Sunday, 19 April 2015

Faking cheerful.

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Scrumptious wedges: Office
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Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
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Cardigan: F+F // Necklace: Topshop


I'm well aware that I've not left it long since posting this dress, but when you're feeling rotten, sometimes it helps to wear something you like. And that's what I did here. 

A dress I like, as the elephant print makes me cheerful. 
Some shoes I like because they make me tall and are super comfy. 
And a necklace I like (although it's barely visible).

It didn't really work, but at least I left the house.  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

And...relax.

It's no secret that I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. I have been reading a rather good book on controlling stress, which I'll be reviewing soon. And I'm trying to take note.

Learning to allow myself time for the things which help me to relax has been a pretty big step for me. I'm kind of hopeless at it; I'm not sure if it's that I see myself as a bit of a failure for needing to take time for myself, or whether I think there are other things I ought to be spending my time doing which are somehow more..worthy?

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Triceratops Creature Cup*
Anyway, I decided enough was enough and allowed myself a few hours where I could just take some time out and relax. Luckily, it meant I got the chance to try out some of the things Flamingo Gifts sent to me in a little parcel of loveliness at Easter.

I basically live on coffee, so a new mug was always going to go down well. This Creature Cup has a triceratops inside, so it's kind of hiding in your coffee.

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Cat Phoney*
I put some music on as I find this really relaxes me. My iPod is ancient and I keep thinking I'll replace it for something a little newer when it finally gives up the ghost, but it's still hanging on and whilst it works it seems silly to upgrade it. This little cat is designed to keep the headphone socket on your phone or iPod free from dust, so it's kind of perfect for when I've got it in the speaker dock.

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Flamingo Paperclips* and Sticky Notes*
I took the opportunity of a moment of calm to catch up on some of my letter-writing, as I've been a bit lax for the past couple of weeks, after being on top of it all last month. These flamingo paperclips are perfect for keeping all of the pages of a long letter nice and neat, and I love the bright and colourful sticky notes - I'm always on the lookout for cute letter-writing bits and pieces to tuck into my envelopes.

How do you choose to spend your time when you need to relax?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday Favourites 140..

Deer Arrow Fox Brooch
001: Deer Arrow Fox Brooch, $17 AUD
Green Accordian Typewriter Brooch
002: Green Accordian Typewriter Brooch, £26.39
This week, it seems to be accessories which are catching my eye, and I have Instagram to thank for it. Lately I've seen both of these little beauties popping up on some of my favourite accounts, and I'd love to add them to my jewellery box. They'd make the perfect finishing touches to my summer outfits, that's for sure.

001: This cutesy fox reminds me so much of a cartoon I'd watch with my sister when we were little. I think I definitely need to give him a home for reasons of nostalgia.

002: I love the retro typewriter brooch and the fact that it's actually made from felt and beads. It took me a few looks to realise this.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Just call me Little Red..

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Coat: Topshop
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Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
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Tights, Brogues: F+F
This week has been a particularly tough one. None of the external pressures I've been trying to keep at bay have gone away as such, it's just that now my brain seems to have decided that it's time for a total meltdown as well.

I've been feeling pretty low as an attack of the body blues takes hold of me. I can't escape the thoughts and frankly, on top of almost permanent exhaustion, don't know how to combat them. I've been resisting a change in medication for the last few visits to my GP, but I'm starting to wonder if it might be time to give in and make the change. It worries me, as I'm told all kinds of dreadful stories about the drug in question, but I doubt I'd be having it offered to me so readily if there wasn't something helpful there too.

Ugh. Such confusion. And constant sadness, combined with a complete lack of confidence in myself.

But, in other news, I rediscovered this coat and felt a little bit like Little Red Riding Hood.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

#BulbsforBulbs

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For the past few years I've been the proud (if somewhat overwhelmed) owner of an allotment close to my home. It's been something of a learning curve, but last year I managed to successfully grow a range of vegetables and it's a pretty good feeling to be eating something you've grown yourself.

One thing which I think would make my allotment life better would be a greenhouse, but that's a fairly big project and lately there have been other things which have had to take priority. So, for the seeds which can't be grown so easily directly sown into the ground, I tend to utilise my windowsills at home, grow the seedlings in the warmth and then transport them to the plot when they're a little bigger.
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The only problem with this is that I don't often receive a lot of direct sunlight - my windows don't seem to face the right way for that. Luckily, Lightbulbs Direct had a solution for me. They sent me a gardening parcel with one of their LED lamps to try out. They have a little #BulbsforBulbs competition running, too, where you have to submit a photo of your indoor garden in order to be in with a chance of winning a hamper.

I've put it on a timer switch, so that the strawberry plants and the chive seeds they sent me will receive light for about 10hrs per day, as they would if they were outside (but a little warmer). They've been planted for a little while now, but I've not seen any signs of life. I have high hopes, though. How fab it will be to eat strawberries which I've grown myself!

Windowsill Garden

Here are the other bits I'm currently growing on the windowsill, all of which will be off to the plot when they're big enough. 

Are you growing anything this year?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday Titles 043: Hausfrau

Hausfrau
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

I finished this book just over a week ago, and since then it's been haunting me. Seriously, there hasn't been a day when I've not been thinking about the ending, which was a bit of a shocking twist.

Anna Benz is a housewife. She is an American ex-pat who lives with her husband Bruno and their three children. She feels like an outsider; not speaking much of the local language and not being able to drive means she has to rely on other people - often her disapproving mother-in-law.

With Anna finding it more and more difficult to connect with any of the people in her life, I found it rather poignant that I struggled to connect with her as a character. I definitely think this is intentional.

The book is told over the course of three months, flicking back and forth from conversations between Anna and her psychiatrist, to memories of past events and to the present day. Anna embarks on a German course in order to feel more at home in her home country, as well as embarking on an affair to make her feel.

The flashbacks to previous events in Anna's life both helped me to understand her emotional position, as well as helping me to better understand her as a character. I think any woman who has ever loved and lost will be able to relate to Anna.

I mentioned that the ending was shocking, and whilst I stand by that, I also think it was sort of perfect. I don't want to say a lot more for fear of spoiling it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book, having not been convinced I would from the first couple of pages. 


Monday, 13 April 2015

#bloggerbookswap update..

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Thank you to everyone who signed up to take part - every time I hold one of these swaps, it seems to get bigger, which is great!

Just a quick update to say that all of the sign ups I've received will be paired up and emails sent out by the end of the day. 
So, if you've not received an email by the end of Monday and you think you should have, please get in touch (twitter might be the best place for a quick response - tweet me here).


So what's next? Well, you'll need to make contact with your swap partner, in order to exchange addresses. Then, based on what they like, put a parcel together for them and send it off by 26th April. 
Make sure to let me know when you've posted and when you've received a parcel.