Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Lists // Five

I knew my hours on Pinterest would finally pay off one day. And with this week's theme for 52 Lists, the day has arrived! I could have gone on for pages but these ones stuck out today. I would also encourage you to read this one here from Tyler Knott Gregson, because that is truly my favourite one at the moment.

Any of these resonate with you? As ever, please feel free to share your 52 Lists project with me too. 


This is list #5 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

B and M's Kitchen Party // One

I mentioned here that last weekend would see the "first ever" B and M Kitchen Party. I also mentioned that if it was a success, I would share the evening with you. Well, as I'm sure you can imagine, it was a triumph and here we are! 

The basic premise for the evening was that we would cook a three-course meal together, listen to our favourite music and if the night led to sliding around on the kitchen tiles, then so be it. The TWIST however was as follows: M would pick the first two courses and buy the ingredients to cook them and I would have to shut my eyes and guess what each ingredient is by feeling it, and I would pick the dessert and M would have to guess what we were making by feeling the ingredients blind-folded. So kind of like Blind Date but for meal courses. So kind of nothing like Blind Date, but again this wasn't really our first ever kitchen party either so lets go wild and call things whatever we want for this blog post, okay? Cool! 

I don't have any pictures of the starter, but it was salmon and cream cheese blini. I didn't know what blini were until my "middle-class" man showed me, but yes they went down so well I didn't get a chance to shoot them. And do you know what? It took a wee bit of persuasion to convince M not to tuck into his main meal straight away so that I could get a shot of it for the blog. Did you hear that? You almost MISSED OUT on the opportunity to witness what can only be described as the best thing M has ever supervised the cooking of - THIS main meal.

Utterly divine, prosciutto-wrapped Philly and red pepper-stuffed chicken with home-made chips and the greenest of beans, accompanied by redcurrant jam. Would you take a look at that!

I mean corrrrr, look at it! And here's a close up of those chips because I know you're interested...

Sprinkled with the usuals and a dab of paprika. Mmmmm. 

I asked M whether he would like to do a guest-post on how he created this splendid meal, but he assures me that it is too easy for a recipe. "All you do is slice the chicken in half, spread Philly on each side, sprinkle some red pepper pieces on and wrap it up in ham." That's the chef verbatim guys.

In case you were wondering, my guessing of the ingredients wasn't too terrible. But as I didn't know what blini was and its packaging was plastic, I did think we were having salmon on ham. 

All washed down with what is known in some circles as the "king of drinks", before it was time to get cracking with my dessert before we fell asleep from fullness. 

The lovely gooey mess of a Smores Dip (melted Dairy Milk with baked marshmallows on top) with digestives for dipping.

Of course by the end, I threw shame out of the window and tucked in with a spoon. Waste not, want not! Whatever that means. But yes, this was a Pinterest half-disaster in that it tasted gooood but aesthetically this wasn't what we were going for marshmallows! 

Next time, I'm organising the starter and main course. I have an idea up my sleeve for the main, but would love your ideas for the starter! The more obscurely shaped the ingredients the better, for blindfold purposes you see. I invite you all to start calling your cooking dates "kitchen parties" and would love to see the results of any so let me know if you do host one :)

Pin It Now!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Round-up (Links edition)

From here

- I like Sally's new series "Wonderful Wednesdays"
- Jessica is a very talented writer
- Charlotte's take on the world makes me happy
- This opened my eyes
- This made me think
- This made me cross
- This made me cry
- I enjoyed this review of a pay-per-hour cafe in London
- I enjoyed this depiction of modern reading
- This is brilliant

Click on all of them, I dare ya.

Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Laura Bates

From here
I recently spoke of being unable to articulate how I feel about certain issues. One of these is the feminist movement and try as I might, I am still unable to put into words exactly how important I think it is. One person who I completely admire for her ability to do just this is Laura Bates. Laura founded the Everyday Sexism project which started off as a website inviting people to submit their stories of sexism that they have faced. The site was inundated with experiences and although I find this very sad, the silver lining is that Laura and others have now been able to use this platform to get the voices of women, in particular, heard and encourage discussion. Please take five minutes to read this interview with her on the Guardian website. It's an excellent and worthwhile use of your time, I promise. I wish more women had the confidence and ability to articulate these views, as perhaps then we have more of a chance of living in a society where such opinions are not seen as controversial in any way at all.

