Why is this a thing: tiny food by Miniature Space

Friday, April 29, 2016

Image via YouTube

These videos of people making tiny food on YouTube blew up around March/April last year, so yeah I'm pretty late to the party. It's actually strangely therapeutic to watch someone make miniature food in complete silence. Never thought I'd say that.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I thought I'd feature them because I'm obsessed with tiny things and tiny food is just something I never expected to love. Check out some of my favourite videos below - they're all from the YouTube channel Miniature Space.

#NationalStationeryWeek - Writing matters!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

To celebrate National Stationery Week - which runs from the 25th of April to the 1st of May 2016 - I thought I'd show you my stationery essentials. I'm a massive stationery hoarder so this is only a little glimpse into my collection!

You can follow the hashtags #NationalStationeryWeek and the abbreviated version #NatStatWeek on Twitter.

Edit: I didn't realise today was World Stationery Day too! How appropriate.

Assorted Sharpies | Assorted fineliners (Stabilo and Staedtler)

Inspiring things / 10

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bedding from H&M Home

Apologies for the repost, but the previous 'inspiring things #10' post messed up so I had to remake it.

Thinking about dropping out of university?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Having done it myself, I'd like to think I can offer some advice for those who are in a difficult place right now deciding whether or not to drop out of university. It's hard and it's a really huge life change, but don't panic. Here's seven handy tips.

1. Give it a massive think. 🤔
Don't make any willy-nilly decisions, you have to know in your heart (or gut, whatever) whether it's right or not and trust me, you'll know. It's such an obvious feeling when you know something's not right and you're not happy. Trust your instinct and make sure you're happy with your decision.

2. Don't worry if you don't have a plan. 📝
I left uni and came home without a job in the works or much money in my bank account, but so long as you have a roof over your head and someone around for support you'll be fine. You'll find your calling, whether it's getting a job or applying to a different university or course later on. So long as you're healthy and happy, that's all that matters in the end.

3. Try to ignore anyone who says anything negative about you dropping out. 🚫
Might be your family, might be your friends, but try and focus on yourself. It's not about them or their life, it's about you and yours.

4. It's not the end of the world. 💪
You might think it is because that's what it's made out to be by society and boring old snotty people, but it really isn't. At all. The world keeps spinning and you keep going. You'll find your place again, even if it takes a while.

5. If you're struggling with a mental illness, please focus on looking after yourself. 🧠
If that means taking a year out, do it. If it means leaving uni altogether, do it. If it means getting help at university or finding help at home, please do it. Do what makes you feel better. If you need or want to stick out university, make sure you talk to someone who can help you get through it (counselling services are often available for students for free on campus). If you need or want to leave university, discuss it with your tutor or counsellor and make sure you have all the facts, that way you'll feel more confident about your decision.

6. Don't freak out about debt. 💸
It honestly doesn't matter right now. It's not something you have to think about straight away. Concentrate on yourself, like getting a job or whatever you end up doing. The SLC can wait. In terms of course costs, people in the UK don't pay that back until they're earning over £21,000 anyway. If you'd like more information on money and debt, check out the Student Finance section on GOV.UK.

7. It's your decision in the end, so do what you feel is right. ✔️
That's all there is to it, really. It's tricky to offer advice because I suppose everyone's situation is different, but generally all you need to do is give it a long think and maybe talk about it, whether it's to your mum, your sibling, your best friend, or your tutor. They'll all offer different perspectives which can be helpful in making a decision.

Hope some of that was useful! I also struggled with depression at university so if any of you want any advice on that, drop me a comment, I'll be glad to help.

Cross stitching & even more shopping

Ta-da! I finished my second cross stitch project yesterday, it took me two days to complete. I hardly put it down - when you're on a roll it's hard to stop! With this one I did the cross stitching before the outline so this one looks so much neater. I'm really proud of it. My mum is on the hunt for a multi photo frame to put all my cross stitchings in so we can have them on show. ☺️

I did a little shop on Friday (good job I've got a job now because I am running out of money big time) and picked up some bits from H&M and Primark. I'm so excited for summer because I've been stocking up on cute t-shirts and cardigans for the past two months but it hasn't been warm enough to wear them yet without wearing a massive coat on top.

I start my new job on Tuesday but I will still try and make time to blog regularly so my blog doesn't become too sparse.

Hope you all have a fun Sunday!

First cross stitching attempt complete!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

And that is the finished product! Took me a while but I really enjoyed it. Check out my process below (clockwise from top left):

I'm really proud of the finished product and I've learnt a lot along the way, so hopefully my next attempt will look a bit neater. It's been really fun to try something I've never done before and not give up. There's nothing as satisfying as finishing a creative project.

Next up is a little beach hut so I'm looking forward to starting on that later.

