Wednesday, 31 August 2011

30 day photo challenge round-up. days 21 - 30

well with all the engagement excitement i almost forgot to finish off sharing my snaps from the 30 day photo challenge. never fear, here i am with a bumper 10 day finale!

day 21 ~ pretty pattern (top left). my love of pretty wallpaper is so great that i hate to put a cupboard in front of it. the solution - paper the inside of the cupboard!

day 22 ~ trees (top right). the view from my living room window. can you spot my neighborhood heron?

day 23 ~ sunset (bottom left). had to cheat and use a photo a couple of days old for this one... the sun was not behaving for me on the 23rd!

day 24 ~ a smile (bottom right). bunny smile!

day 25 ~ sun flare (middle). trying to capture the sun setting beyond the trees.
 day 26 ~ something old (top left). notre dame! building started 1163 - that's old!

day 27 ~ after dark (top right). sunset over the seine. that's the eiffel tower sparkling away on the left. the lights came on just as we stepped onto the bridge, it was like magic!

day 28 ~ daily routine (bottom left). all my lotions and potions.

day 29 ~ purchased (bottom right). how did i manage to spend 53 euros in laduree? macaroons of course. yum!

day 30 ~ in motion (middle). sorry to end on such a rubbish photo. this is the view from my train window as i sped home from work. it was a particularly grey day and the scenery was not great!

well done if you are still reading. i'll be back soon with all the details of our time in paris. the food, the hotel, the romantic proposal! see you then!

{em} x

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

he put a ring on it!

i'm so happy! thankyou neal, thankyou paris!

{em} x

Saturday, 27 August 2011

30 day photo challenge. days 16 to 20

i'm getting a little behind with sharing my instagrams from the 30 day photo challenge. but just to prove i'm still snapping away, here are days 16 to 20.

day 16: what i ate. this one may be a little misleading... i made a big bowl of salad to pile onto a lovely veggie burger (and a venison burger for the fella).

day 17: on the shelf. my beautiful collection of delux penguin classics. i love to take them out and stroke their beautiful covers occassionally. 

day 18: in my bag. a brolly and sunglasses... only in england are both so often needed! i never go anywhere without my handsanitiser. and more recently i've taken to toting around heaps of make up. lucky i have a big bag.

day 19: where i slept. i'm a throw cussion addict. i don't care if they are hard work, i think they look fab.

day 20: what i read. a yoga memoir called "poser" by claire dederer.

{em} x

Friday, 26 August 2011

filling in the blanks {pre-paris}

i took today off work so get ready for my trip to paris. did i mention i was going to paris? oh that's right, only a million times! monday is a public holiday, so that's a 4 day weekend. if you could see my face right now you'd know i love a long weekend.

i haven't played at filling in the blanks for a while so since i'm currently waiting for the polish on my toe nails to dry i thought i'd give it a go.

1} one of life's most simple pleasures is going to bed early with a good book.

2} the 100th time i have to jump out of the way of someone walking whilst texting makes me want to punch someone.

3} i like bunnies because they are fluffy beyond all reason.

4} seldom is a funny word

5} if i had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be a really difficult decision! if forced i guess i'd say moisturiser. does that count?

6} i'm happy that i'm off to paris tomorrow. (oops did it again, sorry!)

7} i would never eat a banana. those things freak me out!

{em} x

prompts from

Thursday, 25 August 2011

not going crazy after all...

via pinterest
last night we finally discovered that the ringing noise that's been plaguing my evenings for weeks was not in my head after all. it was in fact, my bedside lamp's bulb about to go pop. now i know that i'm not going crazy after all, i feel much better.

the more i think about it, that light bulb seems to be a metaphor for life at the moment. things have been a bit sad around here recently, with summer disappearing before my eyes and the hopelessness of waiting for little hearts to mend. the glow has gone, leaving a ringing in my ears, but it has not yet been replaced by something new. i'm looking forward to autumn with crunchy leaves under foot and that chill in the air that means it's ok to start wearing woolly tights and warm hats. then before we know it christmas will be here where old wounds are healed and we bond over the things that matter; the things that keep our little family together.

thank goodness i can always make myself feel better by thinking about christmas!

