Friday, 30 September 2011

fill in the blanks friday

hello - i haven't played along with fill in the blanks for ages! where has the last month disappeared to?

1} my current obsession is 'downton abbey'. each new episode is the highlight of my week, and i nerdily watch the repeat to make sure i didn't miss anything the first time round. i treated myself to the boxset of the first season so i can re-watch it - maybe i'll get it on my ipad and watch at the gym.

2} bunnies make me happy. (i always have to get something bunny related in my blanks)

3} my greatest strength is my ability to be alone. i believe everyone should learn to enjoy their own company.

4} insecurity is my greatest weakness. there are so many things i would try if i was sure i wouldn't upset or offend anyone with my presence. i'd love to be a more confident person.

5} my life is the most exciting it has ever been right now. christmas is only 12 weeks away, there's a wedding on the horizon and the possibilities for adventure seem endless.

6} in high school i was always the new girl. i attended more schools than i can remember. being the newbie gave me instant identity.

7} when i'm super tired - beware! i'm mean, crabby and moody.


prompts from the little things we do.

Monday, 26 September 2011

unRemarkable post no. 100

wow - i made it to triple figures. welcome to my 100th post!

since my first post over 7 months ago i've:

~ posted 8 scrapbook pages
~ talked about dozens of books
~ made 1 big announcement
~ charted 30 days of lists
~ received 122 comments
~ played along with the 30 day photo challenge
~ shared 4 "10 things on the 10th" lists
~ spent 10 fridays filling in the blanks
~ written 9 "week in my life" posts
~ shared hundreds of photos
~ found many blogging friends

i hope you've enjoyed all this as much as i have! i owe a big thank you to those of you who read my simple musings and every bit of feedback means a lot to me. i'd love it if you left me a comment today to say that you are reading. i'll be taking some time this week to pop around all my blog friends parts of the web so just let me know where to go and i'll be along shortly! i might even bring cake.

hope you have a marvellous week & stay tuned for the next 100.

{em} x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

september scrapbooking

i've finally had some time to add some pages to my scrapbook. i'm trying to cut down my enormous stash of scrapbooking supplies, so i'm telling myself that fiddling with bits of paper is a useful way to spend my time. how else am i supposed to keep it under control!
i've been trying to incorporate more patterned papers into my layouts. i love these floral designs from american crafts, i almost didn't want to cut them up. anyway, my album of our florida holiday is filling up nicely now. thank goodness for rainy english weekends.

{em} x

Friday, 23 September 2011

bokeh beauties

i've been playing with putting bokeh overlays on my photos in photoshop elements. i've had this tutorial pinned for ages and finally got around to trying it out. i can't believe i've been missing this trick until now. look what it does...

don't you agree it gives a boring picture a little extra... something?

you can find the tutorial i used here and it even includes a free texture to use. enjoy!

{em} x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

one of my {many} pet hates!

~ please close the loop

~ what's your bandwidth?

~ can we touch base?

~ take it offline

~ give me a heads up

~ just FYI

~ cover it off

~ let's circle back

~ escalate the issue

what's with all this workplace jargon? working in a busy office, i hear myself saying some of this nonsense and it drives me mad.

"with the ambulance chasing approach we can pick the low hanging fruit and hit the ground running". EH??? oh why can't we talk in proper english from 9-5?

thank you for allowing me to get that off my chest.

{em} x

Monday, 19 September 2011

a lovely september week

hi folks. well it's monday again already. before i get stuck into the week, i wanted to recap on the last 7 days for a bit of reflection!

this week i:

~ have been totally loving this weather. it's crisp and sunny and fills me with excitement for my favourite season.

~ watched the new jane eyre film at the cinema. i thought it was beautiful from beginning to end and feel it was faithful enough to the book to keep the purists happy! i wanted to curl up in that film and stay there.

~ {speaking of books} i've started planning my own reading challenge for next year which i can't wait to tell you more about closer to the time.

~ helped my sister move off to uni. she's going to the same university that i attended several years ago. it was weird going back there, and even weirder leaving my baby sister behind for all that 'freshers week' holds for her.

in other news, i'm coming close to my 100th post. i'm looking forward to my little milestone!

