Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Rounding up & off 2014.

It's weird how fast a year flies by, how one moment you have ages to wait until flipflop weather & the next it's been & gone & Christmas has launched itself at you, with all the stress it can bring & the frivolity it will bring & then it's the last day of the year & you're a little flummoxed by how that happened.

So with my bags packed ready for throwing myself off to my brother's & his wife's to ring in the beginning of 2015 with the pair of them, my other brother & his girlfriend & 4 of their friends (& of course 2 dogs & a pregnancy bump) I thought I'd take a moment to launch some moments from 2014 together in a rounding up & off of the year that it was.

January 2014:

Siamese boy discovering he was just tall enough at 3 months old to reach the top of the fish tank; this was also the same point he started climbing up the curtains & life would never be relaxed again! Last month of life at the wine bar; end of shift doodles & wine; even now I have moments of missing being there & the staff who were there with me at that time.

February 2014:

February was a month of oversized sunnies & spectacles; of different hats, long walks, train journeys & bowler hats, it was also the month where my time at the wine bar ended. 

March 2014:

My gorgeous lilac bantam cockerel was potentially the most cuddly creature ever, little odd considering perhaps but we all adored him & he was a willing shoulder sitter, cuddle giver & ever patient listening ear. March also saw me get my first purchase from We Are Hairy People; this lush cardigan with teeny tiny deer allover it. I loved it but alas I went away & my mother washed it on high heat & tumble dried it & it is now nothing more then a grey cardi.

April 2014:

Evenings spent with the then boy were always lovely, sometimes a day can't end better then with The Thomas Crown Affair, cuddles, comfy bed times. Yes I still miss those moments. April was also a good old time for coffee catch ups with people I adore who live a little further away; such as my darling friend Bobkins. 

May 2014:

May was a month that made me all aware I was coming closer to the end of that particular course; had fantastic weather, saw lots of assessments, pub garden evenings with the warmer longer evenings, good friends, my 'mr' at the time & the promise of an escape to Sardinia inching closer bit by bit, which was really needed as it was also the month that we lost Grandpa.

June 2014:

Hello Sardinian sunshine; a gorgeous wedding, fantastic company, one of my best friends (often known as the 'wife'), her man, my then man, beaches, amazing food, scenery. It was the most lovely little mini break, enabling us to come back bronzed & a little more chilled . . . for a bit.

July 2014:

Not my favourite ending to a month; end of a relationship; this led to manic walking; borrowing ma's dogs, endless paper crane making desperate distractions & a plethora of tears. Downside . . . it wasn't clear cut, made no sense to me, came out of the blue & went on to get a little messy in my brain/emotions.

August 2014:

Birthday drinks in a favourite pub for a friends birthday, complete with my 'wife', pints of Lillies - amazing cider, chatting & being with good company. A once in a lifetime experience of the Sandhurst Officers Commissioning Ball; because my brother was commissioning; amazing experience, chance to wear 2 different outfits, 2 different sets of shoes & go all out. Lots of fun & a great distraction. 

September 2014:

Coffee with mini soya milk bottles; in a fantastic coffee hide out, one of the many in my little city & family tree moments, memories, reminiscing sessions, this was my beautiful granny.

October 2014:

Odd moments of working whilst B&B 'sitting'; strange thing to have been asked to do, but amazing to have been able to stay in The Black Hole when it was still very new, plus coffee on tap, an Aga & a pub next door makes working evenings rather fun & yes desperate figure wobbles & a need to increase dire fitness, back to the running world.

November 2014:

I turned 29 on Bonfire night; enter panic stations over the ever quickening pace of years passing & the realisation that I was only a year away from 30; that's a terrifying thought when you are just not ready. So in protest; I dyed my hair lilac & spent many evenings with coffee, wine & olives with the 'wife', my housemate & dancing like my life depended upon it at 'heartbreak hotel' nights at The Railway.

December 2014:

Then December came; end of 2014 a time for excessive amounts of mulled wine, red wine, mulled cider & so much more, of making ceramic christmas decorations from scratch, throwing baileys in coffee & watching tragic films whilst decorating the christmas tree.

