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Sunday, 12 July 2015

A tiny camping microholiday

cute camping couple

It's been a while, hasn't it. A lot has happened since I last blogged over here. I've started a new writing project, Daily Playwright where I (you guessed it) write a play every single day. The plays are very short, don't worry. I've also handed in my notice at work - my last day is in five weeks. Everything is exciting and there's a lot of adventuring on the horizon for me. But for now, I'm just going to share a few pictures from a little tiny holiday that Dan and I went on a few weeks ago.

forest nature wilderness
into the woods trees

It was just an overnight camping trip but it was probably the most relaxing 24 hours I've had in a very long time. Work has been manic and I've been writing a play every single evening. Everything has been go go go all year, and frankly, I can't believe it's July already. I took a long break from blogging because I was disillusioned with the constant networking and commercialism. Those are huge aspects of the blogging world and I respect them wholeheartedly, but I don't know if I am able to participate on that level. As a result, I ran away and avoided blogging for a really long time. I haven't looked at my blog email in forever and I am so so sorry if you've emailed me and nor received a response. But I'm ready to dip a tentative toe back into the blogosphere and blog on my own terms again. And I'll get to your emails, I promise! ;)

cosy tent
wilderness home
hiking tea break
reading holiday book

Now that we have a tent, we're going to do a lot more camping. It's so lovely to listen to the birds in the morning and feel the grass between your toes. Plus, once you've got the kit, camping is pretty cheap. This next year is going to be an incredibly frugal one for us as I will be doing a masters and Dan will be finishing his PhD. So expect more little camping adventures on this 'ere bloggeroo.

cider break camping
enamelware mug chic

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Details from our study

minimalist clutter interior

After spending ages thinking, "the house has to be totally finished before I show it to anyone", I've finally decided that life is too short. Our study isn't finished yet - I still don't have a chair, and we've not hung our posters and prints yet, but I've managed to make the shelves look rather lovely and I'm allowing myself a moment to feel accomplished, even if I've not actually completed the task at hand yet.

I've been busy building my online portfolio of writing and I'm far from finished with that either. I live and breathe the internet and I know that my dream job involves a magnificent melange of the written word and the interwebs, but I do sometimes wonder if the internet is just broadening the scope for self-loathing among 'milennials'. With every meaningful connection made comes dozens of hours spent looking at all of the talented people achieving enviable things all over the globe. In some distant past, each individual had a smaller world to conquer. I remember feeling like a big fish in a small pond, once upon a dream.

If you're interested in any of the things I've been writing, you could check out this article I wrote about the representation of periods in the media. It's got a kick-ass punderful headline too. You should also look at my BuzzFeed article in which I imagine the stereotypical high school teen movie as if it were set in the United Kingdom. In addition to this, I'm in the process of launching an exciting creative writing project for myself. More on this in time, my petals. That wasn't meant to sound quite as creepy as it did.

notebook collection
japanese ink ikea drawers
study cat literary feline

If it wasn't obvious already from the content of my blog, I am pretty sure that these details from my office space will give you some insight into my main interests - writing, photography and my own cat. There's something about this office space that is nostalgic for my study spaces at university, and I'm really excited that I'm going to be getting back into studying Hebrew very soon. Even though 'you learn something new every day' by osmosis, I still find it incredibly important to actively seek out knowledge.

I'll sign off for now - let me know if you enjoyed my articles! I hope you're having a good day, that your tea is still warm, and that you've got something you're looking forward to telling someone somewhere.

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

A home made beauty box

cosmetics gift box

An embarrassingly long time ago (hey, I've had no internet, okay?), my blogger pal Angelica (who blogs over at One Little Vice) made me my very own beauty box. When she presented it to me, I nearly cried in the middle of the tropical luau-themed bar where we were attending a Bloggers Love event. Not half an hour before, I'd accidentally strode into the middle of a catwalk scenario where lean, sparkly women were gliding up and down a makeshift runway. My hair was a wild wintery mass of windswept fuzz, I had three bags with me, and I was bundled up in an enormous duffle coat. Some guy shouted at me and I retreated into the first secluded spot I could find, which happened to be the behind-the-bar area. Someone was wiping a crate of glasses, and shot an accusatory glance at me as if to say, "Trespasser!"

