Five changes I’m making for 2018

I’ve never really been a resolutions person. I love the idea of making changes, and becoming your best self, but I never carry them over. Looking at my old diaries it always seems to be about negative things rather than bringing joy.

I realised a couple weeks back there were things I wanted to do more this year (alongside reading some of the hundred plus unread books I own), and I’ve started implementing them which is making me most happy;

Sending cards

 

So, this started when I was thinking about Thank You Cards, and wether they are an outdated concept. I’ve only ever passed these out when I have left previous jobs, and the only Thank You Card I’ve received was following a friends wedding. It was handmade, matched the invitations and contained an unexpected and cute sentiment.

I’ve posted the tackiest Congratulations card to a friend who smashed an interview, and had another incredible opportunity in the same week.

I also have a New Job Card that’ll be going out this week to a friend who’s changed a situation that was making her sad, and I am insanely proud of her for taking this choice into her own hands.

You infrequently get mail beyond bills, marketing, and online shopping and if I can put a smile on someone’s face once or twice this year I will be so happy. Also, I’m a bit of a stationery geek so anything that allows me to spend more time in Paperchase or T K Maxx’s Stationery department makes me very happy.

Handmade gifts

 

This year I am trying my hardest to save, to move out. Though it may not appear so, I’ve cut back on my spending when it comes to clothes in a big way, and I’m going to match this with gifts for friends.

I’m a pretty decent baker. If you’re on my pod at work you will receive brownies on your birthday. I also make birthday cakes when it seems appropriate.

I want to learn to crochet. I can machine sew to a pretty acceptable (basic) level. I can knit (a scarf) and I taught myself how to finger knit one night when I was restless.

So, if you’re reading this and I would normally get you a birthday present; it’s going to be extra special this year.

Focusing on friendships.

I’m stepping back from the friendships that don’t make me happy, and putting more time into those which do. I’m not cutting people out of my life but I’m limiting the damage that can be done either by people’s actions, or my own thoughts spiral.

When I have so many incredible friends, colleagues and family my life isn’t going to suffer. I have a best friend who loves me, gets me and I see everyday. Life could be a lot worse.

Getting in early to work

 

I’m the person who almost always stays late, to catch up with tasks. With my current job I have cleared my inbox once (15:23 January 2nd), and anything unfinished will be there tomorrow. I’m constantly prioritising, and problem solving and I blooming love it, but I’m tired of the fact everyone knows I stay late.

Getting logged on and picking up my emails fifteen minutes before my shift lets me organise, prioritise and plan without comment. Yes, I’m likely to still stay a little after my shift but that fifteen minutes before, will minimise it drastically.

Sunday Walks

Matt and I are saving Sundays for long walks, weather permitting. So far we’ve been to Whitsand beach, Avon Reservoir and Trenchford Reservoir.

We’re saving, working full time with hobbies and side interests (Matt is a professional photographer alongside his day job). Keeping one day a week to do something we both love, that doesn’t cost much beyond petrol and takes up most of the day has been a lovely way to start the year.

Lots of small things designed to create small moments of joy, and make weeks a little more special.

– Emily

A Peek at My To Be Read List

I have a pretty sizable To Be Read List that consists primarily of books I’ve picked up over the years, and put to the side for later. Some I have read a couple chapters of, others I have picked up on impulse. My colleague Dee will abandon me in charity shops on our lunch break because I get too distracted by the book shelves.

One thing I want to do this year, is to read fifty two of the books from the list below . Firstly; I could do with the space, secondly; I can’t in good conscience buy another book, when I have twenty half read books waiting to be finished or collecting dust.