Random things I've learnt in 2014:

* Sex doesn't mend a broken heart; nor does it mean that person loves you or cares about you, it also confuses things a lot emotionally.
* Sometimes people are braver then they think they are capable of being; in the same way some are more supportive & others more selfish & usually in ways you had expected to be the opposite of what it was.
* A soya dirty chai latte can fix a lot of stroppy moments, even if momentarily.
* Old habits or coping mechanisms die hard.
* The busier you are the happier you might randomly end up being.
* Drunk people are not always fun.
* Sometimes nothing beats an incredibly hot shower.
* My hair is a pain in the arse to attempt to dye; especially when you want to dye it lilac.
* Loving a job does not mean it is a job that is financially viable & realising that can be gut wrenching.
* At times the positives & exciting areas of others lives you will genuinely be happy about but they will crush bits of you & without warning reduce you to tears.
* Unexpected people can come to mean a great deal to you & you will find at times you miss them at the oddest times. 
* Nipple piercing are a nightmare to heal & can catch with all too much regularity.
* A cuddle can make a big difference.
* Don't go through scary patches entirely alone, it's a horrible experience.
* Cats are both fantastic but also beyond odd.
* Sometimes debates are not debates, when the levels of knowledge on subjects or opinions are outnumbered.

Bits of 2014 I am totally sad to say goodbye to but mostly it's just another year & one that had too many lows & struggles in one way or another. The laughs I will love having had, the cuddles, kisses, the moments of potential insanity, but it is just a year & I think I am very much ready for a new one. 

Are you sad to see 2014 head off? Are you looking forward to a new year?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Thank you letters are important.

Courtesy of We Heart It.

I am someone that had thank you letters & the importance of them drilled into my very being from birth onwards & I mean drilled, so I came to really value them, I love letters in general both getting them & writing them.

From the start anytime we got a gift, stayed at someone's house, had a birthday or a christmas, letters were written & lists of who gave what to whom were created & pleasingly crossed off with every letter completed, addressed & stamped ready to send. I don't write a quick thank you, I tend to add a few snippets about Christmas or similar & ask after the person I am writing to; I am not a fan of a 'one size fits all' letter, in the same way I don't send round robins or newsletters - they bore me & feel hideously impersonal.

So today here I sit after 3 'christmas days'; the wonders of 2 brothers with a wife & girlfriend & 2 parents who are divorced & have remarried, in the comfiest, sloppiest attire & warm slippers, large steaming mugs of (regularly microwaved) coffee & a selection of differing notecards, paper & pens & I am all set to continue to tradition of writing to those who thought of me this year. Yes even my parents get thank you letters.

Laundry is being done, bed is made & although I have a plethora of other things to do over the next few days, including celebrating new year with family, writing other 'just because' letters, applying for jobs & doing tasks related to upcoming interviews, thank you letters have taken first place on the to do list, in part because I loathe the idea of people ever thinking I take things for granted or don't care that they thought of me.

So I was wondering, are thank you letters still important in today's society? Do people still write them? Do you write them & do you ever receive them?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Wish List.

Courtesy of We Heart It.

So Christmas is really very close now, most people I know will have done all of their gift shopping, organising & wrapping by now, but there is still time to catch Father Christmas prior to Christmas Eve hence doing a wish list for Christmas. I am still baffled by how fast it has come around, odd knowing that in 4 days the Christmas market will have ended & it will start being taken down. 

Anyway, before I get distracted by other topics, onwards & upwards with the Christmas wish list that would make me very happy if Father Christmas & his elves fancy it. 

These are things that are the difficult to buy or can't buy items (pictures are courtesy of we heart it), English Setter Puppy - I adore these dogs, completely & utterly adore them, always have done & would love one of my own one day, If Christmas morning could start like this for me with a particular person & then mornings to follow, I know who this person is, they know who they are alas at present it's not an option, nor is a cuddle from them but patience & all that & finally a proper Christmas day, I know I won't have one of those this year as my brothers & I will be dotted about, so where I will be with ma on Christmas day they are not, for me dotted about on Christmas day is a little weird, so my Christmas will be occurring on Boxing Day I guess. 

Not on the High Street: Giraffe Art Print; £25, Hangit Photo Display; £28, Lace Papel Picardo Tissue Garland; £20 & Set of Mini Kiko Frames; £24.95.

ASOS: Trousers in Midi Length; £22, Velvet Kimono Duster; £75, Mary-Kate Frill Edge Bra; £16 & Mary-Kate Brazailian; £8 & Maxi Dress with High Neck in Bird Print; £65.

So there we are, some of the bits I'd quite like for Christmas, granted you can add to that with other bits; a rocking chair (itching for one of these), a kindle, an iPad would be fantastically useful with life, work etc, ChloĆ© perfume, other perfumes, perhaps shares in tights would be wise as somehow I keep laddering mine immensely & getting holes in the toes & random bits & bobs. 

