Sunday, 31 July 2011

the 30 day photo challenge - are you playing along?

oh where have i been! am i the last person to discover this...?

what a great idea and just what i needed, some caffeine for my creative mojo! the 30 day photo challenge is hosted at the oh so lovely blog. it's pretty self explanatory, head over there and read more and i dare you not to join in.

i think this will be a job for my beloved iphone. time to dust off the old instagram app! watch this space.

{em} x

Saturday, 30 July 2011

this week... (aged 27!)

hello! here is a summary of my first week as a 27 year old! this week i:

~ had a fantastic birthday weekend with my family and friends, and of course my sister who turned 19. a lovely big bunch of balloons, organised by our dad, was awaiting each of us in our hotel room.

~ renewed the photo on my driving license... so glad to get rid of that awful picture from when i was 16. but it's a bit scary to think i've had it 10 years already. seems like only yesterday that i was excitedly filling in the forms.

~ loved this article at galadarling "10 really easy ways you can love yourself more today!"

we have finally had some sunny summer weather here. i hope you are having a lovely week wherever you are.

{em} x

Friday, 29 July 2011

payday wishing

well it's payday, which means i am rich for one day only!

first thing needed today was a dash to the hairdressers. bye bye split ends, hello shiny locks and stylish fringe!

next a trip to the apple store, but i quickly ran out again after seeing the price of a teeny tiny cover for my lovely new ipad (thankyou for that my handsome fella)!

but before all my pay drains away on my mammoth mortgage & household bills, i have a wish list as long as my arm that i would really like to chose a treat from.

joseph joseph spaghetti measure. oh the problems clever and cute (just like my man!) i need one of these in my life!

hare t-shirt from espirit. i had this in my hand last week, and put it back on the shelf to save money... big mistake!

new running shoes. i fancy some of the nike+ trainers, so i can sync my ipod and my shoes. or maybe i'm just swayed by my recent splurge on all things apple. i think more research is needed!

radical self love boot camp. does my online class fund stretch to $100? i'm not sure, but this sure sounds like inspiring stuff. it's about time the exchange rate did something useful!

happy payday folks!

{em} x

Sunday, 24 July 2011

26 in review

well tomorrow is my birthday. before my 26th year is up, i thought it would be fun to have a quick look back at what's happened since last july 25th.

last year we were in florida for my birthday. we did the usual theme park stuff in orlando, and spent a lot of time in and on the water in sanibel.

in september my friends & i went hiking in the dolomites. i had my first experience on the via feratta, and picked up a lot of bruises along the way.

i had this plan to climb each of the 3 peaks, one each year. i got to the top of my final one, scafell pike in november. a thick blanket of snow came down during the night before we set off, and it was beautiful but freezing cold.

unremarkable girl was set up in march. i've enjoyed putting my thoughts into writing, and being part of a little community since i started this blog. every comment i got, i have read two or three times, and valued so much. i hope i will still be here writing away this time next year.

2011 has been a year of holidays. we were riding beautiful horses in andalucia in april and we were sailing beautiful yachts in greece in june. all in all that's our holiday budget all spent up.

over the last year i've read dozens of books, started cooking much more than ever before, and really embraced a fitness routine. my fella and i have been tested, and got through it stronger than ever. i bought my beloved iphone and embraced photoshop elements. i saw my favourite band in the world live in manchester, and watched the final installment of the harry potter films.  

overall it's been a pretty cool year. i wonder what the next year will hold. see you on the other side...

{em} x

Friday, 22 July 2011

make love not horcruxes

my sister and i are lucky enough to share a birthday. sarah was born on my 8th birthday, and ever since, 25th july has been a day not about me, but about family celebration. on monday, my sister will turn 19, and as big sister it is my duty to be a great present buyer.
i often try to come up with a handmade gift too. she's a big harry potter fan like me, so when i saw the slogan "make love not horcruxes" doing the rounds on the internet, i knew i had to stitch it up for her. i used a scrap of fabric, and put it in an ikea frame i had lying around. that's what i call a present on a budget. i hope she will like it.

{em} x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

in my scrapbook

this month i've been continuing to fill up my florida album. i've been enjoying trying to make use of the "white space" in my scrapbook pages.
both of these are fairly quick to put together (unless you're like me and spend hours fiddling around, even with the most simple elements!).

and in case you're wondering, yes, my clock stopped years ago and i have never bothered to put a new battery in it. i just keep it on my windowsill, telling the wrong time, because it's pretty!

{em} x

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Saturday, 16 July 2011

one thing i know for sure... {journal entry}

i always thought i'd have everything sorted by the time i reached my late 20's. now, as i approach 27 many things are still as unclear as they ever were. i don't know how to be cool at parties, i don't know how to get my hair looking sleek, i certainly don't know what i want to "be" when i grow up. in many senses i'm just stumbling along as best as i can (as i suspect most other people are too).

one thing i do know is that wanderlust runs through my veins. i know my future is seeing new places and doing new things. as a child my family moved around alot. i got used to starting new schools, unpacking a new bedroom, and making new friends. at weekends we explored our surroundings. we got outdoors - alot - and took in the scenery. we ate local and stumbled by in foreign languages. i sometimes felt separated from my friends as my world was so much broader than theirs. but a new place, to make new friends was always on the horizon.

now i'm in charge of my own life, i can't think of anything better than continuing in that style. don't get me wrong, i'm not about to give up my job and move into a camper van. but i am working towards being in a position where i can take opportunities to travel and explore. thinking about my future family, i'm not too worried about money and i'm not too interested in success. the richness in my life is gained through the experience of wandering this planet of ours and i wouldn't have it any other way. that's one thing i know for sure.

