Cya later, 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Seals in Skegness, loafers in the leaves, my new motto, Tilly's last photo, our living room at Christmas, the Red Arrows in Cromer, the local church looking majestic in the summer, a glorious 5am glow, and my second cross-stitch attempt.

2016 has come to an end and I'm very, very grateful. It was a weird year for us all (especially in regards to worldwide politics and incessant celebrity deaths, bleugh) but I can't say it's been the worst for me personally.

I did three pretty big things this year:

  1. I dropped out of uni - I wrote a helpful post about it here if you're thinking of dropping out or if you've already done it and want some reassurance.
  2. I got a job - mentioned briefly here.
  3. I started taking antidepressants (SSRIs) - I don't think I've mentioned that on the blog before but there you go.

I hated 2016 at first because I felt like dropping out of uni was a huge step backwards. Even though I wasn't happy at uni whatsoever, I was going forwards and that's all that mattered, but it turns out it's not all that matters. I was miserable and deep down I just wanted to go home. I felt like a fraud being at uni - I just didn't feel like I belonged there, like I'd somehow scammed my way in. Everyone else knew more than me and was more experienced than me and I know that sounds pessimistic but it was true. I was surrounded by people who had just walked out of sixth form with a Creative Writing or English Lit A-level and I had walked out of college three years prior with a Creative Media Production BTEC. I was good at writing, but it was just a hobby and not something I'd studied in depth at college. I knew jack all compared to the rest and it was so depressing.

When I got home it all felt right again. I'd taken a big step backwards but it was a good step backwards. Once I got home I didn't care about anything or what anyone thought, I was just relieved to be happy and comfortable again. Not long after I'd moved back I went to the doctors, something I should've done years ago but never felt I could. Kids - if you're not mentally well please go to the doctors as soon as possible, dealing with it alone and without help - whether help is medication or CBT or both - is super crappy, trust me!!

Since starting my job in April, I've just been focusing on work and enjoying the quiet. I love turning up to work, doing my job, and going home to chill out and do whatever I want. It's so freeing and I love it. I've been trying to practice mindfulness and slow living since dropping out of uni - it's not easy, but doing a little bit at a time makes such a difference.

My brother's dog being impossibly cute, the train station at Holt, Clifford's Tower in York, tea at Harriets, houses in Bakewell, an embroidery for my dear mum, Girl Online: Going Solo signed by Zoella, a Christmas jumper that sums up my life, and a spinning record.

Had a few nice trips this year - got to visit my dad twice down in Norfolk, visited York a few times (as a tourist), and spent some lovely days in Bakewell being surrounded by the breathtaking Peaks. More trips in 2017 please!

There was one bad thing that happened this year - I lost my cat Tilly in October. She ran away and hasn't returned, so for all we know she's found new owners or she's passed away. We honestly don't know. I cannot put into words how much I miss her, but things like this happen all the time and all we can do is just hope she's alright wherever she is. I've included the last picture I took of her in the first collage above. I don't want to dwell on the sad things too much, so I'll end this here. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that she rolls up at the door one day pretending like nothing even happened. Typical cat.

2017 resolutions? Probably to eat better. I don't want to diet, but I'd like to eat healthier meals and probably walk to work more often. I'd also like to continue to take it easy and live slowly. That's all I want to do. I have no plans for 2017 yet so for me it's a fresh, open book. I suppose all we can do is see what happens! So, cya 2016. It's been interesting.

Post-Christmas shopping in York

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We took off to York yesterday to do some sale shopping. I'm not a big fan of the post-Christmas sales - some people get weirdly aggressive and there's just too many folk about to truly enjoy it. Unsurprisingly, York was really busy, but I did manage to do a fair bit of shopping without having someone's elbow in my face and without waiting in a queue for half an hour!

I picked up a new top and tote bag from Fat Face, How to Be Mindful by Anna Barnes and Bloom by EstΓ©e Lalonde from Oliver Bonas (hugely discounted, I was so pleased with these), an Instax photo album from Urban Outfitters, Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes and This Is All Yours by alt-J from HMV, a selection of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat (can't not), and some lush 100% cotton bedding from Primark.