  1. The One from the Other – Phillip Kerr
  2. Fallen – Lauren Kate
  3. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  4. Us – David Nicholls
  5. A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar
  6. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  7. Rendezvous and other stories – Daphne Du Mauirier
  8. Castle Dor – Daphne Du Mauirier
  9. The Flight of the Falcon – Daphne Du Mauirier
  10. Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne Du Mauirier
  11. Jamaica Inn – Daphne Du Mauirier
  12. Julius – Daphne Du Mauirier
  13. I’ll Never Be Young Again – Daphne Du Mauirier
  14. The Parasites – Daphne Du Mauirier
  15. The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Cohelo
  16. Eleven Minutes – Paulo Cohelo
  17. The Pilgrimage – Paulo Cohelo
  18. The Valkaries – Paulo Cohelo
  19. The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo
  20. The Dolls House – M J Arlidge
  21. The Memory Keepers Daughter – Kim Edwards
  22. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin
  23. One Plus One – Jo Jo Moyes
  24. The Ship of Brides – Jo Jo Moyes
  25. The Goldfinch – Donna Tarrt
  26. Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
  27. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  28. The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes
  29. The Visible World – Mark Slouka
  30. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  31. Yes Man – Danny Wallace
  32. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  33. #GirlBoss – Sophia Amoruso
  34. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  35. Pursuit of Happiness – Douglas Kennedy
  36. How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran
  37. How to be a Girl – Caitlin Moran
  38. Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham
  39. Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
  40. Second Chance – Jodie Picoult
  41. The Wives of Henry O – Johana Moran
  42. French Luietenants Woman – John Fowles
  43. Nanny Returns – Nicola Klaus & Emma McLaughlin
  44. Pay it Forwards – Catherine Ryan Hyde
  45. 127 Hours – Aron Ralston
  46. Revenge Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
  47. I Heart Paris – Lindsey Kelk
  48. When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  49. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  50. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
  51. The Wizard of Oz – L Frank Baum
  52. Mrs Winter – Susan Black
  53. Paper Towns – John Green
  54. It – Alexa Chung
  55. Bridget Jones Baby – Helen Fielding
  56. The Muse – Jessie Burton
  57. Living Dolls – Natasha Walt
  58. Knife Edge – Mallori Balckman
  59. The book of Lost Things – John Connolly
  60. The Bridge of Spies – Giles Whittell
  61. Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort
  62. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  63. We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  64. The Pianist – Władysław Szpilman
  65. We Bought A Zoo – Benjamin Mee
  66. A Brothers Blood – Michael C. White
  67. Dark Half – Stephen King
  68. Rose Madder – Stephen King
  69. Desperation – Stephen King
  70. Revival – Stephen King
  71. Dream Catcher – Stephen King
  72. Insomnia – Stephen King
  73. The Stand- Stephen King
  74. Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
  75. Before I Go To Sleep – S J Watson
  76. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
  77. The Girls – Lori Lousens
  78. Bill Bryson at Home – Bill Bryson
  79. Salmon Fishing in the Yeomen – Paul Torday
  80. Yes Please – Amy Poeler
  81. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  82. Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee
  83. The Marble Collector – Ceceila Ahern
  84. Book of Tomorrow – Ceceila Ahern
  85. Strong Woman – Karen Brady
  86. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
  87. Lord of The Ring; The Illustrated Edition – J R R Tolkien
  88. The Mystery of Mercy Close – Marian Keyes
  89. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  90. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
  91. The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
  92. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
  93. The Dry – Jane Harper
  94. The Girlfriend – Michelle Frances
  95. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
  96. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  97. The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson
  98. Zodiac – Robert Graysmit h
  99. The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  100. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  101. Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism – Natasha Walter
  102. His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
  103. The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
  104. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick
  105. My little book of Lykke – Meik Wiking
  106. My little book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
  107. If I Stay – Gayle Forman
  108. On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
  109. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  110. Ariel – Sylvia Plath
  111. The Shadows In The Street – Susan Hill
  112. Mrs De Winter – Susan Hill
  113. Heartless – Marissa Meyer

I would like to flag that this does not include my regular book collection, any Kindle books (read or unread) or the books i want to read one day.

Some of these books I have had for over a decade (I tried, and struggled to read A Clockwork Orange when I was 18. It’s partly in Russian… Lolita was returned to me after a break up)

So many I’ve picked up and put down again because it’s been slow, or other exciting books came around (The Stand, The Almost Moon, Go Set A Watchman)

I’ve impulse bought so many authors. Rebecca, is one of my all time favourite novels so when I spotted a collection of Daphne Du Mauirier’s stories I snapped them up. I will always pick up by Cecila Ahern, Jodie Picolt and Stephen King novels I haven’t read when I spot them in a charity shop. And at one point, I decided I needed to expand my reading and picked up a load of Paulo Cohelo novels.

I need to stop buying books…


Thank you Matt for taking another blog photo. I would also like to point out, the blurriness is my inability to stand still during a long exposure.