What are you hoping to get in your stocking this year? 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Not on The High Street Christmas Decoration Wish List.

So it's the first weekend of December, houses all over the world are slowly but surely getting decorated in a myriad of different ways, Christmas cards have started plopping through letter boxes asking to be pinned up & around to ooze festive cheer, so I am doing what I do best on a Friday . . . lusting & creating mental wish lists. This time, for Christmas decorations I'd love to have in my house if Not on The High Street were decorating for me.

For the tree:

Bristle Red Nose Reindeer Decoration; £11, Christmas Nativity Wreath; £15, 32 Red & White Christmas Bell Decorations; £12 & Christmas Reindeer Decoration Sewing Kit; £3.95

Cream Wooden Christmas Tree Decorations; £2.50, Felt Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations; £6, Grow Your Own Christmas Tree; £2.50 & Woodland Reindeer Christmas Tree Decoration; £4.

Stockings & Sacks:

Personalised Christmas Bow Stocking; £35, Hessian Christmas Toy Bag Sack; £10, Personalised Pet Stocking; £25 & Wooden Alpine Sleigh Gift Holder; £195. 

Counting down:

Christmas Advent Candle Mulled Cider; £15, Rusty Bucket Advent Calendar; £39 & Natural Wood Light Up Advent House; £65.

Wreaths & Garlands:

Berry & Pine Christmas Garland; £14, Hessian Tree Print Bunting; £8.99, Christmas Star Garland; £22, Large Brussel Sprout Wreath; £39 & Twig & Berry Christmas Garland; £28. 

& to end finally, for the house:

Christmas Candle Holder & Treat Dish; £23.50, Christmas Deer Wheat Heat Bag; £14, Oak Wooden Letters; £7.75 each & Christmas Tree Scentsicles; £11.

So what would you get to aid your festive feelings when decorating this month from Not On The High Street, or other favourites you might have? I strongly suggest a dose of Soya Hot Chocolate with Baileys & Christmas songs or The Muppet's Christmas Carol whilst you decorate. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Prior to 30 I'd like to . . .

Having a hope or a list doesn't necessarily make the contents come into fruition, but without a starting point, even if only a mental one, nothing can come to be. So sometimes you have to at least put the beginning of the wheels in motion process in well motion. 

So here are some of the things I'd like to do, or start doing or working towards prior to turning that utterly ghastly & somewhat scary number that is 30.

- Learn to drive (yes finally!)
- Ride a unicycle & nail it.
- Try to learn to be a little kinder to me.
- Apply for my next course on the pathway towards qualifying as a counsellor.
- Make a plethora of fantastic memories & experiences with people I love & who are important to me.
- Move house into a house where I can have my siamese back with me.
- Work out who is really important to me & my life & try to be more ruthless with those that just cause energy to be zapped & upset; 30 will be a big number so perhaps culling will be necessary.
- Try to work out what is really important to me & who I want to be as a person in all life areas.
- Read the books I always wanted to read but put off or 'didn't have time' for.
- Quit smoking; got to try to save my face & body somehow & I've been smoking for a little too long.
- Create a blog space I can enjoy, be dedicated to & to a degree be proud of.
- Do more of what I love, with who I love or with myself; creating, art, projects, fashion, writing, dreaming, drawing, walking, etc
- Actually do some saving!
- Get a job that doesn't leave me in the precarious positions that this job has done financially; hard situation when you love a job but it is making survival hard.
- Be braver; in life, with a blog, with myself, my heart, with experiences, with telling the truth & not always being who people need me to be but who I am . . . eeek!!
- Have a Canopy & Stars long weekend away.
- Have a long weekend or a week's holiday with the 'wife' again, we haven't done that in 2 years & we had a giggle last time. Sometimes making time for girlfriends is important.
- Go to at least 2 festivals this year.
- Take photos; keep mementos, make memories, capture all sorts.
- Get the 4-6 pack I used to have back; even if getting there slightly kills me.
- Detox on a month by month basis; sometimes you have to acknowledge that you are ageing & your system will eventually not allow you to consume alcohol in quite the same 'untouchable' ways.
- Zentangle a day.
- Properly start keeping personal journals again.
- Get back into swimming again & generally massively boost fitness & erase wobbly areas.
- Risk getting hurt again; some guys are not the right ones, I guess no matter how much that might hurt I have to risk or be willingly to risk the hurt that can again come from putting my heart out there & hoping.
- Get another tattoo that I have designed & ideally get a friend to do it for me.
- See friends, ring friends, Skype, text & write to friends with far more oompf then I have managed as of late. Important people may not always know you think they are important if you don't remind them.
- Be more of the person I want to be in all areas; style, lifestyle, events, experiences, manners, activities etc then the person I seem to have allowed people to determine me to be & in turn spend more time on those who love me for me & let me be the person I am; layers, henna & all.
- Do, or at least train for, a marathon.
- Go horse riding again even if only a few times & not how often I used to; I miss it.
- Learn a language; if possible 2.
- Attempt to learn sign language.

