Thursday, 23 October 2014

Autumn Everywhere & Muddy Boots.

I actually don't mind being cold at all, it's so easy to whack on a few extra layers if needed, it's the darn rain I can't stand - and the misery it brings with it.

It had been so dark and dreary lately and it's all well and good celebrating autumn but the change in the weather isn't really something I'm willing to get on board with.

So when the sun finally shone last Sunday, it was time to take a walk to a much-neglected favourite place and unwind. I was getting the beginnings of feeling poorly so for me it was warm enough to walk around in just a cardigan (though I didn't quite realise that the time).

It's a wonderful time of year to see the sun, it makes everything golden no matter what the time of day and walking around Greenham Common again was so nice, even if my favourite boots ended up with a bit more mud on them than I would have liked.

Why is it always one shoe?

All the horse chesnuts we came across had already been harvested.

Meet my new favourite skirt, it was £1, >ONE POUND!

We were able to be quite the mycologists, there were mushrooms everywhere!

We rescued this little guy from spending the rest of his life on his back :)

The cows seemed much more relaxed than usual, I think because there were only a few dogs around but it was really easy to get up close.

There were a few bulls in the small herd we came across, I hadn't seen any on the common before but they seemed as relaxed as the cows, which was nice to see.

Here's to my kind of autumn day! As it gets colder, the contrast of coming home to a warm flat will be the best, it's definitely a good idea to get out and do this more, we haven't been for any weekend walks in what feels like ages. It's probably best to keep on with it once Moon and I have completely shifted the last of this lurgy though.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Best Christmas Ever!

I love Christmas, okay? I really do, the clocks go back this weekend, Halloween is next weekend and I can finally actually start to talk about it.

I must admit, I was a bit reluctant to enter this competition because hey, it does seem that Christmas comes earlier every year, but there's a trip to Lapland at stake and I think I can do this.

This is what you could call a bit of a late entry, despite knowing about it for a little while but better late than never... So, the wonderful (Oxford-based!), Transun are offering an exciting trip to Lapland for Christmas in return for talking about 'your best Christmas'.

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in Florida, we've been a few times before but I think this was the best and the first time I've really been able to appreciate it. With everything being so American and exaggerated given that you don't quite get the Winter Wonderland feel in that part of the world, there were still lots of times that I felt both lucky and super-Christmassy.

My absolute top Christmas moment was visiting the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at MGM/Disney Hollywood Studios, I hadn't seen the light show before and it was just perfect and despite the fact that it probably happens 200 times an evening, it felt really special.

Our Christmas meals when visiting Florida have been far from traditional, from eating at a pirate dinner show to sampling Asian fusion at Emeril's Tchoup Tchoup, I think that's the perk of having a Christmas away from home, making the most of what's around you and really giving your holiday the best you can.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

How Pinteresting #2

I wasn't sure whether I would be doing this again, but I must admit that I'm feeling a little run down this week and I wanted to post something! It's all a bit annoying given that tonight I'm off to see Dry the River (for the 11,000th time), I'm doing my best to power through but there's no doubt that Sunday will be made for relaxing - I do hope to feel well enough to get up to Greenham Common at some point though, it feels like it's been almost a year since our last visit and it's perfect for this wild weather.

We're finally getting our changing of the seasons here but well, it is October after all. I do love different things about each season but as a summer baby, warm weather will always be where my loyalties lie. That said, being wrapped up and coming into a warm house from the cold does provide a lot of satisfaction.

I've found that in the last month, with the weather actually being all over the place, it's been hard to get into a theme on Pinterest lately. It still feels a little too early for Christmas (although that event is getting scarily closer) and it's not quite autumnal enough to start banging on about frost, changing leaves and pumpkin everything — that said, the clocks go back in a couple of weeks and I tried my first ever pumpkin bread this week so only time will tell...