I love buying CDs. I don't really have space for them anymore but there's just something I really like about physically holding music.

Bloom has received high praise in the blogosphere, and with it having a couple of quid knocked off I thought I'd pick up a copy. The book on mindfulness looked like a cute read too especially for £5 in the sale, so I added that to the book pile.

My brand new Primark bedding is now on, my Soak and Sleep pillows I ordered last week arrived this morning, and I'm currently about to pop on a CD to listen to while I browse for iPads online because I'm 99% sure mine has kicked the bucket. πŸ˜“ Apart from the dying iPad, it's been a pleasant Wednesday so far.

Done any sale shopping yourself? I'm not doing any more now until the new year. I daren't brave those crowds again.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year. Spend time with your family, eat lots of good food, and relax. 'Tis the season to chill out on the sofa and watch telly with a tin of Quality Streets on your lap.

I'll be back blogging some time before the new year at some point, but until then I'll be stuffing my face with pigs in blankets, doing an unhealthy amount of online shopping, and hibernating in a mountain of blankets.

Foxy cross-stitch hoop

Friday, December 23, 2016


I've been working on this little foxy fella for just over a week now for my Secret Santa recipient this year (my boss - no pressure then!). She likes foxes at the moment, so I thought I'd stitch her one to hang in her new house.

I wasn't sold on the grey outline around the white parts at first, but the Aida cloth is off white and the tail and face didn't stand out enough in bright light. I could've used a different coloured Aida cloth but I didn't have anything on hand that was the size I wanted so I worked with what I had. I liked how it turned out - the whole piece fits perfectly inside a dinky embroidery hoop and has a bit of candy-cane twine on the top so it can be hung on the wall.

I am so pleased with this piece I'm ever so slightly miffed I have to give it away(!) Although it will be going to a good home.

Definitely need to pick up some more small hoops - I want to make something like this for myself to hang on my bedroom wall. I was thinking about which cute animal I can do next and I'm swaying towards doing a baby penguin or a wee little duckling because baby birds are too cuuuuuute.

Lovely quotes / 4

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Enjoy the fourth instalment of 'Lovely quotes'.

"But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy."
— Warsan Shire

"You are not a reflection of the people who can’t love you."
— Caitlyn Siehl

"Sometimes, I’m the mess. Sometimes, I’m the broom. On the hardest days, I have to be both."
— Rudy Francisco

"It is awful to want to go away and to want to go nowhere."
— Sylvia Plath

"They may not have loved you, but they did change you. They taught you. They grew you."
— Bianca Sparacino

"The little things? The little moments? — They aren’t little."
— John Kabat-Zinn

"One of the risks of being quiet is that the other people can fill your silence with their own interpretation: You’re bored. You’re depressed. You’re shy. You’re stuck up. You’re judgmental. When others can’t read us, they write their own story—not always one we choose or that’s true to who we are."
— Sophia Dembling


My 5 favourite English Heritage and National Trust sites

Sunday, December 18, 2016

One of the biggest reasons I love Britain is because we have so many glorious and breath-taking historical sites and country parks on our doorsteps thanks to English Heritage and the National Trust. Shamefully, I don't have a membership with either yet. I don't even have a valid reason why, but I'm going to blame the fact that whenever I think about getting a membership I don't have the funds, and when I do have the funds I'm off buying useless stuff I don't need because I forget about the memberships and... it's a vicious cycle. I know, I'm disappointed in me too. It's on my 2017 list of things to do to have a membership with either the National Trust or English Heritage (or both if I'm feeling reckless).

I love historical sites more than anything. Castles, halls, manors, country estates, and ruins get me so hyped I can't even put it into words. I just love history. I never found it fascinating at school (what kid likes history though?) but now I love it so much I wish I could go back in time and make my 14 year-old self pick history for my year 9 options instead of business studies (which I failed tremendously).

I don't think you realise until you're older just how cool old stuff is.

