A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 8 February 2016

This week has consisted of finishing work towards a deadline, working really hard so I hit this deadline and then realising that the deadline has been extended and I could have spent more time watching films in bed! Ah well at least it's nearly finished now and I don't have to rush. I've also been at home which has been nice dog sitting and trying to stop world war 3/cats vs dogs ensuing in my household, what a lot of fun. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Feeling better in myself- I've been feeling pretty down recently and I blamed it all on January blues but I think it was a little bit more than that. My anxiety has been nothing but high and it's just getting in the way and I was finding it harder and harder to manage it. But after many a conversation from people who I love very dearly, I've decided that it's wasteful to wallow and from now on, no matter how bad my anxiety gets I'm just going to take it as it comes and give myself sick days for when I need them (because you know it's the same as having a cold) but in the meantime, appreciate the fact that I'm not anxious that day and I can have a normal day and that feels great. (That got a little deep and cheesy for my liking, lets move along). 

- Dark Places- I finished the book and it was indeed dark in many places (see what I did there I hate myself). I loved it from start to finish even though I did have to keep reading Amy Pohler's autobiography in-between because I got too scared! Flynn's writing style is so immersive and like Gone Girl I liked the characters you're meant to hate, I love how she doesn't make decisions for you in her books. I then watched the film on the same night and was pleasantly surprised, it was less violent (which is maybe a good thing) and it did miss out some very important details, but the characters were well cast and the cinematography was unusual and really represented the twisted plot. I would definitely read the book first though. 

- Being home and being surrounded by animals- When I'm at Uni I miss my cats everyday, but I also miss dogs, you don't see a lot of dogs at Uni and when your used to walking around 11 dogs every weekend it can leave you with a dog shaped hole in your heart. A weekend of dog sitting was what I needed and also there was a horse thrown in to look after (oh country life) I had a great weekend, even though I now keep finding hay in the pockets of my coats!

- The walk I went on today- People came to view our house and I didn't really fancy being viewed along with it so I went on a walk to our local park armed with camera and sketchbook. I hadn't been to the park since the floods happened in Carlisle and apparently it was underwater, the river was still pretty high and the ground was marshy, but I managed to get some nice melancholy shots. I was surprised to look up and see hay in the trees, I'm guessing this is because of hay-bails floating and getting caught on the trees during the floods, an unusual concept when you think about it but I'm guessing bails full of hay do float? Here are my slightly sad and blue pictures:

What I have been listening to this week:

Daughter's new album is amazing and great for doing work to, a little happier than their last album but I still love it, my favourite track at the moment is Alone/With You the lyrics are really clever and although it's about questioning being in a relationship I can still kind of relate to it, maybe it's the lyric that says 'I should get a dog or something'. 


How was your Monday?

A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

This week has consisted of frantically house hunting, let downs in said house hunting and a lot of reading Japanese psychology reports on sleep disorders in children, yes what a fun week had by all. It's been stressful to say the least, but we have had a little glimmer of hope on the house front so that's hopefully going to be a little bit of good news. Here are the things that made me particularly happy this week:

-Warm salads- It's winter and the last thing you want to do is make a salad consisting only of extremely cold foods such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Warm it up abit and fry some onions and maybe some mushrooms, add spinach to the pan and dump on a tonne of quinoa, then finish with balsamic vinegar. Not the healthiest of salads but at least it's warm and comforting and wont make your teeth chatter while you're eating it. 

-Cat stickers- It's the little things and because of stress the little things have been important. I put cat stickers on my laptop, I put cat stickers on my diary, I put cat stickers on my camera, the book I'm currently reading. There are cat stickers everywhere and it brightens my day so I am happy about this situation. 

-Deutschland 83- My god this Tv series. Don't be fooled by the subtitles, they're easy to follow and it has really given me a new form of love for the German accent also it makes you feel cultured watching it because you know it's foreign and about important things that happened in history and all that jazz, but it's also got hot people and angsty teenagers. And not to mention the best 80's soundtrack since This is England and that's saying something. 

-Restorative yoga- Because my beloved beginners yoga class has been moved to Sundays and I can't attend because of work, I chose another class to attend. Restorative yoga is all about conserving energy and basically re-charging your batteries. It's a much slower practice and focuses more on breathing, you stay in poses for up to 20 minutes, focusing only on your breath. I thought I would hate it and find it boring but honestly it has made such a difference to a stressful week, just having an hour and a quarter to breath with your legs in the air and calming voices being nice to you is all you need to get through a bad week. I would really recommend this to people who tend to get stressed easier than others, especially people with an anxiety disorder, focusing on your breathing is one of the most important steps to recovery. 

How was your Monday?