I found Angelica and Charlotte (better known online as Ch-ARGH-ley) and we became a three musketeers (or perhaps three Macbethian witches) kind of gang, setting up camp in the far corner of the event. Charley got her hair done by the lovely folks at Umberto Giannini (who gave us some great styling products to test out, which really came in handy over the holiday period), and Angelica gave me this little black box...

The box itself was recycled from a subscription beauty box she'd received in the past, but instead of the customary couple of sample products you normally get in this kind of box, this one was completely stuffed with amazing treats. Some of them were makeup bits she no longer wanted, such as the Body Shop Honey Bronzer, or the NYX blush (which I think looks more like an eyeshadow, personally). Other products were samples she had acquired over time. I was especially excited to try out the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery serum, and I squealed with delight when I saw the Demeter Fragrance Library perfume. I've wanted to own one of these for years now. These days, you can buy a selection of them in Boots, but back in the day, you had to ship them from America without ever having smelled them.

It was such a treat to be given so many lovely products, especially by someone who REALLY knows their shizz when it comes to cosmetics. Angelica is the kind of person whose opinion I trust a lot when it comes to beauty stuff. Yeah, a couple of the products are second hand, which might gross some people out, but it's all stuff that can be cleaned and it's not like she's a stranger off the street, offering me a gummy old eyeliner. A lot of beauty and fashion bloggers end up with way more products than they can feasibly wear, and often a really good quality product won't agree with a particular person, so I think that gifts among friends are a fantastic way to sort this out. I'm thinking of planning some kind of clothes swap party at some point, to get rid of a lot of clothes and accessories that I don't wear anymore. I'd much rather see my friends enjoying my old things than feel guilty when I see bundles of my unloved clothes in the bottom of my wardrobe.

lanolips flatlay

As predicted, I loved the Demeter perfume (which smells fresh and grown up), and the Midnight Recovery oil was super luxurious to use, although the jury's out on the skin benefits. I found it quite difficult to tell which products have been working for my skin lately, as I've changed up my whole routine (which is another post for another day, I think). The Korres lip butter has a gorgeous pinkish tint to it, and the cherry blossom l'Occitane shower gel has an addictive fragrance. I've had an excellent time trying all of these products out, and I'm so grateful to Angelica for giving me the chance to try out being a beauty blogger for a brief moment. I'm definitely not turning this blog into a beauty blog - I don't think I'd be able to do this full time, but I'm sure there's room for a leeeetle bit more beauty chat here. After all, messing about with makeup and fun moisturisers can actually be quite enjoyable. My teenage self would be very confused if she heard me say that, but there you go - character development.

cat interrupting blogging

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Where are you?!

winter misery

This is a fair question, to be honest. I've gone from being extremely active in the blogging community to being practically inactive, in the space of a couple of months. It started out because we had to leave our flat to stay with my parents in law for a bit, and they had the slowest internet connection I've experienced since 2002. But somewhere along the way, I lost my blogging mojo. It's not that I don't love blogging, it's just that I've lost my confidence a bit.

Not being able to participate as actively as I'd like meant that my views started to decline, and coupled with the fact that a blog post that would ordinarily take a few hours to write was taking a whole evening, I started to feel as though blogging was more stressful than enjoyable. We've moved into our beautiful flat now, but instead of it being the magical haven of internet connectivity that I was dreaming about, we've been plagued with problem after problem, and are currently having to use a wireless 3G dongle thing, that cuts out every few minutes until mid February (we're told). It makes responding to comments very difficult, and makes long and creative posts nearly impossible right now.

Having access to social media is both a blessing and a curse really, because on the one hand, I can stay connected with all of my beautiful, funny and intelligent blogger friends, but on the other hand, I can see that you're all posting excellent content that I can't really look at properly, and I can't contribute to discussions and chats either! Moan whinge whine etc etc.