I decided to make this post because I have unconditional love for this country and its rich history, architectural splendour, and mind-blowingly beautiful landscapes. Here is my list of my 5 favourite places I've visited and loved. In no particular order...

1. Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (NT)

I visited Hardwick Hall (the new hall - pictured above - is owned by NT, but the old hall is owned by EH) in July 2015. I'd been interested to visit for a while since it was kind of local (about 20 miles away), it was featured in a Harry Potter film, and the Elizabethan architecture is gorgeous. We couldn't have picked a better time to visit - the skies were the most vivid blue I'd ever seen, and it was lovely and warm so we spent a good portion of the visit outside in the walled garden and orchard. Worth a visit in any season though; I'd love to go in the winter but only with a layer of snow on the ground, and I'd also like to see the garden in autumn.

2. Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire (NT)

Clumber Park is a local one for me. Really local. I've been here more times than I can count. It was always (and still is) the go-to summer destination for walks, swan-feeding, barbecues, and picnics. It's fab for squirrel spotting too, they're so tame. The walk around the lake is a decent one (start at the church, walk clockwise along the path, cross the serpentine bridge, return to the stable yard) and about 1/4 of the way round - but only in the summer - you can grab an ice cream which is pretty great.

Fiery sunsets & lazy days off

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I've been working quite a bit lately so blogging has been pushed back in my list of priorities. Luckily, I have five days off soon starting on Saturday. I go back for two more shifts after that then we're closed until January. I feel so grateful to work somewhere that closes over Christmas because I wasn't as lucky with my last job (nothing makes you feel as un-festive as working Christmas Eve).

I just can't wait to get tomorrow's and Friday's long shifts over and done with because all I can think about is weeeeeewwww time off!!!!

I don't have a great deal planned today. So far I've watched a few YouTube videos and had my breakfast. I think I'm seeing my nan later and paying a visit to dog to see how he's doing, but I don't think I have the energy to get dressed at all today to be honest. Feeling hella lazy, plus the weather looks so drab it's making me tired.

Hope you have a lovely rest of the week.

P.S. Winter sunsets always look so dramatic, I love it. I took the above photo on Sunday evening.

Dresses for the 2016 festive season

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Indie magazines & Christmas cabins in Sheffield

Thursday, December 08, 2016

I visited my second Christmas market of the season yesterday!

My friend and I were headed to Lincoln initially, but it turns out their Christmas market is only on for four days (boo) and we'd missed it, so we turned to Sheffield instead. I've been wanting to go to Sheffield for months and months - I live nearby, but usually I just stay on the train and head to Meadowhall since it has all my favourite shops in one place. I don't often visit the city centre which is a shame because it's great and it's changed loads since I was last there.

I visited a shop I've been wanting to visit for so long - La Biblioteka, an aesthetically pleasing little store on Pinstone Street that sells indie mags and books. I picked up issue 9 of Hole & Corner, and the A/W issue of 91 Magazine. The shop is serious #interiorgoals and the magazines are all so beautifully designed I wish I could've bought them all.

Once we'd walked off our dinner (a classic ol' McDonalds, of course), we had churros (mine smothered in Belgian chocolate 🍫) and wandered around some more, listening to the Christmas music blaring out and generally enjoying the vibe. Sheffield is a fab city, I should really go more often. Next time I'm there I need to check out Moonko and basically every vintage/indie shop around the Devonshire/Division Street area.

If you're ever in Sheffield, make sure to swing by La Biblioteka. It's worth a visit.

The baby pink Instax Mini 8

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


I made a very exciting Cyber Monday purchase last week. 

Curry's had Instax cameras with £10 off, and seeing as I've been um-ing and ah-ing over buying one for years now, I thought it best I get one now and save myself a couple of quid. I got it in baby pink (I was torn between pink and grape) and I'm so in love I can't put it into words. I've ordered 20 more sheets of film and a case off eBay so I'm just waiting for those to arrive.