{em} x

journal prompt from

Friday, 15 July 2011

filling in the blanks (and the deathly hallows)

the day is finally here. i have 6 tickets for the 8pm showing in my grubby little hand. this is like my moon landing - tonight i see the final film in the harry potter series... i'm 26 on the outside and 6 on the inside. i couldn't be more excited!

in other news, it's quiet in the office today so i plan to take it easy & wind down for the weekend. but for now...

1} i am a morning person. don't get me wrong, i HATE getting up early, i'm tired, cranky and my hair sticks up at all kinds of weird angles. however, i love to use those hours that other people waste away in bed for something productive. at the weekend if i can get to the gym by 9am, i feel sooo smug, and i allow myself all kinds of luxuries for the rest of the day as reward.

2} my favourite radio station is radio 1. i listen to nothing else really. i love music, but listening to the chris moyles show in the morning wakes me up. i laugh along with their banter so much i forget they aren't really my friends.

3} 3 of my must have road trip songs are:
     ~ valarie by amy winehouse
     ~ volvo driving soccer mom by everclear
     ~ chelsea dagger by the fratellis

4} my favourite pattern is a mix floral and birds. think dreamy laura ashley wallpaper.

5} my favourite perfume is called "love" and you can only buy it in lush stores (or online like my fella does every christmas!).

6} rules are for everyone! i can't stand rule breakers. people that cut queues, that smoke in non smoking areas, and don't even get me started on bad drivers!

7} my most overused phrase is currently "on it like a car bonnet". i picked it up off mtv and now i can't get it out of my head. if i ever let it slip out i feel immediately embarrassed. damn you television!

that's all for now folks!

{em} x

prompts from

Thursday, 14 July 2011

the one where i'm pin happy

i said a few weeks ago that i finally signed up to pinterest. well i'm pleased to announce (drum roll please...) that i actually started using it this week. i'm addicted already!

this is so much better than storing up my bookmarks in my favourites folder, then trawling through them all for the one thing i remember looking at years ago. this evening i have been pinning all my favourite tutorials to my boards. in the process i have discovered some gems that make me want to drop everything and start making stuff!

my spare time is disappearing before my eyes! are you on pinterest? i'd love to know so i can follow you.  you can find me here.

{em} x

Monday, 11 July 2011

little black book

have i mentioned our recent sailing holiday? oh yes that's right - about 1000 times already! we were visiting so many places, and experiencing so many new things that i wanted to keep a record so i wouldn't forget all the little stuff. i was also inspired by the book i was reading at the time - dolphins under my bed  (i'd recommend it if you're a reluctant sailor like me) - which is the journal of a couple in their 50's who gave up everything and sailed from england to the med.

i picked up this black moleskin note book at the airport on the way out, and filled it with page upon page of detailed notes. i took along pencils with the idea of sketching stuff i saw, but time was lacking, and my book was completely limited to narrative.

now i am home, i am wondering what to do with this book. it looks to me to be a bit sorry for itself. no pictures, no colour, not even a ticket stub. so what should i do now? should i go glue stick crazy and start sicking things in? or should i leave it as it's "true" self with just words to tell the story? i need inspiration!

{em} x

Sunday, 10 July 2011

10 things... great holiday reads

well it's july now which means it's summer holiday season. whether you are going away or just enjoying the sunshine everyone needs a good holiday book for company. as you probably know i'm a total bibliophile, so i thought i'd make this month's 10 on the 10th list: my favourite not-so-hard-going, read-it-on-the-beach, great holiday reads.

1} summer sisters - judy blume. if you ever read judy blume back in the 80's like i did, you'll want to read this just to relive that feeling of setting up a tent using your bed sheets and reading the naughty bits over and over. (i wasn't the only girl that did that!)

2} mystery man - bateman. half comedy, half detective story. laugh out loud funny and gripping to the end. so good we have 2 copies in my apartment, both of which are falling apart from use.

3} a room with a view - e.m.forster. a fantastic classic about finding yourself, with some summer romance thrown it. read this after a day of visiting museums and other cultural stuff.

4} addition - toni jordan. a quick, quirky read. deals with serious issues but light enough not to get you down. read it on the beach.

5} the body in the library - agatha christie. a classic who-dunnit, and who doesn't love miss marple?

6} la's orchestra saves the world - alexander mccall smith. lovely touching story, in paperback it's perfect size to fit in your beachbag.

7} confessions of a jane austen addict - laurie viera rigler. how many times can you fall in love with mr darcy? plenty! read this on a summers evening with a cup of tea.