So this is just a really quick post (hoping it actually posts this time!) to let you know that I appreciate you guys all sticking around over the last few months while my posting has been unbelievably sporadic. To reward you, here are some lovely lists that make very quick and easy reading:

Things I've purchased recently
- Picture frames for our staircase picture wall.
- A neon-pink slanket from Amazon (this was Dan, not me... just for the record)
- A new mini set of watercolours as I lost my old set in the move (something always goes missing)
- Furniture wax (is this what adulthood feels like??!)

Things I've eaten recently
- An amazing malaysian curry from a little place near my work
- Supermarket sushi
- Lots of popchips (I swear they sprinkle them with crack or something, they are so addictive!)

Things on my mind
- My job interview on Friday (for another job at my current workplace).
- The mushroom growing out of our stairs. Grim. Also getting fixed on Friday thank GOODNESS.
- Creating something that 'matters'/Trying to be 'relevant'/Wanting to be 'influential'...

That will be all for now, as it's time for bed and the internet keeps cutting out. I really do enjoy reading your comments and your tweets and I appreciate your presence in my life, however peripheral it may be! I'll get my mojo back soon. I bet it'll coincide with getting my internet connection back, eh?

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Monday, 12 January 2015

A creative year

winter brittany shutters

My time without the internet has been less traumatic than anticipated, if I'm honest. I had a chance to see my family, to recharge my batteries, and to think a lot about what I wanted from the next year of my life. I tend to get very existential towards the end of the year, what with my birthday and new year falling so close together. Plus, surrounded by the intense, frosty beauty of midwinter Brittany, I can't help but contemplate the world and my place in it.

I've got a lot planned for this year, and I'm going to share just a few of my ideas here, so you guys can hold me accountable, and then you get to look at some of the photos I took while I was visiting my Dad:

Food:

1. Make a new recipe we’ve never tried before, every single week.
2. Eat cheaply and healthily for the rest of the week.
3. Make lunch and take it to work.

Exercise:

1. Start Pilates – all of my doctors tell me I have to, so I should probably at least give it a go.
2. Go swimming with Dan every single week. Decide which day is best.
3. Attend these ‘back strengthening classes’ the hospital has decided to make me do. Eek!

Creativity:

1. Finish all of my currently unfinished poems (as of the beginning of the year).
2. Collect poems together into small book. Perhaps make it into a poetry zine of sorts and sell it? If not, think of something else to do with them.
3. Write at least three complete songs, and record demos of them.
4. Take a self portrait of me and Dan every single month. Be creative.
5. Buy a proper black fineliner, dig out my watercolours and watercolour paper to do some illustrations.
6. Make the picture-wall for our flat.

Blog-related stuff:

1. Work ahead with blog posts so I am not writing and publishing and photo editing all on one day.
2. Post at least twice a week.
4. Participate in all the networking bits and bobs! Make friends!

Being a functional human being:

1. Remember people’s birthdays and send them cards.
2. Actually collect all of my friends’ postal addresses into one single place. I think they call this an ‘address book’ but it’s been such a long time since I’ve had one that I can’t be sure.

Being magnificent:

1. Wear more glitter.
2. Bother to do my eyeliner more often.
3. Go on adventures, at home and on holiday.
4. Be kind to everyone (including myself).
5. Wear the best clothes.
6. Make time for self-care.
7. Work towards having a job I really love.

So, those are my main goals. I'm hoping that this year is a really meaningful one, with plenty of magic and lots of memories. Winter is always really tough for me, but I'm going to work hard to make it to spring and get a lot of important shizzle done. I feel like I've been out of the blogging loop for so long now - am I doing alright? How are you getting along with your new year goals so far?

frosty morning france
sea glass collection
nutella breakfast tea
winter boat party time
delicate silhouette sunset
moonbeams in winter

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Internet troubles (I feel bad for you, son)

Cup of tea

This is just a very very quick post to say that I've been having some awful internet trouble recently. We moved into our flat, and for the first day we had INCREDIBLE internet. The stuff of dreams, it was. Then, the cable outside our house broke and the engineers told us that they couldn't fix it until the first week of next year. We've been chronically under-internetted ever since, and I've had to neglect my poor blog, and all of you guys. To be honest, we've been really busy moving in, and having birthdays and stuff, so it's given us a chance to get some of that stuff done.
If we'd had internet all of this time, I doubt we'd have got our sofa built.

