Jigsaw puzzles & dog walks

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Another week over. Not done a lot this week unfortunately - spent the first half of it with a nasty cold which put me in bed for three days. I had a nice bout of acid reflux on Monday morning and I seem to have developed fun ol' carpal tunnel in my right thumb and index finger which has meant wearing a tubular support bandage while at work. Yeah, it's been a super exciting time. 🤧

My cold is still lingering but all I've got now is the sniffles, and the carpal tunnel in my hand is sort of still there but only bothers me at the end of the day. I do a lot of repetitive motions at work such as being on a coffee machine so my wrist and hands gets a lot of hammer, plus when I'm not at work I'm spending 8+ hours on the computer a day typing away like a lunatic. The only thing I can do at the moment is wear a bandage and keep taking ibuprofen for anti-inflammatory. Boo.

This morning my family and I went to Sherwood Forest to walk my brother's dog around the Major Oak. It was nice to get some fresh air in my lungs after feeling a bit down in the dumps all week and to spend some time with my faves. Took a snap of the Major Oak (above) which looks slightly depressing now it has to be supported with beams, but I'm glad it's still around. It's an impressive sight to behold.

In other news, my mum and I finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw a few days ago:

We're getting scary fast at jigsaws now, I'm tempted to start a YouTube channel and do livestreams (half joking, half serious about that). We finished another jigsaw this morning but it was under 700 pieces and they're way too easy for us. We're too good. It's now go big or go home.

So that's been my overly exciting week. Puzzles and dog walks, nice. I'm such an OAP I sometimes question my real age. Surely I'm not 22-about-to-turn-23... no, can't be.

Today I wanted to bring back an old feature I used to include at the end of all my posts back when I started blogging... recommended reading! Here goes... Spring Stripes by What Olivia Did, Kitchen & Bathroom Makeover by Me & Orla, and Sunday Morning Vibes by Un-Fancy.

Hope you guys have a glorious week ahead. Try not to get blown over by Doris.

Showcase: understated tableware

Saturday, February 18, 2017


For this showcase I wanted to feature 10 natural and understated tableware pieces. I see a lot of kitchenware like this on Pinterest and if I had a house of my own, my kitchen would be full of this stuff I swear. I've included lots of stoneware, some wood, a hint of porcelain, and a dash of enamel, perfect for country and minimalist kitchens.

My favourite item has to be the enamel teapot from Le Chien et Moi - I love enamelware at the moment, brands like Falcon are just so iconically British they make my soul happy.

Hope you enjoy the showcase.

Refurbishing an old mirror using furniture paint

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Haven't done a creative post in a while, and definitely haven't messed around with paint for aaaages. My last paint related post was my canvas customisation using pearlescent paints which did really well on the blog, so I'm back again with some more paint action.

Today's project was painting an old, boring wooden mirror frame my mum had in her bedroom for years. It was dated, small, and really dull looking so she eventually replaced it last summer with a huge vintage one she found from a car boot. The dinky old mirror, which is probably a quarter of the size of her new one, ended up being stuffed in the spare room to die. It would've probably ended up in the skip at some point, but I thought I'd rescue it by giving it a lick of paint.

I found the perfect colour from B&Q - it's called 'Winter Grey' by Rust-Oleum. It's a furniture paint with a chalky natural finish. Also bear in mind that on the B&Q website the paint looks so much darker than it actually is - it's very pale in reality, which is exactly what I wanted thankfully.

As you can see, I'm using some very chic bin bags underneath the frame so I don't get paint on the carpet. 🤓

Lovely quotes / 5

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Here's the fifth instalment of 'Lovely quotes'. Enjoy.

"If you have given your all, that’s all you can do."
— Bruce Adler

"To define is to limit."
— Oscar Wilde

"It’s okay to feel nothing for a while. Especially after feeling everything for what felt like forever then, and nothing now."
— Anonymous

"That’s the whole secret: To do things that excite you."
— Ray Bradbury, The Art of Fiction No. 203

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges."
— Isaac Newton

"Life here is in that nasty, fickle stage between winter and spring."
— Sylvia Plath from a letter to her mother dated Feb, 1955 featured in Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963

"Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry."
— Rupi Kaur, Women of Colour

Bookshop cafés & Fat Face purchases in Bakewell

Friday, February 10, 2017


I feel so bad for not posting as often as I should. I mean, I don't have a schedule so it doesn't really matter when I post, but I like to get at least two to three posts out a week but lately it's been about one, which is a bit rubbish. I'm so busy at work at the moment and I'm suffering big time from SAD (which I even wrote a post about here) so I'm just feeling so blah and tired all the time. Plus, the things I've been doing over January and the beginning of February have just not been worth blogging about. I've either been at work or at home sleeping, seriously. Winter sucks and I'll fight you on that.

I did however visit Bakewell on Tuesday. We picked an amazing day to go - the weather was gorgeous (brisk, but sunny) and I checked my bank balance that morning and realised I wasn't as skint as I thought, so I was excited to hit up Fat Face and pick up a few things.

I got the Newlyn 'Mark Making' top (a simple design but so versatile, I already have the 'Stitching Stars' version of the same t-shirt which will be gorgeous in summer/autumn) and three pairs of pants, because why not?

We stopped for a brief lunch at The Bakewell Book Shop (scones and teacakes, classic) and then drove back through Chesterfield to nip into good ol' Asda Living.

