Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sunday Round-Up


Hello from my new town! It is a weird feeling no longer living in my family home and being away from most of the people I know....in fact, ALL of the people I know minus 1 (albeit it a very important one). It feels different to moving away for university but it doesn't feel permanent yet. That'll probably take getting into the swing of things with the new job et al but so far, so good. It took precisely five people, two cars and a transit van to transport all of our stuff down here. That should probably read *my* stuff, since M's possessions were limited mainly to a couple of books, a chest of drawers and his clothes (not packed, just carried in the aforementioned drawers). Since the weekend we have acquired a lot more joint belongings, such as bed sheets, a giant straw laundry basket and a toaster. I've been busy getting to know the area this week, doing shopping and sorting out admin before my real job starts next week. I hope to be able to continue writing here as I usually do, although that may be less frequent to begin with than I would like. Anyway, without further ado, here's my Sunday round-up....

This week I have been....

Assembling :: flat-pack furniture

Buying :: bits and bobs for the new flat and work clothes

Eating :: with M each evening - what a treat! Also tried Five Guys for the first time, having heard such mixed reviews prior to trying. I really enjoyed it! Bit expensive (same kind of price as you would pay for Patty & Bun which is the superior burger...of all burgers ever, followed closely by Honest) but the chips are awesome (and you get loads), you can pick which burger size you'd like and the drink options are simply incredible. Yep *incredible*...

Drinking :: mixtures of all types of Fanta flavours; litres of tea

Reading :: a book about yoga, "Coming Up Roses" (Cath Kidston's business story) and a book about women and the suffrage movement

Having a love/hate relationship with :: not having wifi  in the flat! It is lovely to have more time to read, talk and play chess, but it has meant several trips to the library to sort out house admin.

Booking :: train tickets all over the place

Considering :: birthday plans

Enjoying :: having plants in the house...just a little Ikea one and a mint plant for the moment. Flowers are next on the list!

Please leave any tips for being a newbie in the workplace in the comments below! Hope you've all had a marvellous week - let me know what you did this weekend :)



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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

London // Rise 46, Clapham

You're all lovely, loyal readers (thank you, thank you, thank you!) so if you're a regular you'll probably be aware that I moved out of home over the weekend! Gulp!

In amongst all the organising and packing, I managed to get my closest friends together to have a "Leaving London" party. The venue of choice was a lovely little 1920's inspired cocktail bar, Rise 46, a short walk from Clapham Junction station.


From the Rise 46 website
You can watch Gatsby here!
I'd been in contact with the bar to book a small area for my party and I just need to make it clear how kind and accommodating Rise 46 staff were from start to finish. When my search for the perfect venue began, I e-mailed a handful of bars to enquire about booking and whether any events were happening etc, and most places seemed pretty half-hearted about it. I suppose they know that on a Friday night they are likely to be busy regardless of whether they have a booking like mine. Rise 46, however, answered all my questions, didn't require a deposit, didn't stress me out over a minimum spend, made me feel like they'd love to look after us and replied to all e-mails promptly and politely. A massive tick already before I'd even set foot in Clapham.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Sergio - a brilliant barman - who showed us our area and a complimentary bottle of Prosecco. Loooook...!



There were enough of us to make it feel like we weren't cut off from the rest of the bar, especially as the staff were so attentive. Before long, crowds of us gathered around the main upstairs bar as we had spotted sweetie jars...the intrigue hit all of us and before we knew it, there was a multitude of popping candy, lollipops and fizzy bubblegum bottles being shared around. I mean, just take a moment to think about that - you've got a huge jar of one of the most delicious cocktails you've ever tasted, and in the jar's lid you've got an abundance of sweets (and good ones too). Are you not sold on that alone?!



If you needed even more convincing that this is no ordinary bar, did I mention that they have a popcorn machine too? You're just handed little bowls of freshly made popcorn every now and again, amplifying the fun experience tenfold. You must be sold now, right?!


We were blown away by the range of cocktails Sergio made for us and the speed with which he did it. They were honestly amongst the best cocktails I've ever had - really carefully and skilfully crafted. It has made me want to learn how to make them just as well. Mojitos are usually my drink of choice but I don't think I even had a single one that night, on account of there being so many other delicious choices. If you don't believe me, take a look at the drinks menu here...how do you even know where to begin?! (Answer: sweets. Always the sweets.)




Photo of us sourced from Rise 46 website

Other handy information ::

You must try their :: porn star martini - seriously good.
You'll be dancing to :: all the types of tracks you want to hear on a night out, and live music on certain nights if you're lucky
You'll be surrounded by :: happy people
You'll be blown away by :: how yummy the cocktails are
You won't stop talking about :: the sweets and popcorn!
You can get :: 20% off your drinks on weekdays if you sign up to be a friend of Rise 46
You can find them at :: 46 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1EE



On the "Leaving London" front - as sad as I am that I have left my favourite city, I am pretty excited to be able to adventure in a new part of the country and explore pretty little places I don't even know exist yet. Thank you to my friends for being such wonderful company and to Rise 46 for really looking after us - it was the perfect send off!

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A huge thank you also to my friend Anj who kindly helped me out with photographs for this post. Pictures on a night out are tricky with the iPhone! Apologies for the graininess...do any of you take your SLRs out with you to bars?