{em} x

Monday, 22 August 2011

unremarkable girl on eating veggie

so this morning it struck me that it's been 10 years since i caught the veggie bug.

a whole decade without meat. well almost a decade, it happened on a kind of sliding scale. if you don't mind, i thought i'd talk about that transition today. (don't worry, this isn't going to be a lecture on food choices). 
aged 17, my favourite food was a well done steak. i didn't like my meat bloody but that aside, i never put much thought into what i was eating. then i read a book from the college library in which there was a chapter about vegetarianism. as i remember it, that book was completely unbiased and discussed all sides of the debate from what human teeth have evolved for to what would happen if vampires knocked us off our spot at the top of the food chain. and just like that my mind was changed.

in that first year everyone, including me, thought this was just a phase. i could still be tempted to a bacon sandwich and while i was living under my parents roof, the traditional sunday dinner was mandatory. but the ball had started rolling and there seemed no way of stopping it. as i went off to uni and had the chance to "be myself" and other such cliches, one of my biggest freedoms was to eat how i wanted. that graduation photo on my parent's wall shows the fruits (no pun intended!) of such behaviour. thanks to 3 years living on cheese and chocolate, graduation em was a little bit plumper than the older models.

in the years since, i have learnt how to maintain a healthier veggie diet, but also a more extreme one. gone are the days of not bothering what's in the gravy or turning a blind eye to the gelatin in the desert. now i'm suspicious if my food was ever sniffed by a living thing. thankfully i've found alternatives to meat like quorn and tofu, which i couldn't live without.

i don't often talk about food here. i'm not a great chef, and i don't have the wildest of pallets. but i want to blow my own trumpet for once. many people may disagree with my eating choices,  but no-one can doubt my commitment to it. 10 years now and i think we can safely say this isn't a phase. while i'm not quite ready to become a fruitarian (though check out this site if you think it's an intriguing concept), i'm certainly proud to be veggie.

{em} x

Friday, 19 August 2011

musings on love and loss {journal entry}

i feel i should write something poignant about love and loss today.
{barbed wire heart from TheLonelyHeart on etsy}
this week my little sister has suffered her first real heart break. as a family we share her hurt and wish so much that we could have protected her from this. break ups are painful, and whether you’re 19 or 99, i imagine that the feeling of losing someone you love is very much the same. regret, disappointment and frustration create such an ache deep down inside that it feels life will never be the same.  
i feel for my sister so enormously right now because I’ve been there myself. over the last 10 years i’ve laid in bed and cried over boys more times that I care to remember. i’ve known what it is to feel worthless and hopeless, and if i could go back in my past and change my attitude during these times, i would jump at the chance.
i would look for the bigger picture.
i would have faith in myself.
i would not give up hope so easily.
the truth is that life isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be filled with all kinds of excitement, surprises and pleasures which make it worth living. happiness isn’t achieved by snagging the right person or climbing the right career ladder. happiness comes from within, from acceptance of how things are and hope for the future.
to quote my beloved baz luhrmann song...
sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. the race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself.
i wish i could change the amount of time i have spent worrying about the finish line.
{em} x

journal day prompt from sometimes sweet.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

30 day photo challenge. days 11 to 15

days 11 to 13 of the photo challenge i was lucky enough to be in southern spain. the sun casting it's warmth on everything has the effect of making more photo opportunities than usual so these snaps were pretty easy to accomplish.

day 11 ~ something fun (top left) the hotel pool. shortly after this it filled up with kids, making it a lot more fun, but a lot less peaceful.
day 12 ~ close up (top right) a beautiful hard wood ceiling in a spanish restaurant.
day 13 ~ from a distance (bottom left) spanish hillside village. sitting up there on a rooftop and watching the sun set was the highlight of the trip.
day 14 ~ flowers (bottom right) i'll admit it, i lost my original flower photo while having a mad camera roll cleanup. this is a much less inspiring replacement.
day 15 ~ my shoes (middle) and new shoes too! i was so worried that they would get ruined when they were soaked by the rain on their first time out of the box, but they seem to be holding up just fine. horay for new shoes!

i'm more than halfway through this project now. this is just about the perfect amount of creative thinking i can fit into my hectic life at the moment. i encourage you to give it a try if you fancy it. there's no reason you can't start now, and i'd love to see your take on the prompts. i think i may miss this once august is over!