Pin It Now!

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Lists // Four

This was surprisingly harder than I thought it might be. When you're at home a lot I don't think you appreciate the things that home is. No doubt the second you're away for more than a day, all those definitions and quirks come flooding to you. I will be sure to make another list next time I am away from home so that I don't forget to enjoy what I know I will miss when I've left.

Tonight, M and I are having our first kitchen party. I say our's the first one we've labelled a "kitchen party". Just the two of us and hopefully very good food, although two courses are a surprise to me and one is a surprise to him so it could all very well go pear-shaped (but not literally because I'm still not adventurous enough to cook with pear). So not the first time we've done this at all. But it's being branded that way so let me enjoy the novelty. If it's a success I'll be sure to share the evening with you all soon. What are your weekend plans?


This is list #4 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters. Feel free to leave me your 52 Lists link below.

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

b&w #3

I - New brogues
II - British Museum
III - Feast

You can find previous instalments of b&w here.

Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What makes you you?

Found here
What makes you you? Is it the way you look to others, is it your heart, is it your intelligence? Is it your positive resolve, your limbs, your hormones? Could it be the colours and shapes your eyes see, the way you put one foot in front of the other, the compulsion to turn your head up towards the night sky? Is it your regal posture or the pace of your breath? The pulse in your wrist or your blushing cheeks? Your impulsiveness or apathy?

Is what makes you you your interest in others, your excitement for a road trip, the enjoyment you get from a book? Or could it be the feeling of sickness in the pit of your stomach when making a decision, the way your eyes leak when you're drained, your craving for security?

Do you listen to your tired eyes, the cuts on your heels, the way you bit your lip? The goosebumps on your skin, your fashion-conscious streak, the ache in your heart? Or how about the unease in your speech, your tingling hands or the bass line of your running rhythm. Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum. Do you pay your dues to the exhaustion of attempts, the giggles before bed or the safety of monotony? Are you more you when you're lively, more you when you're stroppy, or more you when you're quiet?

What makes you you when the team that is your body, mind and soul speak in different tongues?

Pin It Now!

Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Lists // Three

How many rainy days have there been this week?! Yesterday, I walked for half an hour in the pouring pouring pouring rain. The type of rain that beats against windows so much that you don't dare venture outside if you're tucked away indoors. I wasn't tucked away unfortunately and for the duration of my walk was that poor sod you feel sorry for who keeps getting splashed by cars and leaps over puddles every few steps. The colours of my bag, coat and shoes changed completely. I had water dripping down the back of my neck, into my sleeves and dusting the surface of my tights. Mum fired a hair-dryer at me the second I stepped into the house. It wasn't the kind of rainy day I could spend at home; I had uni all day, then went to the library (panic seems to have crept into the LPC equation) and soon after getting in, I dashed out again to exhaust myself with Pilates. If, however, I find myself indoors on a rainy day, you can more often than not catch me doing any of the activities listed above. 

This is list #3 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters. Feel free to leave me your 52 Lists link below.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge // Two

Other than that time I did a somewhat tongue-in-cheek review of some Lush products, I don't think the topic of "skincare" has ever had reason to crop up on my little piece of the web. I mean, if I wasn't so obsessed with getting out my deepest (hmm) thoughts and wise words/ramblings of a maniac, perhaps I would have let you know on more often a basis that I have eczema and up until the age of 22 I probably got a spot about once a year but since hitting 23, they've all arrived and are here to stay. Or maybe I wouldn't. No, probably not.

However, I signed up to the #2014bloggerchallenge and this week's topic is "Skincare".

I thought long and hard about posting a skincare routine (ONLY JOKING) and then almost wrote a post about scabs, spots and grazes, but luckily for you I came across this infographic just in the nick of time. I like it because it's sciencey and full of fun facts. And technically it is "skincare" because it basically tells you that your skin is really cool and that should make you want to care for it, right?

