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.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Goals for October.


September feels like it passed in a blur, it's the first time in ages that I've managed to get so many posts 'out there' though and I'm really pleased with that side of things.

Starting a new job has completely messed with my routine in the last couple of weeks though so the start of a new month, feels like as good a time as any to take stock and plan ahead.
After all, when you're staying home because you're as skint as a mint, all you can really do is make lists and plan... and do housework, too much housework.

  • Be a better friend – Take more time catch up and 'be there'
  • Manage time better – Spend less time vegetating on the sofa and more time doing things
  • Make more me-time – It's not to push Moon away, but I think it's important we pursue our own interests from time to time
  • Play with Doll more – We've noticed that Doll actually loves it if we take a few minutes out to properly play with her, with real toys as opposed to just winding her up. When we do this, she'll then sit with us and I mean with us, not near us and generally is much nicer. I know it's a silly cat-owner thing to notice, particularly after almost three years but I want a happy cat and it's such a small thing for her to ask for among the other things she needs
  • Embrace the new routine – I don't like change but I didn't like where I was before everything changed so this change can only be good. It will only work if I try to slot it in around things I really want to be doing, did I say change enough?

I'm hoping to not stress myself out quite as much this month and take it all in my stride. Having realised that since my birthday I've been caught in some really unnecessary drama that doesn't concern me, what I've really been needing to do is concentrate on myself and I think sometimes that's how it needs to be.

Hope you have a relaxing, chilled out Sunday.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

I've Got Friends, I've Got Family Here.

On Monday, Moon and I went to our first gig in ages, bit of a mistake given that it was on a school night after busy days for both of us but we powered through.

We were at the O2 Academy Oxford to see Eliza & the Bear, a band I discovered back in January when I refused to listen to anything but Xfm. I've mentioned them a couple of times before on here and they've become regulars on my Spotify playlists as time has gone on.

Without meaning to sound too mushy, they're lyrics and sound are just really uplifting and they're a pretty great band to turn to when I need that little lift. After listening to their recordings for the best part of a year, it was the actual best that they were even better live. Opening with 'Friends', I was dancing from the start of their set to the end and despite Moon's scepticism, the fact that they're that bit heavier live, he actually might have fallen for them. So good job, guys, you've won yourself a new fan.

Supported by a local guy called Jack Little and (my bargaining tool for getting Moon to come) Pixel Fix, it was a really enjoyable evening and makes me excited for the live shows we have coming up in the next couple of months, after no festivals and even longer since we've been to an actual gig, I don't know why we left it so long.

Highlights for Jack Little included his song, 'Zombie', about putting your phone away, something I'm probably slightly of guilty of but something that definitely gets annoying when you're at a gig and 'that popular' song comes on, it's the video-takers I hate.

Moon and I also loved Jack's little mate who clearly thought the world of him and was singing along to every word, the cutest .

He might get it a lot but as a 'guy with a 3/4 guitar', it's hard not to make the comparison between him and Ed Sheeran, which I hope works in his favour and doesn't mean that he's missed the boat, you know, since Ed Sheeran is bigshot sellout now.

I knew next to nothing about Pixel Fix other than recognising the name. They're not what I would usually listen to but they put on a good show and their between-song patter was pretty good.

Pretty pleased I managed to get this one. \o/

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