{em} x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ooh la la!

i've been fiddling with polyvore again and mentally packing my case for when we go to paris in a couple of weeks. i may be packing it with more outfits than it would hold, and with clothes that i don't currently own, but that's beside the point.

Ooh la la!

Ooh la la! by unremarkablegirl featuring denim skinny jeans

paris is the place to locate my inner nine d'urso and work that casual chic look. i even took her photo to the hairdressers with me to explain exactly what i want my hair to look like. i'm imagining strolling down the champs elysees, sun glasses pushed up on my head, wearing heels and totally owning my 5'10"!

now i just need a mega shopping trip. i'm totally in love with those tiffany key necklaces. oh if only some hinting would get one of those round my neck! i'd wear it every day.

9 days until paris baby!

{em} x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

30 day photo challenge. days 6 to 10

hey there. well what an exciting week. i did something crazy spontaneous (well, by my standards anyway) and took a last minute short holiday to mojaca in spain. 3 days of lazing by the pool, enjoying the sunshine and a good book has done me the world of good. though it felt like i'd lost a limb having no internet access whatsoever! now i'm home it's gonna be hard work dragging me away from my keyboard. first things first. catching up on sharing my 30 days photo challenge.

day 6 ~ childhood memory (top left). that's ted, my teddy since i was only a few days old. he still sits by my bed every night. i hope i'll never have to part with him.
day 7 ~ something new (top right). my ipad. i love to use it to listen to county music broadcast from a far away southern US state using a radio app.
day 8 ~ technology (bottom left). another ipad related picture. the fantastic technology that allows me to track where my fella's flight is in the sky. yes - this sounds a little like stalking, but it's perfectly innocent i promise!
day 9 ~ faceless self portrait (bottom right). my shadow cast on the carpet at bedtime.
day 10 ~ something i made (middle). an interactive graph i whipped up at work. i was pretty proud of this! somewhat nerdy i know.

since getting back from my holiday it's been the greatest pleasure to see unremarkable girl get a mention at emily's blog and  blaire's blog. it's been such a joy to get emails from people out there reading my words and i'd love to hear more from all of you. if anything i've written has inspired (or annoyed!) you, please get in touch - my email address is over to the right in the side bar.

{em} x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

10 things... to do with old glass jars

hello! this is the third month i've played along with 10 things on the 10th (how's that for commitment!), and i'm really excited to share this one with you.

one problem with me is that while i hate clutter, i equally hate to throw anything away that might one day be useful. i guess i'm a real oxymoron. for this reason i have a cupboard full of empty glass jars, and to justify their shelf space, i often try to find new things to do with them. i originally thought i would struggle finding 10 uses, but when i started jotting them down i had more, so you can be sure these are the best of the best!

1} make little pot for a little plant.

2} use a jar as a place to collect bits and bobs. make a home for lost buttons and coins from the bottom of your pocket.

3} combine with some sturdy card, and you have a fool proof method for catching spiders (or anything else thats loitering around!). 
4} wrap a jar in wool (or "yarn"!) and make some pretty decor for your home. this one is sooo cute!.

5} make your own tiny terrarium. there's a great tutorial here. this is exactly the sort of thing i'd do when staying with my grandma 20 years ago - i lurve all things mini!

6} tiny jars make great crafty storage. i use jars to organise my ribbons, buttons, whatsits and doo-dahs.

7} store home made salad dressings and they'll be nice and airtight.