{em} x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

pins and needles

well hello there lovelies. what have you been up to this weekend? i've been slaving over my sewing machine making this little purse; a special order for my sister.

i used this tutorial from noodlehead. the fabric is a chopped up old sundress, so it only cost me a few hours of time and a zip (well actually 2 zips, as i made a right hash of the first attempt and ended up abandoning it).

i don't claim to be a great seamstress, but i do get a wonderful satisfaction out of sewing. seeing something like this come together feels like such a productive way to spend my free time, and at the end i have a lovely little gift to give someone special. don't you think handmade gifts are just the best?

if you like to make little purses like i do, check out my collection of online tutorials on pinterest.

{em} x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

wedding junkie!

well since my big engagement i've obviously had one thing on my mind: weddings! i've always had this suspicion that being engaged would be the best time of my life and now that i'm living it, it feels pretty damn good. i love to think of all the good stuff ahead, so much so that i'm not in a rush to get on with any of it. i'm savouring the moment! while i'm in this happy period, i thought this might be a good place to occasionally share some wedding inspiration. please feel free to tell me to "shhhh" if i get carried away. 

as the blogosphere is always my best source of inspiration, my first "wedding junkie" task is to seek out some awesome wedding blogs to add to my reader. so far i'm loving:

~ 'i do' it yourself. for some great wedding DIY ideas

~ the loveliest day. lots of dreamy photo inspiration

~ style me pretty. check out the real wedding galleries

~ once wed. page upon page of wedding ideas for your viewing pleasure

can you recommend anywhere else i can go for my wedding inspiration hit? i'm afraid of going mad on magazines just yet, as once i start i don't think i'll be able to stop!

{em} x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

review: poser

i know this isn't a literary blog. it certainly isn't a yoga blog. but just because i like to keep you on your toes, today i want to talk about a yoga memoir i have been reading lately.

in waterstones, poser by claire dederer was shelved in the spirituality section. maybe it had been put in the wrong spot, but i don't think this is a book about yoga. this is a book about the trials of a modern mother and wife against the background of her discovery of a hobby which is sweeping the western world.

dederer writes about her life in a way that balances the intriguing and the mundane, which kept me both interested and identifying with her experiences. now balancing a career in writing with the usual family tribulations, her hippy-ish upbringing is the most fascinating element to the book, (to me anyway - a child of the 80's) but her tone is often disapproving of the lifestyle imposed on her, and the feminist choices made by women during the 1970s. she adds an interesting social commentary to the book's flavour, but it is in no way unbiased.

my only criticism is that the attempt to tie each chapter to a specific pose feels tenuous in places and a cynic would see it as a guise to set poser aside from other titles of it's genre by milking the yoga connection. however, with a good balance of engaging and informative it's possible to slip into poser more like a novel than a biographical work. the "characters" are large as life and dederer's yogic and family experiences are written equally lovingly. if you're looking for an easy breezy real life read, i don't think you'll be disappointed.

{em} x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saturday, 10 September 2011

10 things... to do instead of watching tv

hello! well it's the 10th again. my google analytics dashboard tells me that these "10 things" posts are consistently getting the more hits than any others. talk about pressure!

today i decided to write about things to do instead of watching tv. don't get me wrong, we have more than one tv in my house, and i love nothing more than an episode of the simpsons, but i also try very hard to keep a good balance between that and some more wholesome activities. so on to this month's ten things...

1} listen to music. and i mean really listen. turn the lights down and listen to the words. dance in your living room.

2} read a book. i posted my latest must read list a few months ago. pick up a book and really get lost in it. read your favourite childhood book and remember how it made you feel the first time.
3} write a letter. seriously, i can't remember the last time i wrote a proper letter. i do know i have a huge stack of beautiful writing paper just waiting to be used. i miss the excitement of finding an envelope on the mat (or one that wasn't a bill anyway). take some time to write to someone you love, stick a stamp on it and make someone's day.

4} get outdoors. climb a hill, walk a dog, see how fast you can run then recover while having a picnic in the sun. i can't wait to crunch through the leaves under my feet and feel that chill in the air this autumn. here are some of my favourite ideas.

5} learn a new skill. have you looked how much free stuff there is out there on the internet? you can learn almost any language, learn to cook, learn to code, learn to sew, all with free online resources. the bbc has a great website i've been using to keep up with my french.

6} make a scrapbook. save money by making your own "smash book". stick in all those ticket stubs and shopping lists that gather at the bottom of your handbag. make a record of your life right now using words and pictures and crayons if you like!

7} play a game. why save board games for christmas or card games for casinos? get some friends together for a game night. make nibbles and a score board but try not to let the competition get the better of you!

8} do something crafty. check out craft gossip for a squillion ideas for things to make. i find there's something incredibly soothing about making things with my own hands. even if they do turn out wonky and imperfect. and i always think a friend who doesn't appreciate a hand made gift isn't worth having!