Nine Reasons why the Beret is my Favourite Fashion Accessory

I.Love.Berets.

I got given two for Christmas (which means my friends and family associate me with Berets, which makes me most happy) and I have barely left the house without one since September, really. I wanted to share a post on my love of Berets, thank you to Nicole for taking these photos in September.

  1. They work with everything from a raincoat, or wooly coat to just a scarf and top.
  2. It’s a hat, so you immediately feel more fancy.
  3. On the same hat thread, it’s funny watching other people try on your Beret. Especially if it’s blush pink,and it’s your dad/brother/dog..
  4. I’ve been wearing them since I was Sixteen, so the eight I own ARNT going anywhere until Spring.
  5. If you already have a predisposition to wear stripes, you will look even more French.
  6. They keep your head warm, and dry. Sometimes having a hood up can feel stuffy.
  7. They are easy to fold up, ether if you would like them stored in a pocket of a coat or the corner of a bag, and they don’t really lose thier shape.
  8. They take up the least space of any of hat I own, which when space is a commodity, is incredible.
  9. Ive never had to chase after a Beret, because they tend to be a snug fit. Whereas my Fedora and Cossack have definelty had me running after them on windy days.

My favourite way to wear a Beret is across the top half of my forehead (slightly below my eyebrows) and pulled to the left.

If you’re looking to add a Beret to your collection and aren’t sure where to start; three of mine are from Accessorise, one is from Primark, one is for a vintage fair, one is from Peacocks, and two are second hand (Table Top Sale, and Charity Shop).

I really, really want a Black Wool Beret and will be checking out Jasmine Rose Vintage (The Barbican, Plymouth) after this weekends Blogger Brunch.

– Emily

 

A Little Weekend Shopping

I can’t adhere to spending bans. There will always be a book, dress or coffee date which undermines my resolve but ultimately brings me a little joy. Today Sally, Katie and I met up for the first time in the new year and went shopping, there was a vintage fair in the guildhall and that alone is reason for a trip to town.

I managed to keep my spending below the £25 mark, if you exclude lunch and a slice of cake, but I’m happy with the pieces I picked up;

White Pie Crust Collar Blouse (£5 Primark)

This shirt has a collar detail, and huge sleeves; two trends I really bought into in 2017 and I don’t expect to fall out of love with anytime soon. This was picked up in a size 18, and I need to pop into the Habadashery before I wear this to work as the bust needs a couple hook and eyes to help the shirt sit flat.

I will always be drawn to a crisp white shirt, especially when such a simple androdyonous item has such feminine details.

Red and White Vertical Stripe Bow Blouse
(£10 Primark)

I have been eyeing this shirt up for what feels like the last month, but when I tried it on the for the first time today I fell in love. The shirt isn’t overly shaped, with only a couple darts near the bust, but it falls beautifully with the bow adding a very cute detail.

It would probably also benefit from a couple hook and eyes, but this is a trend with any button up blouse I own.

Blue and White Striped T Shirt (£4 Matalan)

I have a thing for striped shirts (generally horizontal stripes), normally I opt for black and white, but this blue and white shirt will probably be worn first thing next week. It’s ideal for work and will fit easily into my casual wardrobe, and the slightly thicker cotton top is ideal for the colder months.

Polka Dot Print Scarf (£4 Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair)

This silky printed scarf was the only thing I picked up from the vintage fair . Smaller than the fairs I’ve been to in the past, where space seemed to be lacking, I picked this out within minutes of getting to the main hall. I sifted through a basket of gorgeous scarves, and found this near the base knowing this would work perfectly as either a neck or head scarf. The neutral colour, and polka dots mean I’ll find it easy to wear.

I didn’t buy anything else from the vintage fair, after around twenty minutes I decamped to the cafe for a piece of cake and to read this months book club pick. I felt really uncomfortable at the fair, it was crowded and cramped and full of bottle necks of people, what I could actually see leant more towards retro eighties style (pins, vintage t shirts, oversized denim jackets) and wasn’t what I was searching for. Hopefully I’ll find a black wool beret at the next fair.

Now I’m off to make a cup of mint tea, and hang these up.

– Emily

Plymouth Blogger Brunches: 2018 #PlymBlogBrunch

So this post needs to start with an apology to the Plymouth Bloggers, at the tail end of 2017 the brunches dropped off completely. I decided to do a pantomime, and the combination of that and Christmas swallowed up all my free time and brain power. To prevent against the same thing happening this year, I have put some extra leg work into the brunches.