I have been thinking of featuring more sciencey posts, maybe even a Science Saturday series (don't you find that alliteration ever so satisfying?) so let me know what you think. I am by no means an expert but I am fascinated and truly impressed by it all. I studied Biology and Chemistry in sixth form and have forever loved the solar system and beyond. When I was little my room was decorated with a space theme, with starry wallpaper, glow in the dark solar systems and stars, a spacecraft and astronaut duvet set and encyclopaedias dotted around for maximum galactic absorption.

Anyway, I digress. Enjoy the biology lesson :)

50 Incredible Facts About Skin
Found here
This post is part of the 2014 Blogger Challenge, hosted here. I aim to post in response to each topic released every fortnight.. I hope you enjoy it. If you're also taking part, please let me know as I would love to see your take on each challenge. You can see my first post here
Pin It Now!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Alive and inexplicable.

By Jon Carling

When it comes to writing about something that I really care about, like really really care about, the words just come out as an utter mess. I use the most basic words, the most basic sentences, and a tone which conveys emotion on the level of a disengaged pupil in a maths lesson.

On the other hand, if the increased price of a Freddo bar irritates me (they're supposed to be 10p!!) I can witter on about that just fine for pages and pages and you'd get an idea of how enraged I am. Or if my cat has trotted across my highlighted notes with his wet paws, yep I can write about that just fine. Or if the sky was a particularly delectable shade of pink one evening, my writing would just about convey to you how happy that makes me too. But no, not anything to do with anything that is of real importance to me. Not my illness or of those around me, nor how I feel about the feminist cause, nor why my favourite book is my favourite book, nor how the last two years have completely changed my life in seemingly negative ways. Nothing that really touches my soul and my inner workings really lets itself out onto paper for an audience.

I have tried to write to somebody I admire to tell them how their words have affected me for the better. I have attempted to write about grief and sadness. I have tried to write about an internal conflict I have which defines me daily, but still cannot get the right words out. It's almost as if the soul's language can only be accessed through the medium of inexplicable feeling alone. For me anyhow. Maybe it is a case of allowing yourself to be truly honest, without a care for consequences of others reading what you write. But I have tried to write some of this privately and the words which come out do not do the issues justice at all. Not even slightly.

But hey, maybe we're not, or I'm not, supposed to share or materialise everything. Maybe it's what makes moments like feeling connected with another person, or hearing a piece of music which moves me, what they are. Moments which might not otherwise be accessible in any meaningful way. Moments which make me feel the most aware of my existence. So if I cannot naturally unlock the words which best describe something I care deeply for, perhaps I should stop because it appears that by trying to push it I am denying myself future moments where I feel the most alive and grateful I am breathing.

Pin It Now!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Round-up

Best shoes! (Source unknown)
This week I have been...

Reading: "The Hobbit" still...I'm not really loving it if I am honest. I read somewhere that you should never settle so I might not carry on reading this...unless you make a compelling argument to the contrary!
Also, this article on abortion by Caitlin Moran. I don't think anybody could know what they would do unless they experience the situation themselves, but I certainly disagree with it not being an option.
Eating: the most delicious Byron burger and Oreo milkshake EVER.
Drinking: mojitos to say bye to my BFF who is going travelling for the first half of this year :'(
Navigating: the streets and buses of London
Laughing: a lot more than usual
Wearing: shiny new brogues...ahhh is there anything better??!
Resting: for a large chunk of the week
Celebrating: health
Grateful to: Tori for sharing this post on her beautiful blog
Inspired by: this beautiful post by Tyler Knott Gregson.
Rushed for: time. See this previous post!

Tomorrow evening, I am going to see Bridget Christie for the second time and say goodbye properly to the aforementioned travelling best friend. I'm really looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time!! I guess over the next few months my studying will be receiving a LOT more attention until she is back...

Pin It Now!

Friday, January 10, 2014

52 Lists // Two

I actually kept a little note of all the things I did towards the end of 2012 and for most of 2013. They're in the back of my 2013 Paperblanks diary, so that was helpful for jogging my memory for the brighter days of last year. I had a lot of time off to recover but kept myself busy with plans, ideas, hopes and wishes.

