Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's almost Halloween....

Part of me really loves Halloween, I think because as a kid my mum always used to make all kinds of treats and decorations for us, as trick or treating was never really a thing where we grew up. I do quite enjoy it still, even if I don't really dress up or 
I did, however, win a half-day at work today by winning at a Halloween themed quiz - I think it's mainly to do with my love of Witches...


A few years ago, I shared a trilogy of posts regarding my favourite Halloween posts, and thought I'd re-link these here incase any is looking for some festive film inspiration last minute..

Part one: Witch edition
Part two: the cheesy feel-good Halloween films edition 
Part three: the actual Scary movies, may or may not come with a warning!

What are you up to this Halloween? 
I hope you have a fun and safe one whatever the case!
I'm on a definite mission to carve a pumpkin later today...

(Images taken from Pinterest, photo credits where possible are provided on Pinterest.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Off my needles: the super late Lopi sweater

I want to talk more about my knitting projects that I've completed, as I love to talk about my knitting, and thought it might be a good idea to show you a recent project I finished...

the lopi sweater
the lopi sweater

This was a Christmas gift for my brother. I've realised I don't really like knitting big things for other people, as I'm pretty much selfish in my knitting desires.. I just like to knit things that I can wear! And even though I'm modelling this in the picture, this was actually for my brother, although I have sneaking suspicions that his partner will end up wearing it more than him!

The yarn was Drops Andes, a really lovely, soft and chunky yarn with some alapca in (35%, the rest is wool) which comes in 100g balls which I think are about £3 each? It makes a very affordable sweater, as that is generally the problem I find when making sweaters - a nice yarn is too expensive to knit a whole sweater in...

The pattern is one that I've made previously for myself, from Ístex Álafoss Lopi No. 12 (patterns 19/20). I have all the details over on my Ravelry of exact colours and what have you, even a picture of my brother modelling this, but I didn't think he'd want that on my blog... It's a really nice sweater, proper winter weather sweater, I kind of wish I didn't have to give away in the end!

And whilst my dad was taking these photos for me, he managed to get one mid-wind, with me squinting at him, and he thought I looked like something from a Scandinavian crime drama... So here you go, haha.

the lopi sweater

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting organised: a Diary

If 2014 was the year I organised my health, 2015 was the year I organised my life. Well, that was the plan, anyway. I feel like a lot has happened this year, and nothing at the same time, and it's all gone so quickly (I can't believe we're at the end of October already?!).

getting organised
getting organised
getting organised

My good friend Gemma will tell you just how horribly organised I am. Well, most of my friends probably will - but I think Gemma gets the brunt of it most of the time! haha. I've just got a memory like a sieve, an aversion to writing things down, and my head in the clouds most of the time. I can be reminded 10 times and still forget things.
So it's a bit of a surprise that I've actually managed to keep this thing updated most weeks? It's also a nice record of just how much I've done this year - which I guess is why people like those Erin Condren planners, etc. I got this diary just in the new year from a website similar to Sticker Stack

Anyway, I really have no tips, but I think these new kids of diaries or planners, have done a trick on me - you fill in the dates and months yourself, so if you miss a week, it doesn't really matter in a way? I don't fill in the weeks too far ahead, as I can't really think more than a week in advance. The other thing I've found really useful, is to jazz it up a bit. The pages have fluorescent orange highlights, which I think are great paired with coloured pens and black text. I've also taken to adding the odd bit of washi tape that I had lying around, to block out weekends or highlight evenings. 

I've also tried to make it more than just an event tracker, of work shifts and days out - and use it to track some goals. I've kept a few lists at the back with my 2015 goals for the year, and the books that I've read in the months (as I'm trying to read more this year) - it's also useful for tracking what gym classes I go to and how often I manage to get down to the gym when I'm trying to get back into my fitness. 

Maybe these tips aren't useful to anyone, and maybe I'm just growing up, but I thought I would share them just incase.. :) 

Are you any good at keeping a diary or are you just as hopeless at me?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

weekend wanderings #75

weekend wanderings
(images from Uncia and Tigris, and

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What's on my needles...

I love these kind of posts - probably because I'm thoroughly nosey, and I love to find new patterns, new yarns, and see how quickly people can put something together....

on my needles

I took these photos mid-august, so a little while ago now, and I've progressed pretty well since then - you can see the pattern a bit better over on the project page, but I just really liked these pictures so thought I would show you them anyway.

I bought this big pack of linen yarn to make a sweater - but it really wasn't happening. I tried several patterns several times and it really just didn't turn out. So I threw in the towel, and came up with a new plan: a blanket. I've wanted to knit one for some time; however the idea of making one from a lightweight yarn filled me with dread, and the thought of buying a lot of bulky yarn made my wallet shiver in fear. 

I've decided that I'll put together 3 panels of this Sunshine Chevron Blanket, with garter stitch edging, as I've got enough of the yarn to do this. The more I knit with it, the softer the yarn gets, and it's such an easy thing to whip up. I'm about 2/3 of the way through my first panel, and it's pretty enjoyable to knit (at the moment... I'm keeping other project around too, to keep me motivated!). I love the natural colour of this yarn, so I'm hoping that it'll be a great throw for a sofa or a bed when it's all finished...

Are you making anything at the moment?

Monday, October 19, 2015

jo malone earl grey and cucumber review

This Jo Malone fragrance was a little birthday gift to myself. Whenever I pass by a store or a concession, I'm drawn in by all identical bottles with their unassuming labels hiding a multitude of scents...

jo malone earl grey and cucumber

After spending some time perusing the scents in the Selfridges beauty hall (which is like a black hole of money as it is) - I eventually settled on this little one: Earl Grey and Cucumber Cologne. Normally I would go for something more spicy, less fresh, and those are the scents that I go for these days, however at the time, it was a warm summer day in London, a bottle of my ultimate favourite fragrance, Blenheim Bouquet was on it's way out...