The Instax Mini is so easy to use too. You may need to read the instruction booklet to learn how to load the film (I thought I'd be clever and wing it but it turns out I had no clue what I was doing) but everything else is straight forward. There are only really three other things you need to know - how to turn the camera on (not trying to be patronising here), how to take a photo, and how to adjust the brightness dial (which the camera automatically helps you with anyway). Simple.

The first photo I took was of the Christmas tree:

Really happy with how it turned out!

The only down side to the Instax is the film being so expensive. This won't be an every day camera because of that, but I don't want the price of the film to stop me from getting a lot of use out of it. I've asked for lots of extra film for Christmas so that should keep me stocked up for a few months. I'd also really love to get an album to keep all my shots in.

Once I have a nice collection of photos I'll post them here, although expect most of them to be of the Christmas tree/decorations.

Let the festivities begin...

Friday, December 02, 2016

We've decked the halls!

I'm in love with the garland we have this year - last year it sat at the base of the fireplace because we couldn't find anything strong enough to attach it to the mantel and keep it held up, whereas this year we tried using cable clips and somehow it worked perfectly. I think it looks way better on the mantel like this, it looks very traditional. Let's ignore the dangling fairy lights on the end there...

I put a couple of my family's Christmas presents under the tree tonight. I had most of my presents wrapped and ready before December (people are either impressed or disgusted by that fact) so I thought I'd pop them under. I went all out with gift bags this year - I'm an absolute failure when using wrapping paper (it refuses to cooperate with me) so I bag everything and it makes life a million times easier. I bought most of my gift wrap stuff from TK Maxx this year, they have the loveliest gift bags. I'm not sure if they stock much gift wrap online but you'll find a lot in store.

Have you guys put your trees up yet? Some people still think it's too early which kind of baffles me. It's December... it's time, guys. IT'S TIME.

A life update in verbs / 2

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Watching: Lots and lots of Gilmore Girls. I'm half way through season 6. I haven't been watching much else recently apart from a few gaming videos on YouTube and a vlog or two. Zoella's Vlogmas 2016 starts tomorrow so I'm looking forward to that.

Reading: The same lot of books from last time (I'm the slowest and laziest reader on earth, nice to meet you) and the Christmas issue of The Simple Things (pictured above). Can't believe it's December, it's come around so fast. I feel like I should have finished my 2016 Reading Challenge months ago but I've neglected my books so bad this year.

Eating: Cadbury's Festive Friends - practically a box a day, no lie. I should be embarrassed about that but I don't care, they're so addictive. I urge you to try these biscuits if you haven't already. They look average, but trust me - Cadbury's must put magical dust in them or something because they taste like little bites of heaven.

Drinking: Trop50. It's not as strong and bitter as normal orange juice so I can pretty much down a whole bottle in minutes. Gimme all that Vitamin C.

Loving: The Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. I'm not usually one for going mad in the sales, whether it's in store or online, but I did get a couple of things from ASOS with 20% off and I got my hands on the new HP Sprocket with about £30 knocked off. The Sprocket has been near impossible to get a hold of recently so I'm chuffed I managed to snag one with a discount.

Feeling: Rather good - it's the 1st of December today so I'm feeling nice and festive, and I'm heading out later with my ma to go shopping (although it probably won't be me doing any actual shopping, seeing as most of my money's gone bye-byes πŸ’Έ).

Thinking: About the fact that I've not blogged for a few days and I'm completely out of ideas. Whoops. I'm also thinking about how much money I spent yesterday and slightly regretting it. Only slightly.

On an unrelated note, I ordered an Instax camera from Curry's yesterday. I got the pink one obviously. It's gone up £10 since I ordered it too so that was lucky...

Festive markets & fairy lights in York

Friday, November 25, 2016

Browns Department Store, Davygate (photo taken December 2015)


My ma and I headed to York yesterday to visit the Christmas market and do a little bit of gift shopping (but also some selfish shopping, otherwise it's no fun).

The Shambles

We started at Monks Cross (shiny new Primark ✨) then drove back into the centre. We had burgers at The Graduate (alongside lots of mums and crying babies) then wandered around some more.