My Q&A 5 Year Diary asked me, on the last year of 2013, what my most cherished moment of the year was but I just couldn't fill it in. I still don't have an answer. This list above, however, is one of my favourite things I did last year. You can read about some of them by clicking the following words: Kitten, Graduation, Edinburgh, Croatia, Glastonbury.

Do you know what your most cherished memory of last year is? It might help me out with trying to figure out mine.


This is list #2 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters. I'm really enjoying reading your lists too so feel free to leave me your 52 Lists link below.
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Can I?

Source unknown. Found via Pinterest.

Time, time, time.
It's always bloomin' running away and I always seem to be racing to try and catch up. Mostly to no avail. My to-do list is constantly sneaking more tasks in and more things to organise. I wish I could go back to my pre-illness time and shake myself until I promised never to take anything for granted and make the most out of every single day. Because now that so many things are out of my control and I have my weeks dictated by hospital appointments, weak mornings and unannounced illness, it's difficult to stick to my plans to study or go to uni, for example. I don't seem to be able to dedicate the adequate time my health deserves (as I can't always rest because I need to study) or my studying deserves (because I can't always study as I need to rest).

And you fall into the habit of saying "I can't do that" and the cycle of "I can't; it's too difficult" which can be hard to break out of. Once you're used to doing something a certain way or adjusting to a problematic feature, it takes a real push to snap you out of the caution and wariness and the "What if this/that/the other happens and I can't do it?". Whether that's walking a distance, leaving your house, studying and so on and so forth.

When you feel like you are experiencing set-back after set-back, what's the best way of picking yourself up again?

It feels strange to have fallen into a phase again where I can only set myself small goals.

Today I am trying to tell myself that I can catch up with the work I've missed, I can prepare for my mock exam, I can have a proper rest tonight, I can walk to the hospital in the morning and I can travel to uni in the afternoon to do the mock.

I can, I can, I can.

Pin It Now!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Round-up (Links Edition) PS. I'm selling lenses

Original source unknown. Found on Pinterest.

This week has seen a hasty attempt to get my studying back on track before the start of the new term tomorrow. It was pointed out to me this week that although I've now completed a whole term of my course, I do only have six months left of it and I just know it is going to fly by. The second half of the year is going to bring so many challenges which are beginning to scare me as up until now, they've been too far into the future for me to think about realistically. All will be revealed in due course!

Anyhow, in a similar fashion to a post I did a few weeks ago, here are some little internet nuggets I'd like to share with you this week...

- Rosie's post about peace, contentment and making little changes for a more fulfilling life really resonated with me. I really like her style of writing - so accessible yet very intelligent.

- 52 Things 52 Weeks is a blog I came across via the PostSecret Twitter account. It's the documentation of a year-long challenge to embrace one new thing a week. It has certainly inspired me to think more carefully about how I spend my time.

- Annie's One Good Thing a Day post reminded me of a calendar I used to have when I was 18 on which I would write a good memory of each day. I loved looking back in the years afterwards and seeing what I did on each day which made me happy. It's funny how there are so many things you will do in your life that you will actually forget you did. Even more reason to follow Annie's example, I think!

- Flora's new blog is utterly delightful. She has such a lovely way with words and I'm really enjoying each description posted.

- Whenever you feel down about not getting something quite right, or not feeling content with the result of your creative efforts, read this on Louise's blog "Beside the Danube". It might just make you feel better.

By the way, I am thinking of selling my Canon lenses. I have a Sigma (for Canon) 70-300mm and a Canon 18-55mm. Please send me an e-mail if you are at all interested in purchasing either or have any questions. I also have a temperamental Canon 350d body.

Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge // One

Task #1: Share a quotation or picture that inspires you and you think will inspire others in the new year.

"Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim" - Tyler Knott Gregson.

This is me, running without a care in the world, in a beautiful field in Devon over three years ago. It was empty except for my sisters and I. We spent the sunset dancing around, getting damp shoes from treading in dewy greens, spinning in circles and practising yoga poses. Most of it was caught on camera and it gives me great joy to look back on the pictures my sisters and I took, laughing giggles of love and togetherness. It's those moments which I'll remember forever which often inspire me to refocus when faced with battles.