8} lullaby - chuck palahniuk. i feel i should give a strong language warning on this one, but if that doesn't bother you, this is a crazy good read. one of my all time faves!

9} my booky wook - russell brand. the only biography i've ever read - i laughed all the way through. read this by the pool.

10} blacklands - belinda bauer. a thriller written from some unusual perspectives. really well written and unputdownable.

no more holidays for me now until the winter, so i shall have to console myself by lounging on the sofa with a long island ice-tea and a book. all in the name of research of course!

{em} x

Saturday, 9 July 2011

scrappy flower & frank

my mum asked me to make her a brooch to make her new bag look different from the thousands of others sold in the marks & spencer's sale. here it is pretending it's a real flower with frank. why the plant is named frank i'll never know, remind me to ask my fella sometime.

i started making these years ago from an online tutorial (i've searched but i can't find it anymore - if you know it, let me know please). it's basically a stack of flowers made from different scraps of fabric. you fold a square in half and then half again and cut it into a heart shape. unfold and voila! sew through the middle of the stack and attach a button if you fancy.

this all came together while watching an episode of the biggest loser usa and helped me to reduce the size of my scrap bag a little. i'd call that a productive saturday wouldn't you?

{em} x

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

...on writing a meaningful blog post

recently i've been pondering my blog content more and more. i enjoy playing along with prompts like "3 little goals" and "fill in the blank friday". these are great for when inspiration is lacking, but sometimes i'm concerned that these can dictate my content more than i would like.

i've been thinking about the pros and cons of writing a truthful and meaningful post. i want to talk about things that make me both happy and sad, but i don't want to use this as a space to brag or to moan. some of my favourite bloggers are those who tell the truth when they're having a bad day but i can quickly lose my patience with mr or mrs whiney! (and they can be seperate people - not just two people in an unhappy marriage!)

i believe i can find a balance here by sticking to a few little rules:

- tell the truth (both good and bad)
- do not use this space to name names or point fingers
- when i see a problem, suggest a remedy
- do not be patronising
- share inspiring thoughts and not negative ones
- be true to myself

there are some topics i'd like to talk about someday, if i can get the balance right, such as body image, spirituality, feminism, i don't know really! so i guess i'm saying stick with me (and be kind!) while i try to find my voice. after that, you might struggle to shut me up. and yes - i have a tendancy to use pictures of flowers when i can't find anything that fits the theme. deal with it!

{em} x

Sunday, 3 July 2011

an unremarkable week

a few things from this unremarkable week...

~ reminisced about my holiday (and more importantly, finally got all the unpacking and washing done)

~ watched moulin rouge for the first time in years.... i love love love that film. the rendition of roxanne still gives me goosebumps.

~ read "never let me go". i literally couldn't put it down. i read it on the train, in the morning before getting up for work, and on the bike at the gym. i was like the crazy lady clutching her paperback at all times.

~ got the all clear from the dentist for another 9 months, despite my desire to eat chocolate all the time!

~ signed up to pintrest finally! total number of pins - zero. there just aren't enough hours in the day right now.

how was your week?

{em} x

Saturday, 2 July 2011

review - the ultimate spiritual way

i've been promising for ages to write a little post about this book, so here we are...

i like to think of myself as open minded, and from time to time i dip my toe into the spirituality waters without feeling the need to go for a swim. when i was perusing the yoga memoirs at the book shop as few weeks ago, a book on the next shelf caught my eye. that was probably for all the wrong reasons, but the concept was an interesting one. 

the first 150 pages of "f**k it" are packed with the kind of wisdom that you will wish had been passed onto you many years earlier. learning to identify what is important is liberating to say the least. appreciating the little things in life is easy when you realise that behaviours drilled into you from childhood can be cast aside without making you a bad person.

i almost finished this book prepared to sing it's praises. however the last section in some way devalues the rest by risking reducing the earlier philosophy to a bad joke. i suggest you skip this section altogether but do read this, and then pass it on to your friends. if nothing else it will help them understand your new attitude to life, and at the very least put a smile on their face. you may want to hide the cover from old ladies on the train so as not to offend though.

{em} x

Friday, 1 July 2011

fillin in the blanks

hello everyone! it's finally friday - gosh i thought it might never arrive! these days i often only twig that the weekend is near when i'm filling in the blanks.

1} the best news i ever received was that i was getting a little sister for my 8th birthday (although i didn't realise it at the time).

2} something i'm looking forward to is the final installment of Harry Potter films. i'm toying with the idea of going to the midnight showing, (and taking my wand, and wearing my gryffindor scarf).

3} something i would never do is smoke. aside from all the health stuff, it stinks!

4} if i could chose someone to be my lifecoach it would be marge simpson. she's full of womanly wisdom like you should listen to your heart, not the voices in your head

5} if i had to put a label on my style it would be functional preppy. i care about my appearance - but i'm not gonna suffer to much for it. i've too many blood stained shoes to wear too high heels anymore!

6} one should always brush your teeth. it's important.

7} i want to eat toblerone for dinner tonight. my fella is away and it's just me and a book for company. i'd love to just curl up on the sofa with some chocolate - happy days.

{em} x

prompts from - let me know if you're playing along.