Treasure Hunt | December/January

Sunday, 31 January 2016

I don't want this to be a 'show off' post at all, but I just wanted to share with you what I have been collecting over December and January. Yes some of these items were Christmas presents, but some of them were also bought with my hard earned money so you know, best of both worlds. There are also some items missing from here that I want to talk about but they just wouldn't fit into the photo, or they exist in the world of the tinternet', shall we crack along?

1. Target Plant pot (Nice hair)
Whilst I was in Ireland, I was introduced to the Ikea hybrid that is Target. I immediately fell in love with the shop and I loved the irrelevant quirkiness of the things they sell. I picked up this plant pot as an impulse buy and as soon as I saw it I thought to myself 'must buy succulent to look like hair' and that is indeed what I did. I think he is just a bit of fun and fits very nicely into my strange room aesthetic, He doesn't yet have a name so if you have any suggestions you know? 

2. The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness
My Mum got me this for Christmas because in her own words 'this is you to a tee' cheers Mum. This book is hilarious though, they take old ladybird pictures and pair them with statements, in this case about mindfulness. it contains quotes such as:

"Sophie is concentrating on her breath. It smells like Frazzles. She says she has light for breakfast, air for lunch and love for supper, but Sophie has also secretly had some Frazzles."

Genius. There is a whole series of these books and I urge you to pick them all up they brighten even the darkest of days. 

3. New 2016 Diary 
My usual diary people Flow sold their diaries so fast this year that they became out of stock before December! I was lost, didn't know how to organise myself without lists on pretty pages. I searched high and low and settled on this Kikki.K Diary from Sweden  and it answered all of my prayers. That is after I managed to prize the parcel from the hands of my neighbour, who refused to answer the door for a week to me frantically knocking so I could organise my life again! The police were nearly called but they eventually gave it me after being cornered coming out of the house and I could carry on living my life in an organised, stylish, pretty-pictures-on-paper fashion. 

4. Soap & Glory Perfect 10 Eye-shadow Palette 
This was one of the many lovely Christmas presents I got from Gareth for Christmas and it really is perfect. I used all the shades constantly since getting it. My pet hate is when you see these beautiful palettes with lovely colours, but there's always that one colour that's like bright green or blue (no offence if you wear those colours on your eyes, good for you! I just personally can't pull them off) and it puts you off from buying it. With this palette there's none of that, there's an equal selection of matte and shimmer and the shimmer ones aren't really over the top, just enough shimmer to make it classy. Most of the tones are earthy browns or pinks and there's a coal'y colour at the end, my favourite tones that I wear everyday are cream soda and toasty, but I have been experimenting with pinkier tones and even shimmer in the daytime, how daring! This palette has definitely become a staple in my makeup bag and it doesn't look like it's going to run out anytime soon, nice going Gareth for spotting this because I had no idea it existed.     

5.LUSH Unicorn Horn Bubblebar 
I actually picked this up today, but I already know before I even use it, it's going to be one of my favourite bubblebars. It's that ylang ylang oil, every Lush product with that stuff in just sends me to the moon when I smell it. It's part of their Valentines Day range I think, but I like it because it's not proper in your face with the smell of roses, it isn't bright pink and it doesn't really make me think of Valentines, which is a good thing because you know my feelings on that day! I'm very excited to use this either tomorrow or tonight and I think because it is pretty big and long, it'll last me around 4 baths, super scrimper over here. 

6. Vegan Dr Martens 
These were my main Christmas present and I remember ordering them around October time and being so excited. They haven't left my feet since, they are honestly the comfiest things I've had on my feet, I was kind of dreading to go through the 'break in' process of Dr Martens like my last ones, but because these are vegan, they are much softer underfoot. People keep telling me they wont last as long as my leather ones did, but I am hopeful for them, they've already seen a lot of mud and even snow already and they seem to be pretty alright with it. After wearing Dr Martens for years it's so nice to have some back on my feet, I feel at home in my own shoes again, also I can now wear an infinite number of garish cozy socks again, the perks of high ankle boots! 

I have also been enjoying my gorgeous new laptop that I got for Christmas as a surprise from my parents (no more Mr Pink!) and I think it has given me a new motivation to blog more, I think it might be the keyboard, it's so clicky! I've also succumbed to Windows 10 and am actually happy with this situation, after years of Windows 6/7 it's a great change! 

Also can we talk about Making a Murderer, my god I loved that TV series so much. I love documentaries that make you think and in this you basically play the role of a detective, a real old fashioned 'who did it'. I'm also reading 'Dark Places' by Gillian Flynn which is all about murder and wrong convictions, so I am really immersed in the forensic side at the moment, just call me chief detective Ciara!

What was your favourite treasure?