The market looks great at night, I love the icicle lights they have hanging above the stalls, but unfortunately I not only forgot my digital camera, but I didn't even take many photos on my phone because I was too busy gawping at the surroundings, so I've included two snaps from last year to make up for it.

If you want a good look at the market and what's on offer, I'd check out everyone's fabulous pictures on the #yorkchristmasmarket Instagram hashtag, or if you want to see all the festive events that happen in York over the holidays, click here.

Grape Lane

I picked up some Rimmel blusher from Superdrug, another NYX lip product from Boots (as if I needed more), the greatest shampoo of all time from Lush, and a gift for my boss who's going on maternity leave soon. I didn't really want to go mad with shopping because pay day wasn't until today and I wanted to save as much as possible for an upcoming shopping trip with a friend. More on that soon.

The whole city was alive, it was glorious. I've missed York so much - every time I go I can't help but remember how great it was to live there, even if it was for such a short period of time, because people are so nice, the city always has this cosy buzz about it (does that make sense?), and it's the most beautiful city I've ever seen. Although I haven't seen all the cities, so...

Shambles Market (photo taken December 2015)

If you can reach York, I'd recommend you check out the Christmas market. I'm heading to Lincoln's in two weeks and hopefully the one at Sheffield if I find the time, so that should be fun. I just feel so... Christmassy this year, you know? I WANNA SEE ALL THE MARKETS. πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ

Hope you have a lovely weekend, and let me know if you've visited any Christmas markets already.

Multicoloured stitches & raindrops on windows

Monday, November 21, 2016

Good morning!

A cross-stitch project I started months ago is finally finished with. I completed it this morning after realising it's been sitting dormant in my sewing box for five months(!)

I'm really pleased with how all the different stitches turned out, especially the outer one. I hadn't done something like this since I was at school and it was really fun and pretty easy. I want to do something similar but in more festive colours next. I'd love to get my hands on some gold thread, preferably something glittery. ✨

Who else was greeted by the most miserable weather this morning? It's the kind of weather that makes me want to bury myself in my duvet all day but alas, I have to go to work. Hope you have a pleasant Monday (if there is such a thing)!

The supermoon

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


My step-dad took this awesome shot of the supermoon on Monday night. I was contemplating taking one on my phone for this post but then I thought... is there anything more lame than when people take pictures of the moon on their phone? πŸ™ˆ Thank God for DSLRs.

Hope you're all having a great week. I've had a few days off here and there so I've been spending most of my spare time watching Gilmore Girls and lounging in bed. Not very exciting unfortunately, I'm hibernating while waiting for pay day. 9 days to go.

Lovely quotes / 3

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The third instalment in what might be my favourite series on the blog. Hope you enjoy these quotes.

"There is no stillness like the quiet of the first cold nights in the fall."
— Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe & Other Stories

"I talk to myself and look at the dark trees, blessedly neutral. So much easier than facing people, than having to look happy, invulnerable, clever. With masks down, I walk, talking to the moon, to the neutral impersonal force that does not hear, but merely accepts my being."
— Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

"She is water: soft enough to offer life, tough enough to drown it away."
— Rupi Kaur

"You’ve been brave so long…You just gotta go on being brave."
— Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

"We could never design a building as beautiful as the trees."
— Pietro Belluschi

"Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more."
— Robin Hobb, Fool’s Fate

"Why do I write? To investigate the mystery of existence. To tolerate myself. To get closer to everything that is outside of me. What passes without being put into words, without being transformed and, in a certain sense, purified by the crucible of writing, has no meaning for me. Only words that endure seem real."
— Jhumpha Lahiri, In Other Words (2016)

Peeping Santa bubble bar from Lush

Sunday, November 06, 2016

This cute little dude is the Peeping Santa bubble bar from Lush. He's fruity scented and contains lots of nourishing butters to make your skin super soft.

Santa may use his dairy-free chocolate eyes to see who's been naughty or nice come Christmas, but, at this time of year, he also looks out for the perfect batch of hand-churned shea butter. Nipping over to Ghana, he visits the Ojoba women's cooperative, who crack and churn the shea pods into a rich, chocolatey butter. Blended with Fair Trade, organic cocoa butter, this indulgent combination is sandwiched between fragrant bergamot and geranium oils. Crumble under running water for sack loads of fruity bubbles.