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

What to do with Instagram photos {+ a little offer for you}

God knows how many folders full of pictures I have sitting on my phone, iPad, laptop, memory sticks, external hard drive. Slowly but surely I am beginning to realise that as fantastic as it is being able to take a gazillion photos and store all of them on a neat gadget, by forgetting or not getting round to printing them I am effectively devaluing the photographs. What's the point of them being tucked away on a device, only to be seen on a screen when or if I remember that they are there?

Like many, I took part in the 100 Happy Days project and chose to record this via Instagram. It made me think about the photographs that I took each day and how I shot them - resulting in some nicer than usual pictures I think as they had thought behind them.

With all of this in mind, I am making a more concerted effort to print my snaps and with the 100 Happy Days project, in particular, have a physical record of the little journey of happiness (or, you know, what the project symbolised personally). A quick scour of Twitter suggestions led me to a business called Inkifi who kindly gifted me a mini photo book full of photos that I could directly upload from my Instagram account to their website.


I'd never really tried printing Instagram photos before but having built up quite a collection of them, I hadn't quite figured out where or how I wanted to display them so this photo book was an ideal solution. I envisaged popping it onto a bookshelf in my new flat, changing the page it is open on every now and then. You know, the kind of prop that visitors take a peek at when they pop over and you yourself enjoy looking through a million times over.


First impressions ::

Inkifi are a pleasure to work with - polite, helpful, prompt - and their products are evidently of high quality. As you can see in the photographs, the picture quality is lovely and the paper is pleasingly tough too. I like that they have developed their original roots in photography and web design and applied their passion to a newer medium too. Even more of a plus that they use environmentally sustainable materials.


What I love ::

i. that I have my recent favourite Instagram shots all in one physical place

ii. that I can flick through the book and look at the photos as though I am seeing them for the first time because having them off-screen is WONDERFUL

iii. that delivery was super speedy and free of charge

iv. the simplicity of the idea

v. the brilliant quality

vi. the community feel of Inkifi's website (oh and they have a blog!)


Two little things that I wasn't expecting ::

i. the book is smaller than I expected but then again I'm not really sure what I was basing my expectations on...perhaps the size I wanted them to be rather than any concrete facts. Not really too much of a problem, however, as I'm just used to its size now.

ii. the order of the photographs didn't match the order I'd chosen them in on the website which, again, isn't the end of the world, but did mean that a photo that I didn't really want on the front on account of me being in a hospital bed is on the front. Upon ordering, I had arranged the photos in an order that meant something to my little journey through the last year or so, but you know, it's not a huge problem - the book still looks lovely and serves the same purpose! Not a deal-breaker, but perhaps something to definitely check with Inkifi when you order with them, (and you definitely should order with them...stay tuned for the offer at the end!) especially if you are giving the book as a gift.


If you too are looking for lovely quality Instagram prints, I would highly recommend Inkifi's range of products. As I mentioned above, delivery worldwide is completely FREE of charge. The photo book featured in this post can contain up to 50 photos. They also do huge posters, magnets, square prints, greeting cards and other bits and bobs. I think all of their products would make lovely gifts.

 :: Offer ::

Tempted? Perfect - Inkifi have kindly offered Fill My Little World readers 20% off  so just enter "bee20" in the discount box when you order. Wonderful!

Let me know what you usually do with your Instagram photos and if you order anything from Inkifi :)

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As mentioned above, the photo book was kindly gifted to me by Inkifi but all context is genuine and all views are obviously my own! 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Taking Stock #11



T A K I N G // S T O C K

Making :: lots of lists of all descriptions

Cooking :: infrequently
Drinking :: cocktails, iced tea, water
Reading :: "Everyday Sexism" by Laura Bates; "Instructions for a Heatwave" by Maggie O'Farrell
Wanting :: things to go well
Looking :: at beautiful sights in Spain and the Basque Country; for a new flat
Playing :: endless games of "would you rather..." whilst wandering Valencian streets
Deciding :: on where to move to!
Wishing :: for the usuals
Enjoying :: exploring new places 
Waiting :: for move-in day!
Liking :: getting up and being able to do whatever we fancy that day whilst abroad
Wondering :: what I will do living in a county that doesn't have a Wasabi branch
Loving :: "The Visitors" at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - oh my goodness
Pondering :: how feasible it would be to start learning the cello given how awe-struck "The Visitors" left me
Considering :: whilst in Barcelona, on a scale of 1-10, how awful it would be if we didn't have a flight home (answer - minus 1294814910)
Watching :: "Child Genius"; "The Great British Bake Off"
Hoping :: it's all good!

Marvelling :: how awesome brunch options in Barcelona are
Needing :: furniture
Smelling :: sun cream, seafood
Wearing :: dresses, long skirts, Sketchers everywhere
Following :: Cath's blog
Noticing :: more PR e-mails
Knowing :: my way around the Ikea website pretty professionally
Thinking :: overtime 
Feeling :: excited, content, sad, nervous
Admiring :: beautifully peaceful locations
Sorting :: through all of my belongings
Buying :: microfibre cloths, a vase, a double duvet, work clothes
Getting :: excited, stressed
Bookmarking :: recommendations in Spain; kettles; mattresses
Disliking :: ends
Opening :: good luck cards
Giggling :: so much at the concept of a Haim tribute band called Hm (who just hum)
Snacking :: on peaches
Coveting :: bed frames; trainers
Helping :: people with things I know about
Hearing :: the most gorgeous, tear-inducing exhibition at the Guggenheim - see above...this will probably get a post of its own soon enough given that I have mentioned it so many times in this post alone.

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Are you also taking stock? Find previous editions here and the original source here.

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