8} pop in some pretty stones and a little candle for a cute candle holder.
9} get a head start ready for christmas and make a cookie in a jar gift. i've never tried this but i love the idea. there's lots of recipes here.

10} long tall jars make a great make-shift vase. tie some ribbon around the outside and pop in a handpicked flower (or pinwheel if you have more paper around than flowers) to bring some colour to your home.

if non of these take your fancy, i suppose you can always put them in a recycling bin and let someone else give your jars a new life. see other great 10 things lists at shimelle's blog.

{em} x

Sunday, 7 August 2011

not giving up the day job!

one of the downsides of living with a pilot is that his job is infinitely more interesting than mine. at parties people want to hear all about the glamour of the pilot's life, or ask questions like why you need to switch off your ipod during take off. when people hear what i do for a living, they smile vacantly and then move on. so i thought i'd talk about my job today - whilst trying not to bore you to death.

after getting my management degree, i kind of stumbled into the first job that came along. i started off doing project admin in an software company. from there i became a operations analyst, or what people annoyingly called "back office". in time i moved on from filing and invoicing to specialising in business information and planning.
right now, i support my company's directors by taking huge amounts of data from all different sources, and turning it into something useful they can digest over a cup of tea. it's kind of like a grown up "where's wally", spotting the really interesting bits and assisting the big decisions of big business. my favourite task is to make pretty graphs that illustrate my point beautifully so i can avoid saying anything at all during meetings! sometimes i dream about spreadsheets and often i think in graphical form. i love my new ipad app, noteshelf, that allows me to doodle on graph paper til my hearts content, but sometimes i really do feel like a nerd!

so that's what i do. it's not quite flying through the sky, but then again, i hate that popping feeling in my ears.

{em} x

Friday, 5 August 2011

30 day photo challenge. days 1 to 5

hi there! it's finally friday night. what a long week it's been! here in lancashire it's been hot, cold, dry, wet, boring and busy! so much to contend with! i have however, managed to keep up my photo taking for the 30 day photo challenge. i used instagram on my iphone so i didn't have to lug a camera around with me (i have limited space in my handbag!).

day 1 ~ self portrait (top left). still not sure how to sort out this new hair do. i'm not really loving that flicky up thing it's doing!
day 2 ~ what i wore (top right). i just can't get enough of nautical stripes and cream trousers.
day 3 ~ clouds (bottom left). i'm spoilt for choice when it comes to clouds... silly english summers!
day 4 ~ favourite colour (bottom right). lovely brown leather monogrammed journal - such a sweet present from my darling fella.
day 5 ~ someone i love (middle). my beautiful bunnies - agatha and diggory.

oh yeah - some exciting news! i did my first guest post at desirous of everything this week. it was so difficult thinking of a topic to write about, but in the end i decided to go with what i know and talk about the simple pleasures in life. hope you have a lovely weekend full of pleasures - simple or otherwise!

{em} x

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

by my bedside

hello folks. i wanted to share with you my latest stack of reading matter.
the confession of katherine howard ~ suzannah dunn. anyone who knows me, knows i love the history, and the tudors are my favourites. this book is the perfect combination of fact and fiction, well probably more fiction to be honest. you don't have to be a history lover to enjoy this, in fact knowing the history pretty much gives away the ending.

dr yes ~ bateman. i've talked about bateman's fantastic mystery man series over and over already. i couldn't wait to read the latest addition when i saw it on the shelf, and i laughed from beginning to end. a classic!

poser ~ clare dederer. this is next my next to read. a yoga memoir. i guess it could either be great or terrible. time will tell.

beatrix potter: artist story teller, country woman ~ judy taylor. i picked this up during our trip to beatrix potter's lake district home, hill top. i'm obsessed with female literary figures of days gone by, so this is fascinating. plus loads of pictures make it a nice book for just flicking through.

so that's what's tickled my fancy recently. my birthday added a few new books to the pile which i'm looking forward to picking up... oh why aren't there more hours in the day for all this reading?

{em} x