            
They will be scheduled in three’s, with booking placed for a table of eight as a starting point. Hopefully, making it easier for people to fit them around thier lives.

         
The first two brunches of the year are at relatively new restaurants to Plymouth (or at least to me); with the recently launched Bills Resturant (in the mall,where Ed’s Diner was previously) and Pier One, a Resturant based on Plymouth Barbican who’s Instagram account is full of dreamy Plymouth waterside views, and foods. The final Resturant is Seco Lounge, the popular brunch spot on Royal William Yard the bloggers haven’t visited since 2016.

        
Saturday 20th January – 10:00 Bill Cafe, Drake Circus (Facebook)
Saturday 17th February – 10:00 Pier One, Barbican (Facebook)
Saturday 3rd March – 10:00 Seco Lounge, Royal William Yard (Facebook)

If you’d like to attend a brunch, please comment below, or joun one of the corresponding linked Facebook events. Reservations have been made for each date, and can be amended to accommodate what everyone would like.

Looking forward to a year of breakfast food, new friends and blog chat.

– Emily

Psssst; if you have a suggestion of where you would like to go for a future brunch, please share!


New In My Makeupbag

I took a trip to Superdrug a couple weeks ago, the idea was to have a little browse and what needed up happening instead was four new makeup pieces coming home with me.

Matt Rose Nude, Eyes Uncovered – Collection – £3.99

I occasionally fancy playing about with eye colours but as someone terrible at anything more advanced than a swiping cream eyeshadow or liquid liner spending £30+ on a eyeshadow pallet doesn’t seem good economy.

This small pallette has had really good reviews, and let’s me play with some colours I never usually use. Its also the perfect size for travel, which when I have 2 city breaks planned for 2018, multiple hen dos and a wedding is a big plus. Ive used it once. And adored the colours, pigments and blendability.

Rosie, Velvet Kiss Lip Cream – Collection – £2.99


Pretty simple reasons for picking this up; it’s less than three pound, I love the other colours I have, and a red lip makes me very happy.

Bourjois Brow Palette – Brunette – £
7.99



I have a brow zines pallette that I love, and I want a second brow powder for the make up I keep at Matts, but don’t want to splash out on a Benefit Product I don’t necessarily need. They didn’t have a swatch option in store but I this felt like the best colour match.

The dark shade is very close to my natural brow colour, the spoolie brush and applicator are lovely (though I prefer full size brushes) and the highlight colour is very soft and creamy.

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black Shock – £
9.99
This I was hoping would be a dupe for the Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner. Application wise it’s pretty close (If a touch thicker) however the wing of my liner didnt last more than five hours before it started smudging and creasing. At almost £10 I far prefer the Benefit Product, but this is and adequate stop gap.

 

What have you picked up recently?

– Emily

Plymouth Turtle Bay Launch Night

Sometimes all you need in life is good food, the company of some incredible friends and delicious drinks.

Last Thursday, I got to visit the new Turtle Bay, with Nicole. We got hugged within moments of entering , and skipped the rum punch to grab some delicious mocktails. Nicole is teetotal, and I’m not a big drinker (a choice I make partially from being a light weight, and also because I’d rather spend that five or ten pound on a new pair of earrings or book any day of the week).

We found a wall of fairy lights, took the obligatory selfies and boomerangs before going for a wander round the restaurant.

We found Jemma and Corinna, and Adam and Alice found us. The rest of the evening consisted of far too many drinks (the mojihto was incredible, and definetly alcoholic), sampling everything that flew by, trying to spot Milly and being blown away by how cute the toilets were.

There were almost 800 people in the venue, and when the live music started Alice and I hovered back and stole quarters of pineapples studded with prawns whilst everyone else rushed to get a better view.

This time last year the most interesting thing I could be doing in the same venue would be watching someone get annoyed at the self service kiosk in the post office.

Thank you Turtle Bay for a very fun evening. Now…. To make a dinner reservation for my birthday next week…

– Emily

 

Turtle Bay launched its 230 seat restaurant Sunday 22nd October. Slightly exciting fact: this is the furthest south restaurant they have in the UK at present.

All photos from official photographer at the launch event.