It was really nice to get away from my hometown for a few hours. Nothing makes me feel more at home than being in the Peak District. I would love to live closer so we could visit the Peaks more regularly, but I suppose with it not being on our doorstep it feels slightly more special every time we go. One of my goals in life is to live in the Peaks, or at least on the edge of it. I need to be surrounded by hills so bad. I neeeeed that countryside air in my lungs 24/7.

I'm so excited for pay day this month because I've already made a shopping list in my head of all the new season Fat Face clothes I want. One day I just want my wardrobe to only be Fat Face clothes and nothing else. I just love that shop more than air.

Hope you guys are having a good Feb. My shifts are going down next week which gives me an extra day off during the week, so blog posts will hopefully be a little more frequent. I'll try my hardest.

An ode to notebooks

Sunday, February 05, 2017

I like notebooks a lot.

Brand new notebooks are what I live for. I used to buy at least one notebook a week when I was younger to the point where I had to keep them in storage boxes under my bed because I had no room anywhere else. I had (and still have) no purpose for them, but they were (and still are) so satisfying to buy. That new notebook smell gets me every time, and I love quality paper more than I love to breathe (that might be a slight exaggeration).

I don't have a favourite brand, but I do have a soft spot for Moleskines because when I got my first job, a plain black Moleskine was my first proper "grown-up" notebook purchase. I also love Leuchtturms but to be honest, you can pick decent own brand ones up now from WHSmith's, Paperchase, and Ryman. I'm not fussy, I buy most of my notebooks from TK Maxx because they sell Moleskines there with money knocked off. Wink wink.

My collection includes: Moleskine Chapters Journal (the flat purple one with the teal spine), Moleskine Classic notebook in black and in white (the white one is the big fat one under the Chapters Journal), Leuchtturm1917 navy plain notebook (the one that says '2015 projects' on the spine), Insight Editions Stark notebook (the one under the Leuchtturm), Agenzio set of 3 plain notebooks from Paperchase (at the bottom of the pile), plus many more that I can't find online.

I use my notebooks mostly for story planning. Nothing makes me feel as uncreative as planning a story on my computer. I do love Evernote, but it doesn't feel the same as putting pen to paper. I have quite a few notebooks dedicated to story planning and most of them are from years back when I was at college. I had one particular notebook (a huge Pukka Pad) that I used so often it started to fall apart. I still have it but it's stored away because I'm scared that if I touch it it will disintegrate in my hands. It's plastered in sellotape for its own safety.

It's nice to go back and flick through old notebooks to see what my brain was like a few years ago. I had some weird story ideas, and some of my character descriptions and drawings are hella cringe, but without those notebooks and without those ideas I wouldn't be here still writing. The story I started drafting in my last year of college (three years ago, four in May) is the one I'm still working on now.

Anyway, to sum up: Notebooks are cool and helpful and I want 400 more of them, 10/10.

Do you have a similar looking collection/addiction?

A life update in verbs / 3

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Haven't done one of these since December, oops! Before we get started, check out that luscious green bath - I used Guardian of the Forest from Lush recently and it was exquisite.

Watching: Brooklyn Nine Nine season 4, Uncle season 3Frontier season 1, Call the Midwife season 6, and Chewing Gum season 2. I love this time of year when all the good telly starts back again.

Reading: Not a great deal. January was a tough month for me mentally so I've not been feeling up to doing many of my hobbies. I haven't stitched anything new which is kinda sad, I was looking forward to jumping back into cross stitch this year. I suppose now January's over things might get better - there's nothing more miserable than the first month of the year, especially when the weather is naff and everyone's a bit skint.

Eating: Mini Eggs! Creme Eggs! Lindt bunnies! All the Easter chocolate basically, and it's only the 1st of February.

Drinking: So much water. Where I work gets really hot (working in a kitchen and having next to no air conditioning... yeah) so I get through about 2-3 bottles during a shift. Water is fab for your body and mind so I'm trying to push myself to get through 3-4 a day now. I've been tempted to download a water intake app but let's be honest, who has time for that?! And who even remembers to keep updating it?!?!

Loving: Kånken backpacks. I fawned over them on the internet for months, thinking "I'll never be able to afford one of these" which was a fat lie because truthfully I just couldn't justify spending that much money on a backpack, but I finally bit the bullet in Jan. In fact, I bought two because I had a major case of YOLO. So I'm now the proud owner of two Kånkens which I never thought I'd say.

Feeling: Knackered? I did a long shift today and even a bath and a long sit down hasn't rescued my poor feet. I was struggling with my longer hours at first but now I'm getting into it and it's not as stressful. Yeah I'm pooped like every day, but I love my colleagues and my job is pretty great, plus thinking about how I'll be rolling in it at the end of Feb is getting me through it all.

Thinking: About taking a wee hiatus... honestly blogging has taken a backseat in my life lately, but I blame a few things: 1) world news is dominating everything (this has been the case with many bloggers who have taken blogging breaks because of the politics in America etc. affecting their health), 2) increased work hours means less time sitting at my laptop, which I really miss but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, and 3) I've gone onto a higher dosage of SSRIs and I think they're messing with me a little while I adjust. It's not too bad, but my mood has been a bit up and down and my appetite is non-existent so I've been fairly distracted by that.

I really do apologise for the lack of blogging (I feel like I apologise about that a lot). If you like anti-Trump tweets, memes, and me talking about mundane rubbish, then follow me on Twitter.

Hope you all have a fab Feb. P.S. Happy birthday, dad!
marchninetyfour | A UK lifestyle blog