The quotation is one I noticed on Pinterest recently. I think it is the perfect depiction of the danger of getting caught up in the difficulties or supposed mundaneness of a task, whatever that may be, that you forget what you like about it, the reason you're able to do it and the motivation for doing it in the first place. Equally, when something is getting you down, it is very easy to become consumed by it but this is a nice little nudge to remember that you are alive.

Make time for what you love, act with passion and aim to do the best in whatever it is you're doing. Easier said than done, I know, but if you aspire for 100%, the results will be pride-worthy nonetheless.


This is my first post in the 2014 Blogger Challenge, hosted here. There will hopefully be a new post every fortnight based on a different task set. I hope you enjoy it. If you're also taking part, please let me know as I would love to see your take on each challenge.

Pin It Now!

Friday, January 03, 2014

52 Lists // One

I find lists a necessary tool in refocussing when things all get a little bit too much. My to-do lists when I was studying my degree were never-ending but I loved the satisfaction of putting a firm line through a bullet point once I'd achieved something. When I was younger, I kept so many notebooks which I would write endless types of lists in: my favourite books, what I would do with lots of money, what I wanted to achieve, places I wanted to visit with my best friend, and so on and so forth.

When I saw that Ema from Made in Hunters is running a 52 Lists project this year, I jumped at the chance to get involved. Ema's blog is lovely and really encourages you think about what is important to you. I seem to be getting a lot of inspiration for posts from her as it was her blog I first spotted the Taking Stock series on too. So, one day a week for the rest of this year, I will be aiming to post a list in response to the topic Ema provides.

The project kicked off this week with Goals for the New Year. I could have listed tons of things I want to do this year, but the five above encompass a great deal of smaller aspirations too. Under doing my best, for example, comes the goals of getting the best grade I can in my exams this year, getting off to a good start in my job when that comes around, exercising commitment and skill in everything I do and not letting myself be brought down by things out of my control. To take another example, I hope to work towards achieving a sense of peace within myself by exploring places that I've been wanting to, figuring out what I'm all about through experiencing new things, and being selective with what I read.

As for point number 5, is anybody else thinking of travelling in the summer? Or have you made a trip in recent years which you would recommend? I would love to hear about your plans/trips for inspiration.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Taking Stock #4

From here
Taking Stock (found here) is a series I decided to start a few months ago after recognising its reflective uses. I've been delighted to see some of you lovely readers also following suit. I'd encourage anybody seeking an exercise for the mind and soul to join in too. Let me know if you do take part as I would love to see your posts too.  


Making: Christmas tree decorations a few weeks ago for friends and family
Cooking: a Christmas dinner for eight but probably nothing else
Drinking: oodles of tea, more berry squash
Reading: law books mostly as I had exams in mid-December and haven't had too much time for fiction
Wanting: a fresh start
Looking: for a way to regulate my sleeping and therefore general routine
Playing: Scrabble (on a board), QuizUp (on the iPad) and with the kitten (always)
Wasting: energy on things which from now on I shall not
Fixing: nothing on a scale worth mentioning
Deciding: to stand up for myself 
Wishing: so many things weren't out of my control
Enjoying: hearing the rain outside and knowing I can stay indoors!
Waiting: for something good
Liking: my No More Page 3 t-shirt I got for Christmas hanging in my room waiting to be worn in as many locations possible
Wondering: how you break out of cycles
Loving: London Grammar
Pondering: with the kitten occasionally 
Considering: travelling plans for the summer
Watching: Monsters University and loving it haha
Hoping: to take more photographs from now on
Marvelling: at our youth
Needing: change
Smelling: gingerbread biscuits baking, Christmas dinner, delicious toffee cake made by my sisters
Wearing: my penguin onesie in every possible instance
Following: more people on Twitter...
Noticing: the importance of being independent
Knowing: enough, I hope, just in the nick of time for exams
Thinking: over and above what is necessarily helpful
Feeling: slightly lost
Admiring: and appreciating the generosity of others
Buying: presents and a couple of things in the sale
Getting: scared!
Bookmarking: inspiration
Opening: up in little doses
Giggling: quite a bit when hosting friends from America over Christmas

You can find the rest of my Taking Stock series here.

Pin It Now!