9} redecorate using stuff you already have. pop a new picture in a frame, make a display out of your favourite books, move around your bits and pieces so you notice them and enjoy them again. surround yourself with things that make you happy.

10} read my blog, leave a comment, say hello, or if you want to make me really happy, click to be a follower over on the side bar!

sorry about that last sneaky one - i couldn't resist! if you haven't done already, check out other "10 things" posts over at shimelle's blog.

{em} x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

just because we Cannes...

just because we Cannes...
just because we Cannes... by unremarkablegirl 

did i mention i'm going to cannes this weekend? it does sound like i have a jet set life doesn't it! i promise it's not as exciting as it sounds.

you know who else was in cannes recently? my daring leonardo di caprio was snapped on a yacht during the film festival with his other half, blake lively. i'll forgive him for cheating on me this once, i just can't resist that floppy hair.

it already feels autumnal here in lancashire, but the forecast tells me it'll be 26 degrees in the south of france. a lot of outfit planning is needed! so this is my blake lively inspired outfit for a weekend in cannes.

what are you up to this weekend?

{em} x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

judging a book by it's cover

look at the most unremarkable book that i found in waterstones...
... classic books with blank covers so you can design them yourself. genius! have a look at the illustrations uploaded by some budding artists in the online gallery.

i love this idea and the creativity it could inspire. but a huge part of me would struggle to get past that feeling that drawing on books is seriously naughty. was it just me or as a child was writing more than your name in a book a crime? even now i struggle to under-line things in text books as i'd rather not "ruin" them.

perhaps i should treat myself to one of these as a kind of therapy! i love it when book shopping sounds medicinal!

i hope you're having a lovely week.

{em} x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

this week... (engagement special!)

this week i...

~ did a lot of celebrating of our recent engagement.

~ had my ring resized so i can wear it without worrying it will fly off my finger

~ have been in love with this song by luke bryan. luke - where have you been all my life?

~ took the facbook purity test and got 87% which means i'm pretty damn pure. thank you hairpin.

~ made the scary move from pc to mac as my dell has almost completely given up on life.

what have you done this week?

{em} x

Friday, 2 September 2011

an unforgettable weekend in paris

sooooooooooo... today i want to tell you guys all about our wonderful weekend in paris.

we flew out of manchester and into charles de gaulle on saturday morning. the flight was only an hour and all the cabin crew were all sexy french guys! we stayed at the fantastic hotel bellechasse, which is a little boutique hotel right behind the musee d'orsay. the rooms are insanely cool, each one designed by christian lacroix. ours was in the rafters so we had a sky light above the bed and a crazy papered wall.

we headed off for a stroll along the seine towards notre dame, but soon the sky clouded over and our walk turned into a huddle under the brolly, and jumping between shop awnings for shelter. as we arrived at notre dame, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. we spent an hour taking silly pictures before heading back to the hotel for a nap.

my fella had booked us into restaurant du palais royal for dinner. the food was lovely and the service was great (despite some less favourable reviews i had read on trip advisor). towards the end of the meal he pulled the ring out of his pocket and made me an offer i couldn't refuse. after i recovered from the shock, (and said yes, of course) on we went to the hemingway bar at the ritz pairs, where the champagne was already on ice. talk about swish! there were so many mirrors in the bathroom i thought i may never find my way out. by 1 in the morning, the far side of a bottle of wine, a bottle of champagne and a selection of cocktails (some of which i spilt all down me - doh!) we staggered back to our hotel.

the original plan for sunday was to spend the day at versailles, but with the impromptu late night and drinks overload, it was late morning before we finally set off. we wandered down rue royale for some breakfast and picked up a couple of boxes of macaroons to bring home from laduree. then we hopped on a train to versailles.

versailles is one of my favourite places in the world. i went and explored the whole place a few years ago and couldn't wait to go back. as we were running low on time this time, we headed straight through the amazing gardens to the petite trianon and it's own gardens, as they were designed by marie antoinette. i find this whole place just magical. my favourite being the not so miniature village, where the young queen would play pretend at being a country milkmaid.

that evening we went to a tiny little pizza place on a back street i could never find again. walking back to the hotel, we were standing on a bridge over the seine, just as the lights began to twinkle on the eiffel tower in the distance. at that moment i felt ever so happy. happy to be in paris, to be with my fella, to be me.

don't you agree paris is just a little bit magic?

{em} x