This bubble bar smells like strawberries to me for some reason and I kinda love it. Fruity scents are usually quite summery - I would've expected something more cinnamon-y or creamier like vanilla for Christmas but I still like it, it's unusual and quite refreshing. I also love that this is really moisturising - there aren't many (if any) Lush products that aren't moisturising, but I love when bath products are packed with butters or oils because it means my skin is going to feel as soft as a baby's bum when I get out the bath.

A leafy walk through the park

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Loafers: New Look

My ma and I went on a little walk through the park and into town yesterday. We parked at the far side of the park and had a wander through so we could kick some leaves about like children and look at the cute ducks.

Pink sunrises & Christmas shopping

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Look at that November sunrise. As I type this a few hours later, the sun is shining and the sky has turned a glorious blue without a single cloud in the sky. Hoping to go on an autumn walk today with my ma, experience the golden leaves and trees before they go and hopefully take some pics for the blog.

I had a bit of an accident at work yesterday - I picked up a plate that had been on the hob and burnt four of my fingers. Honestly though, who picks up a plate that's clearly been on a scolding hot hob for ten minutes and thinks "yeah, this won't burn me at all". So yeah, I have a few blisters and some very fat red fingers. I spent the rest of my shift with them in a jug of iced water whilst trying to sweep and clean the shop. At least I know never to do that again.

I finished my Christmas shopping on Monday. Everyone's main present, anyway. I still like to keep my eye out for little stocking fillers but the bulk of my shopping is done. I'm so pleased, it means that I can spend my wages on me now (I'm selfish OK) but it also means I don't have to panic at the last minute about anything. I'm now on the look out for some nice wrapping paper and lots of gift bags. I picked a few gift wrap bits up from TK Maxx the other day - they have so much nice Christmas stuff in there at the moment. I really want a little Nutcracker figurine to have on my shelf but the ones I have seen all look a bit sinister. I think it's the eyes, and sometimes their mouths move and that's just wrong on every level. 😨

Having a good week? I'm loving the cold, I've finally had the chance to wear my parka and I'm so happy about it.

Mini Christmas gift guide 2016

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Yup, it's that time of year again. Christmas is upon us, which means Christmas shopping must commence soon (I know, it pains me too). To make the whole process a bit easier, I've created a mini gift guide of lovely things for ladies, gents, kids, and pets (yes, even pets). I've included all the links so if you spot something you like, you can go straight to it and snap it up. Items range from inexpensive stocking fillers to bigger, more pricier gifts. Hope you like my selection, and feel free to leave your own gift guides in the comments. I'd love to check them out. Happy shopping! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Nini Mouse plush from Olive Loves Alfie - £14.99 / Splits Kippin soft comfort toy from Tigerlily Children's Boutique - £20.00 / Baobab leopard soother box from tuc tuc - £7.70 / Amazing Story Generator from Whirligig - £9.99 / Petitcollage dinosaur 64-piece tin canister puzzle from Wood & Toys - £12.99 / Dress-up super hero suit from HEMA - £8.00 / Melissa & Doug shape sequence sorting set from Bright Minds - £11.99 / Baymax pattern mug from The Disney Store - £7.99 / Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch Deluxe in green from The Entertainer - £42.99

Dog toy trophy from M&S - £8.00 / Barbour tartan dog collar from John Lewis - £29.95 / Pigs in blankets dog treats from Wilko - £1.50 / Cat rocking roller from - £9.99 / Catnip bunny cat toys from NOTHS - £4.00 / Stitch fish cat bowl in the shade lemon from Mungo & Maud - £38.50 / Fragrant parsley bell rabbit treat from Just Rabbits - £3.59 / 4 way spin wood and rope parrot toy from Parrot Essentials - £10.99 / Snugglesafe Way-to-Go adventure tunnel for small pets from Omlet - £7.25
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