Anyway, my birthday was lovely, and I got some beautiful gifts. We're going up to Dan's parents' place (which, as you know, has very little internet) to celebrate Christmas, and then straight to my Dad's house in France for New Year. In January, normal posting will resume and I've got some excellent plans for this here bloggeroo! My dear friend Angelica from One Little Vice has given me a little beauty box full of wonderful things to review, so you can expect my first beauty-related post! I'm also going to be doing lots of posts about our interior design choices for this flat, and you can expect a lot more cooking posts now that we've got a lovely spacious kitchen!

Until then, please bear with me - I think you're all fantastic and I am beyond grateful that you read my blog. Happy holidays, and see you in 2015!

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

November's Greatest Hits!

perfect banana bread every time

I've been a very naughty blogger recently, posting less than usual, and not taking part in the blogging community nearly as much as I'd like. We're coming up for the last week of living with my in-laws now though, and whilst it has been really nice to have the company for the last few months, I'm not going to miss the double-commute we've been doing for the last month - driving down to our flat in London to see how the building work is getting on, and then taking the train into work each day, before doing the same again in reverse on the way home! We've not been getting home until 9 each night! But enough of my whining, because despite the exhaustion and lack of internet presence, November was very exciting!

November's memorable moment

Renovation in progress

In addition to watching our new little home take shape thanks to the most dedicated builders, electricians, plumbers and carpenters I've ever met, I've really enjoyed some surreal and spectacular blogging events in November. Along with Angelica from One Little Vice, I attended the official store opening of Trésor Rare, a cosmetics company which impregnates all its face cream with gold and diamonds. While I couldn't be further from the target market for that kind of shizzle, it was definitely an interesting window into another world.

I also got the chance to attend the last Bloggers Love Hub of the month, where I met up with Angelica again, as well as Charlotte from Captain Ch-ARGH-ley and Ruby from The Fashion Antlers. I got chatting with the lovely folks from Umberto Gianinni, who gave me a bunch of their products to try out. If that wasn't enough swag from an evening out, I also got the most amazing present from Angelica - my very own hand-picked beauty box, curated especially for me by the woman herself. I'm going to dedicate a whole blog post to this very soon, so expect a bit more on all of this later!

November's Instagram moments

wallpaper turner painting sunny winter london
clock eater english rain

Winter is truly upon us now, and I love photographing the weather on Instagram! Those crisp, sunny winter days have been fighting against the perpetual drizzle and thick fog all month, and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop any time soon. I've seen some beautiful rolling fog and even an epic double rainbow from the car window in November! Oh and maybe the reason I've not had enough time to blog properly this month is because I ate all the time...

Songs on repeat in November

As the winter comes, I always turn back to my tried and trusted 'Colder Months' playlist on Spotify. One of my favourite tracks from that playlist will always be Anyone's Ghost by The National (who I saw live this month!!!!!). All of my playlists are constantly growing and evolving, and the newest addition to the playlist is the irresistibly dark Take Me To Church by Hozier. There's nothing overtly 'wintery' about any of the songs on my 'Colder Months' playlist, it's more about how the song feels, if that makes any sense at all!

Blogs I've loved this month

In the midst of this hectic spell in my life, I've been all about imagining a completely different life for myself, so when the internet has permitted me to load any blog posts, I've been reading blogs by expats in other countries. One favourite is Crumbs in the bed by a seriously funky young woman doing her postgrad in Belgium. I'll also always have a soft spot for Eat Your Kimchi and My Korean Husband to name just a few. If I'm not already reading your ex-pat blog, or if you know of any other awesome ones, do let me know! I hope you all had a lovely November, and that your December is shaping up well too!

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