Aesthetically pleasing interiors & Minster views in York

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ma and I headed to York bright and early this morning - the trip was mostly so I could go and pick up a few bits and bobs from my old uni flat before the summer, but we also fitted in some shopping. 😉

The photo above was taken from the top floor of M&S while my mum and I were eating lunch. I had the most incredible cheese and ham toastie and dipped it in ketchup which I think it my new fave thing. Honestly, those toasties are to die for, no exaggeration.

So today I picked up the most gorgeous dress from Fat Face, a striped shirt dress from Zara, the Therapy massage bar from Lush, the new Star Wars film on DVD, and some Weleda Skin Food. Quite a decent little haul.

We visited the Jack Wills store because their interiors are always so on point:

This Jack Wills store is in one of the most badass buildings in York - it doesn't look like much from the outside but once you go in it's like stepping back in time (and stepping into a Tardis). The shop is on Stonegate and is very impressive inside, I really loved the props they used on the shop floor, especially the old bathtub in front of the fireplace with a mannequin sat inside (which I didn't take a picture of, soz). While I wasn't gawping at the decor I did see lots of nice summer dresses with cute rounded collars. Really into those right now.

We also stumbled into Oliver Bonas across the street because their colourful window displays always draw me in.

Oliver Bonas is another store that has an awesome interior. This building is crazy to walk around, it's really high up and kind of slants so it makes you feel a bit tipsy. I love the original features and the exposed floorboards, it really adds to the aesthetic.

It was a tiring day, plus the weather was really warm (didn't have to wear any layers, I'm amazed) so I may have caught the sun a tad. Which would explain this lethargy. 💤

That was my fun Wednesday! It was nice to visit York as a "tourist" and get to wander around at my own pace. I don't miss being a student there, not going to lie. I visited my uni flat and it didn't feel right at all, it felt so surreal to be there. Anyway, hope you have a lovely day and if it's sunny and warm where you are, I hope you can get outside and make the most of it.

New art supplies & a painting attempt

Monday, April 18, 2016

My order from The Works arrived today!

I ordered some art supplies last week because I've been dying to get back into painting. I used to be kinda good at art as a kid (not blowing my own trumpet or anything) but stopped as I got into my mid-teens. I've missed being creative in things other than writing so I've started doing cross stitch and now I'm attempting to paint.

So far I haven't done anything exciting except a couple of floral doodles. I don't think it'll get any more elaborate than that to be honest. I got some tiny brushes that are perfect for detailing so I put them to use here by painting some tiny flowers on a vine. My sunflowers went a bit wrong because I accidentally painted the petals too close to each other (rookie mistake) but I can live with that.

The Works stocks so many art supplies for such a good price, especially if you're a novice like me and don't want to spend a lot straight up. I got a watercolour pad, a watercolour paint set (it's for kids apparently, but shh it has so many colours) and a pack of 4 detail brushes, and with P&P included that cost me a mere £9.99, which is nice when you're on a budget.

I might post some pictures of my flowery artwork on Twitter so if you want to follow me there, click here.

Hope you have a happy Monday! (If that's even possible!)

TV binging & my new cactus friend

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Happy Sunday!

I've been watching a lot of TV recently - I'm obsessed with Jane the Virgin (Gina Rodriguez 😍), I'm still keeping up with Brooklyn Nine Nine, and I've recently just binge watched series 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in just under two days(!) Also this morning I caught up with the first two episodes of Lookalikes which is so funny. Channel 4 is absolutely on it with TV shows lately. Plus let's not forget Game of Thrones is back soon too! I might be turning into a TV junkie (which I'm totally OK with).

I've featured my new little cactus friend in today's post. I picked him up from B&Q last Sunday for £2 because a cactus is the only plant I can just about look after.

I don't have any plans today, might treat myself to a bath and do a bit of cross stitching. Living life on the edge.

Hope you all have a chill day.

Shopping & bunny spotting

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ma and I went on a shopping trip to Chesterfield today. First we stopped off at the Peacock Coffee Lounge (pictured above) for lunch and had a scone each then proceeded to spend some pennies, because why the heck not? It's Friday so it's OK.

I bagged some more make-up (like I don't own enough of it already), a hooded jacket, socks, two phone cases, a short sleeved cardigan, and a little bottle of New Look perfume. Think I did quite well!

We then visited Hobbycraft because my mum was making a very important purchase - a brand new sewing machine. It was a very big deal. Her old one was 30+ years old(!) so we had an emotional funeral for it outside (we chucked it in the skip). After that we stopped by Pets at Home and picked some food up for the cat (as well as a crinkly tunnel because we spoil her rotten) and no trip to Pets at Home is complete without...

Cute bunnies! 🐰

Excuse the poop droppings and damp sawdust...

That second bunny was actually the tiniest and sweetest thing I've ever seen, just curled up in a little ball having a nap. We also saw some chinchillas running around a wheel which would genuinely keep me entertained for hours. Why watch TV when you can watch your pets?