And so I was taken in by this crisp, fresh scent. Supposedly it's akin to Earl Grey tea, with notes of cucumber and bergamot, with a base of beeswax and musk; but it's generally just a delightful fragrance, perfect in the spring and the summer, but lasting just as well into the autumn, splashed liberally over the neck and wrists on the way out of the door; it's one of those scents that I can't get enough of, and you could never wear too much.

Do you have any Jo Malone fragrances - what would you recommend? 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

weekend wanderings #74

weekend wanderings
(images from Uncia and Tigris and

Thursday, October 15, 2015

new in: black and gold bees

It's definitely a re-occuring theme of mine, rediscovering gold-hues. For years I opted for silver above all else - before I realised it was just shiny things that I enjoyed, and the colour was really irrelevant (although, I'm not fully convinced by rose gold, if I'm honest).

new in black and gold
new in black and gold

I saw this beautiful little note-pad in Marks in Spencers recently as I'm weirdly obsessed with anything bee-related (my mother and I are currently designed a bee-themed quilt), and into the trolley it went. Whilst we're on the subject, I really love Marks and Spencers. No, this isn't sponsored, but I know they're trying desperately hard to shake off the mumsy vibe, and I think they're succeeding. They do amazing coats, their beauty selection is pretty great too, and they're probably the only place that I can get jeans or trousers to fit my five-foot-ten legs and not leave me with a foot of ankle hanging out, or my bum crack on show to the world.

Anyway, I'd say I'm digressing but I don't really have much else to say, except I found this notepad absolutely adorable. I particularly like the little gold foil hexagons adorning the pages, and it's gold clip. I guess technically it's a shopping list type deal, but I'm using it for to-do lists and reminders at the moment, and it's the perfect matching hue as my watch and ring. When I searched for this to show you guys, I also found this lovely little 2016 diary...


new in black and gold

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

the royal landscape: the saville garden

These photos seem a world away now after the few weeks of bad weather we've had here - it fully feels like autumn here... I took these photos on one of my first outings a few weeks after healing up from my operation, my mum and I took a short walk around the lovely flowered gardens and a leisurely pace, and taking lunch in the cafe afterwards. Of course, I took a few snaps...

the royal landscape saville garden
the royal landscape saville garden
the royal landscape saville garden

Since I last visited, they planted up a beautiful selection of wild-flowers, which had the most stunning cornflowers (which I've decided are one of my absolute favourite flowers, they grew like a weed all over the allotment and I used to pick them in copious amounts and bring them home to sit on the windowsill in little jam jars)... I've decided that if I ever were to have a garden of my own, I would plant only wildflowers as they attract a swarm of bees and their colour makes me so happy. 

the royal landscape saville garden
the royal landscape saville garden
the royal landscape saville garden

They had quite a few of the late summer flowers in bloom when we went along - with a lot of hydrangea's (which could be a close contender for my favourite flower - particularly in this beautiful blue hue). The Saville Garden is part of the The Royal Landscape (which I've posted about many times) as it's a place filled with so many memories for me and  love spending time there - particularly of wandering around collecting fallen hydrangeas and rhododendrons as a child and bringing them home to press between books... 


the royal landscape saville garden

Saturday, October 10, 2015

taking stock #11

taking stock whats on my needles

Heads up: this isn't a "oh, I'm sorry I've not blogged in a while" preface. I'll be honest, I love you guys, but I love not blogging, as well. Maybe as a blogger, I shouldn't say this, but I think you're all grown up enough to hear this.
So - I know that I've been a bit absent on my blog recently, a bit heads in the clouds, feet on the ground - but mostly just away from the internet. I have a deep affection for the internet, when I was younger and not very well, I loved coming online and reading blogs and all sorts of things as a form of escapism. Now, I don't feel the need to run away from my own life, and it's more like I just want to dip in and out, share with you some fun adventures rather than my whole life...
Making: A linen blanket for my bed.
Cooking: The last thing I made were some portuguese egg tarts.
Drinking: Morning coffee.
Reading: Just put down Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.
Wanting: To not go to the gym?
Watching: Yarngasm Podcast.
Eating: A bowl of maple-syrup porridge.
Deciding: On how I'm going to get my hair cut later today...
Wishing: for crisp autumn days, not this overcast day that we have today.
Enjoying: Having a lazy morning.
Waiting: for the gym motivation to kick in!
Loving: my pictures from my alpaca adventure earlier this week (see my Instagram for cuteness!).
Needing: a holiday! A mid-week day off makes me crave a full holiday.
Smelling: A cinnamon candle - it's winter, guys.
Wearing: Bunny PJ's and fluffy grey slipper socks.
Thinking: about my next knitting project. (I've got second sock syndrome, and I'm not even knitting socks..!)
Hearing: Podcasts and not much else.
Feeling: a little bit sleepy.
Buying: into autumn and winter hype - I blame Pinterest.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Goodbyes, again...


dad, grandma & norah

It feels like only a few months ago when I was writing a goodbye to another grandparent. The sorrow there seems to have only just settled, and this seems to have brought it all back again. I have so many sweet memories of you and the time spent at 56 Kingsfield Road, of winter trips up there and watching snow fall, of long summers spent playing in the garden with the cousins - reminders of cosy nights playing card games, eating cake and playing games with you in the lounge. And more recently, stopping in for scrabble games and trips to the farm, time spent with you at ours on Christmas mornings. The week you passed away, I was supposed to stop in and see you and you would've really loved to hear about all the places me and my friend went and our jaunts, but it clearly was not meant to be. It seems like such an adequate phrase to say that you will be truly missed by everyone, but it's never been truer.