Songs for // January Blues

Monday, 25 January 2016

I might be a little late to this seems as it wont be January soon, but I am adamant that the January blues lasts for longer than a month. Christmas is over and we all have to get back into our routines, it's cold, it's dark and it's just been abit shit. For me personally this has probably been one of the worst January's to date, I've had to get used to living without Gareth again after Christmas, my work load is huge, un-wanted appointments are crowding up my social life and don't even talk about the housing situation I am in right now. Ugh you know what I need, a really good playlist with all new music and some ukele riffs. So that my dears is what I have created for us all to enjoy (don't thank me too much you know). This playlist has a little bit of everything and an enormous amount of hope for the new music of 2016, it's got upbeat tunes but it also has some sad ones, I always think it's important to not ignore your emotions, embrace them and if that means wailing to Isaac Gracie's new song then let it be that. I also have added some slightly older tracks but they are known to always pick me up, who could make a playlist with ukulele tracks and not add a TOP song?! Tom Rosenthal's music is my new favourite thing and I think that it really sums up January for me and his lyrics are relatable to the month. Sunflower Bean are my new favourite thing they're like a grungy Smiths with a female singer and that makes me very happy. And I had to add Alessia Cara because she knows how it feels to arrive at a shit house party in January! I hope you enjoy this playlist and it makes January a little more bearable:


Lets all stick together and get over these blues in due time. 

A Not So Blue Monday

Well it's been a long ol' while, I seemed to have hit a blogging writer's block and just became disinterested in it. But after settling back into Uni after Christmas I've decided to give it another go, I have missed it. Over Christmas I had a great time hanging out with family and friends, eating everything in sight and watching shit telly (what else is Christmas for?). After Christmas I was greeted with a whole lot of personal stress, which took up a lot of my time, but now that has slightly settled, it's time to get into the swing of things again. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Eating out twice in a week- When being away from Toby's and Nandos for almost a month, it only felt right to demolish meals from both one day after another! 

- Dark Places- The next Gillian Flynn novel to be turned into a film. It's miserable and dark with a bit of murder slipped in, just the way I like it. 

- Speaking of murder, Making a Murderer's good eh- We watched the whole series within three days, couldn't get enough, I love a good dose of mis-justice! My opinion? Avery was targeted because he was rural and ignorant, the police thought they had the upper hand, it was definitely Teresa's brother and he planted that key, fo' sho'. 

- Night outs in the snow- Yes, we braved the bad weather for cocktails, they must have been good cocktails, to be honest I can't really remember!

- Room- It is one of my favourite books of all time and now the film is one of favourite films of all time. It stayed very close to the book and didn't miss out any important details, the cinematography and the acting were top notch! Love love love. 

What I have been listening to:

Tom Rosenthal - He's big on Youtube and that's where I found him, his lyrics are clever and his tunes are whimsical and he has been the sound track to my week of lying in bed and feeling sorry for myself. 

I'm happy to be back 
How was your Monday?

A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Wow I'm feeling Chritmassy' totally Christmassy', which is un-like me, working in retail normally makes you hate Christmas but not this year. I think it's because I have lots of plans for Christmas and I can't wait for this work load to disappear, it might also be to do with the fact that we're having a Christmas jumper party at our house tomorrow and I am very excited, we've even decced' out the house already and I've Christmas-afied my nails! I think we need to calm down in this house. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Silent Discos- Before Saturday I had never ventured into the world of 'silent disco' and I was very excited and apprehensive. But now, I love them they're hilarious! If you don't know what a silent disco is, you get a set of headphones with a certain number of channels (depending on how big the disco is) this one was pretty small so there were two channels, one with pop and one with more alternative music. The best thing to do when at a silent disco is to take off your headphones just before a kickass chorus and you can hear everybody just going for it, but there's no music, it;s bloody great. 

- The American Office- I know I'm supposed to be always doing work, but sometimes you just need a break and I needed a new program to start. I've heard a lot about this show and people always recommend it to me. I now know why, it's so funny and clever and so much better than the UK version! I love Steve Carrell so much and his comedies so cringey and great and the structure of the program is so unusual. The only thing I can say about it that's slightly bad is that sometimes it's so cringey that I have to literally hide under my blanket! Cant's cope. 

- Christmas shopping- I tend to do it early, but I haven't this year. So I started this week and I actually bought my first ever present for a child! Gareth's niece is 3 and she loves jigsaws so I bought her this gorgeous 3D jigsaw treehouse, I think I bought it because I secretly want to build it now! I feel like a real adult, also I bought a deodorant for the fridge the other day, what have I become?!

What I have been listening to:

I hate myself for this and I blame my pal Amy at Uni but - Justin Bieber

I know, I know I never thought I would ever say this, but his new album, there's so many tunes and I just can't ignore him anymore. So after a car journey with Amy and Justin's album I went home and listened to it properly and even watched all the music videos (what have I become ?!) I'm not ashamed anymore, the tunes in that album are brilliant, oh god. 

How was your Monday?