The other day I mentioned very briefly that I'd had a job interview. That interview went very well and I was invited to do two trial shifts to see how I got on. Well, I got the job! It's a barista role in a cafe in my local library so I'm excited to put my barista skills to use again. Really pleased with myself! So that's happening soon. I start at the end-ish of April and will be working part-time, so still time for me to fit in some blogging, just probably not as often as I do at the moment. And although the job is 9 months maternity cover there is a possibility I could be offered a permanent position at the end, so lets see what happens!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Friday.

Ladybirds & a cross stitch update

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Tuesday! 🐞

So, spring is sort of here now. The weather's not perfect but we had a pretty decent weekend - it was warm enough for me not to wear a coat so that's a good sign.

I think one of the things that gets me the most excited about this time of year is the ladybirds (which I understand sounds kinda lame). I love them so much. I saw this one as I was walking up the driveway and immediately stopped to take a photo. I can spot their little red bodies a mile away, I think I have a ladybird radar. When I was little I used to collect ladybirds and put them in a little tupperware box. They'd escape overnight, but then I'd just go out and collect more the next day. I was a weird little ladybird hoarder, but they're so cute!

My cross stitching is going well. I posted my progress on Twitter last night and I'm really proud, but once again I've done the outline first instead of the cross stitching so the end product might look a bit weird and messy but I'm OK with that.

Cobbled streets & weird sweet shop clowns in Lincoln

Saturday, April 09, 2016

We decided to pop over to Lincoln for the day today. I haven't been for ages so my step-dad suggested we go and have a mosey. It's a lovely city with one of my favourite shops ever (Yak on The Strait 😍) and obviously has the spectacular Lincoln Cathedral and castle at the top of Steep Hill that are 100% worth the exhausting trek.

I picked up some more Fat Face socks (actually addicted I think) and was kindly bought some matte lip gloss by Revlon (chose the shade Seduction) and a vintage Fred Perry polo shirt(!)

Checked out Jack Wills for the first time (really cute stuff but woah so expensive) and the brand new White Stuff store which I love - I find it can be a little mature for me style-wise but the clothes are always so colourful and quirky and they make me really excited for summer.

Apologies for the clown (I know a lot of people find them creepy!), but I had to take a picture of the window display in Goodies. I love the vintage/traditional vibe this sweet shop has, and the next time I go in I'll have to take an interior shot because the inside is magical. It's a teeny tiny shop with wooden beams and exposed floorboards and there are candy canes hanging from the ceiling and displays crammed with old fashioned chocolate. It's very quaint.

(Also hi me in the reflection!)

After a long day traipsing around we went back home to visit my brother (and his dog, of course) and then stuffed our faces with burgers.

Adventures in cross stitching

Friday, April 08, 2016

It's been a bit quiet on the blog recently and that's down to two reasons. 1) I've done hardly anything interesting all week (I had an excellent job interview on Wednesday but I'll talk about that another time), and 2) as a consequence of not having an interesting week, I haven't taken photos of anything other than my sleeping cat. Which could not be further from interesting if it tried.

Anyhow, I haven't been completely bored out of my mind. I started doing cross stitching the other day and I love it. Please be aware this is my first ever attempt at it, so give me the benefit of the doubt if you're a cross stitching pro. I really enjoy doing it, and although my first one is turning out a bit messy, I'm still kinda proud.

I got two little cross stitch patterns from Hobbycraft a couple of weeks ago - this bicycle one and a bee one, both relatively easy and cheap since I obviously didn't want to spend a lot straight away. I've been wanting to find a new hobby for a while now and I thought this would be a good start. It's therapeutic too but I find that sometimes my hands shake because my weird twitchy fingers can't deal with tiny needles and minuscule pieces of thread, but usually I'm alright so long as I take regular breaks.

You can tell here I started on the sign post first because the cross stitching looks awful, but the white on the sign is looking good. I've done the first sign a bit too fat compared to the guide but I'm working with it. Trial and error and all that. 

I also didn't realise until I reread the instructions that you do the cross stitching first then the black outline, so I'm kind of doing it a bit back to front here. I also keep threading the needle in the wrong way round so I get stray bits of thread sticking out of the front instead of the back which looks real messy. Speaking of messy...

Look at the back!! Ha! Not sure how it got like this, but fortunately for me no-one will be looking at the back when it's done so it's all good. 

I'll post the finished product when it's done, which could be a while yet because I can only manage a bit at a time but I'll make sure to take lots of photos.

The Experimenter: a bath bomb in slow motion

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Image via uk.Lush.com

If gorgeous slow motion HD shots of bright colours and blinding glitter accompanied by orchestral music sounds like your kind of thing, you're going to love this video of the Experimenter bath bomb from Lush.

marchninetyfour | A UK lifestyle blog