1 // The Most Breathtaking Views of Beautiful Earth from Above — That title isn't a lie, some of these are pretty awesome. I think next year, once I'm back on my feet after throwing all my money at becoming a home owner (WIP), I'll start to get serious about updating my kit, everything I have Photography-wise is so old now and although I love it and actually don't fancy getting rid of it, I know it's time for a change, especially if I'm likely to be taking on more event photography at work (yeah, so that's something that might be happening).
2 // Watercolour Mural — I feel like I've had wedding thoughts and inspiration coming out of my ears lately, and I'm not even having one. This from my point of view isn't intended to be that weddingy and is actually something I like on more of the home d├ęcor level, such a simple but pretty idea.
3 // Mirdinara, Breeze — I feel like this .gif, with its hypnotic ways, epitomises autumn, I wish I knew the original source so I could find more - that's the real trouble with sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, it's very easy to get lost.
4 // Russian Dogs by Lili Chin — I've seen these illustrations floating all over the place for a while but when I finally uncovered the original source and discovered there was a Russian dogs version, I found my favourite. Borzois are fun but obviously I picked it due to the samoyed, I can't get enough of those guys are the moment.

It was a little harder than it should have been to sift through all the motivational quotes I've been pinning lately (even visual pick-me-ups can do the trick), I figured this was a slightly more interesting selection and better for a good, old-fashioned link-up.

You can follow me on Pinterest :: here.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review :: Chocolate in the Post.

So, of all things that you can get in the post, chocolate has got to be pretty high up there, particularly when it's dreamy, creamy Lindt chocolate.

Back in August (yes, August) I was lucky enough to receive free samples from Lindt's 'Hello My Name Is...' range, a cute new collection of chocolate sticks and bars in an array of tasty and exciting flavours. Designed for indulging yourself and sharing, it goes without saying that after this little care package, I was stocked up on chocolate for a little while.

Overall, while tasting luxurious, none of the chocolates were as dense or rich as I thought they would be and were really easy to eat. That sounds a bit silly because who doesn't love chocolate, but as someone who doesn't have all that much of a sweet tooth, getting five large bars of chocolate when I probably wouldn't get one that size more than once every six months, it was a bit daunting.

I thought my favourite from the off would be the Salted Caramel and I was right. There was just the right amount of caramel with a slight hit of salt towards the end, I can't get enough of anything salted caramel recently and I know it's pretty trendy but I personally think all the hype is for good reason.

I think the two biggest surprises were the Crunchy Nougat and Caramel Brownie. I think it's generally because these chocolates are so good anyway that any flavour combination was going to be delicious but I did worry that the nougat would be too 'nougatty' and the caramel brownie would be too chocolatey but both flavours were more there to enhance texture while only hinting at what variety they were, something I quite liked.

These were definitely a winner for me, offering a bit more than a bog-standard chocolate bar without having overpowering flavours that take away from the fact you're eating chocolate, I hope that this range is around to stay.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Three Weeks in Oxford.

I can't believe it's been three weeks since I started working in Oxford!

I feel like I'm completely used to the walk - it only took me 20 minutes the other day(!) - and have finally got a hang of my bearings. As someone whose internal compass is wrong almost all of the time, that second part is a pretty nice feeling.

As I mentioned before, we've now changed our route, which means we're less panicked and actually, the walk is much more enjoyable too so everything is just much less stressful than I foresaw it being when I first started coming here.

I'm not sure how strange it is that as well as driving in and then walking to Oxford City Centre, Moon and I are also having lunch together - there's part of me that knows it is a lot of time to spend together, particularly as we live together as well - but it's quite nice to have a lunch-buddy and we haven't run out of things to talk about yet. It will probably all change when winter comes and it's too cold to sit out but it's nice to not do those kind of things alone, despite knowing it's probably something we'll probably get judged for.

As I quite like my own space and time alone, I've been making a bit of an effort to do things apart where we can, which seems like a strange idea but absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

As a city, I quite like Oxford, I mean it showed its true colours a couple of weeks ago when I witnessed a busker get both bitten on the face and essentially mugged, but overall it's changed a few of my ideas about where we'll be thinking of buying a house in the next year or so.

It's a great place to have a camera, with every other corner having a picture-perfect scene all laid out for you, and a lot of that's just the architecture!

I was feeling a little overwhelmed towards the middle of my second week, I think because September seemed to rush by and so much has happened in the last few months. It might be a little while before I start to feel completely settled but, as I've said before, it's quite nice to see things piece together and just be able to take things in, even if that part of things is taking a bit of time.

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