitters. But thankfully everything went smoothly and I write this as I'm weighed down by three blankets on his bed (TV shows lie. California is cold.). So as you can tell, I'm feeling comfortable and safe.

I missed a few days this month, and I was going to apologise for that but, I shan't. Because I didn't purposely miss them, in fact it was quite the opposite. I was deliriously happy and simply forgot. Now that's a good reason to forget something, if I've ever heard one. So.. Let's just appreciate the fact that we stopped kissing long enough for me to snap some shots. Okay? Okay. Yay for photos!
01/02/2017: My little Angel isn't feeling well, which is causing me to feel helpless. I leave a week today to visit my partner, and I can't imagine going when he's feeling poorly. Throwback photo, just FYI.
02/02/2017: Some days you mourn for the breakfast that went into your tummy weeks ago. So long gone. So tremendously sad.
03/02/2017: Finally getting to check the things off my holiday list is incredibly satisfying. I feel like the weight is slowly lifting off of my shoulders. 3 days to go. #FOTD: Future Anne, buy mascara and foundation when you have cash that isn't dollars.
04/02/2017: To colour in, or not to colour. The struggle is real. Sigh. On a different note, I've been finding joy in doodling again. It's quite therapeutic to squiggle down lines and end up with something that resembles something else. My wrist throbs, but it's worth it. Even more calming if you sip green tea and blast music in your ears during the process (my current pick being Love Steps in by Clare Bowen.).
05/01/2017: A Sunday throwback to my yummy (goodbye) lunch the other day! A review of the cafe will be up on my blog soonish. Can you do a review with photos of only one meal? I ask the big questions.
06/02/2017: Tomorrow is the big day. An adventure starts, I'm fearful but equally excited. My chest feels heavy, and I need something to help lift it. 
08/02/2017: I fail at resolutions. I didn't upload a photo yesterday due to travels and jetlagness. So tonight I'll just do two and we'll all pretend that I uploaded this shot yesterday, Okay? Okay. Turbulence is a bitch. Rain and turbulence makes for a rocky ride.  I didn't get a decent shot in the air, but I had to upload something as.. well, if I didn't upload a plane shot to Instagram, did I even travel?
08/02/2017: Waves of love are rolling in. Just sayin'.
09/02/2017: his pretty much sums up my vacation so far. And I am wholeheartedly glad about that.
10/02/2017: Travelling across half the world to be with the one you love is all fun and games until you miss your pretty kitty. Sigh. 
14/02/2017: Whether you're with your better half, kissing your children/pet at bed time, or having a glass of wine with your girlfriends.. Happy Valentine's Day. It's a day to celebrate love. Romantic or not.
15/02/2017: A blur of motion in a place of calm. Always look for that hidden gem.
15/02/2017: I'm a little bit all over the place today. I don't do well with change and I'm finding it semi daunting to find my way. I'm so used to building my days around others, so when faced with a blank canvas.. I'm a little lost. Okay. A lot lost. I keep wanting to ask people what I should do. I have a feeling the remainder of this month will either build me up or knock me down. Scary confession. So.. what does a self reflecting post need? A selfie. Clearly. Hello modern world.
16/02/2017: "Artistic creativity is a whirlpool of imagination that swirls into the depths of the mind." - Shirley Temple. 
17/02/2017: "One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside out windows today." - Dale Carnegie.
18/01/2017: New blog post! Click HERE to read. A speedy review of the Sierra Mountain In,, Grass Valley. We spent a night here last weekend and it was one to remember. Quaint, charming and.. cold. Give it a looksy if you have a free minute.
19/02/2017: This pretty much sums up both mine and @BilliamSWN's belated Valentines Day yesterday. We celebrated with a meal at one of his favourite places Maggianos. Bought both cold medicine (not pictured because.. aesthetic) and a plant (he's a plant person, who knew?), that of which we named Henry 2.0. Went to watch A Cure For Wellness - which I have mixed feelings on. And ended the evening with cuddles and red wine. I feel incredibly blessed to love someone who has such a beautiful heart. 
20/02/2017: Possibly my next choice from my ever-growing TBR pile. I've owned One Day for years now and have never gotten around to opening up it's pages. That's what I love able books - they'll wait patiently for you to delve into their worlds. You can have something sitting upon your shelf for years untouched, but when you do, bam. Magic.
21/02/2017: New recipe up on the blog, click HERE to read. Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup. Super comforting and good for the soul- especially lovely for these chilly evenings. Check it out if you have a spare moment. 
22/02/2017: "A book worth reading is worth buying." - John Ruskin. Lately I've been questioning whether my continuous act of borrowing books from my local library is prohibiting author to get the sales they want. Of course, to the big names of the author world, it doesn't make a difference. But the small ones? I don't know. Books can be expensive when you inhale them like air. And it is sometimes implausible to think you can buy every book you want to read. But I rarely buy books at full price (I mostly buy secondhand books from Amazon or charity shops). Is that the same as listening to music for free on Youtube without showing support by buying an EP? I'm torn.
22/02/2017: Okay, not the healthiest. I'll admit. But being veggie is so much more fun when fast food restaurants cater to you. In n Out is a place you go for cheese heaven and bask in the yumminess of animal fries (yeah, I find that ironic too). Looking at old food photos is making my tummy grumble.
23/02/2017: My review for A Cure For Wellness is now up on RootingBranches. Click HERE to read. I had some major quips with this movie. Between sexual assault, lack of character growth and the belittling of women. Meh, no. Plus it was freaking weird. A real shame. At least they offered beautiful shots - notably this one. What were your thoughts?
24/02/2017: Next up on the blog: Current Favourite Perfumes (Note from future Anne: Click HERE to read.). Should be live tomorrow evening! How exciting. Spoiler: It features this little favourite. 
25/02/2017: I read Me Before You during February (after it was on my TBR for months) and was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a big ol' cheese fest but instead I was met with bright characters and a decent plot. I know a lot of people find the story problematic but, to be honest, I was mostly fangirling over Lou the entire time. Kinda want to pick up the sequel, Me After You. Not gonna lie.
25/02/2017: French toast is what a cuddle to the tummy feels like. This looks far more appetising than the dorito sandwich I had for lunch. Tsk.
26/02/2017: Up on the blog: Top 3 Perfumes (all under £45!). One being a mere £8.99! Click HERE to give it a looksy. I've never been a big perfume girl, but as I've gotten older, I've grown fond of the occasional spritz of heaven. It helps me feel confident.
27/02/2017: Yup, we're (myself and @BilliamSWN) officialy that kind of couple. Not that I mind. Life is too short to not be cheesy.
28/02/2017: Nursing a sick man with manflu. If you have someone who needs some tummy comfort, why not check out the Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup recipe that is on my blog? It's only logical. Click HERE to view.

March is going to be a hell of a month. I'll see you at the end of it.
- Anne x

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