There are numerous other things I have to put on this list, but for now it feels daunting enough to see the list & to accept that I'll be turning 30 sooner then I would like.

Would you have a list of things that you'd consider doing pre 30? Does age matter that much? Is it really worth being daunted by?

Monday, 24 November 2014

50 Random Things.

... about me.

This has no real purpose behind it other than I wanted to write a random list of random things about me, a way of giving maybe a better picture of the person behind the strange blithering & waffling that may find they become this blogging area of the world & also I just fancied doing it, sometimes you have to go with the little things you just 'fancy' doing, don't you?

1. I have a great obsession with Giraffes; I utterly adore them, always have & potentially always will. Ideally one day I'd love to visit Giraffe Manor so that I can say I have, there is something about them that for some strange reason I can't point my finger on, but whatever it is I am besotted with this enormous necked mammals. Pictures are courtesy of We Heart It unless I say they are my own.

2. My birthday is on Bonfire Night (November 5th) & so fireworks feel special to me; yes they do make my jump out of my skin at times, but the small of bonfires, the moments of playing with sparklers, the 'ohs' & 'has' & the fact that chances are I am bitterly cold at the time but aware that a drink somewhere will be waiting for me, I love it all.

3. I doodle chronically; patterns, mandalas, zentangle, on brown paper, lined paper, homemade paper, as long as there is a pen in my hand chances are I will end up doodling some picture or another. Most who know me are very aware of this & some who know me very well know when it's just a doodle & where it's a 'Lucie is really peeved/hurt/angry doodle', yes there are differences.

4. I am barely 5ft 1 in height with size 3 feet, it does not make the high shelves in shops all that easy to get to, stubbornness means I will probably battle about attempting it for a while until a tall person, usually a middle aged man, decides I need assistance, but shelves aside it's at times lovely being little, yes I'd like a bit more height, but VAT free bits from the children section is not always a bad thing, as long as you choose wisely.

5. Worms make me nauseous. I don't know what it is about them but they absolutely turn my skin, have been known to make me cry & make me retch, snakes I can do but worms . . . barf.

6. I adore snail mail; writing it & sending it & of course receiving it. I think it is a great lost art that people should do more of, there is something nice about having a bit of time you are genuinely giving both to yourself (in getting comfy, sitting down, having a mug of coffee) & to the person you are writing the letter to. Personal letters on nice paper or cards are certainly nicer to receive then bills or bank statements & yes I do still write thank you letters - I think they are important.

7. I have Julie Andrews' autograph & it was such a big deal to me that I must confess to crying after I got it.

8. At the age of 13 I was taught to make origami cranes & have made them ever since as a stress reliever, an anxiety lowering method, a distraction tool, to keep fingers busy, over the years I have had to find homes for them because it does become an insane amount of cranes over a 16 year period especially when you keep adding to them.

9. I first went to Glastonbury festival when I was 4 years old because ma felt it was important so off I went & actually I loved every minute of it & the minutes after the years that followed. We had so much fun at that festival, with henna, face paints, plate spinning, PJ Harvey & more.

10. My Siamese cat is named after a Hungarian wine; logical no, same area of the world, no, but a wine I like, yes. It is shortened though so he is not daily called that, but on his vet paperwork & similar yes that is what he is named after & I miss him whilst he has to live with ma & my step father because he can't live with me due to my housemates 2 cats being a tight unit & being outside cats when my boy is an inside cat; there is a plan in the pipeline though to one day get him back.

11. I have 2 tattoos but have been tattooed 4 times & am itching to get my 3rd tattoo; bit more planning to do & it will be mine! There are designed by me & have links somehow to each other & meanings, so the next one needs thoughts but I am getting there.

12. Lists & making them somewhat run my life; partly run, partly aid due to the OCD it's weird, one one hand it helps the OCD remain under control on the other hand it is OCD driven . . . complex, weird, but strangely satisfying. I am not sure how I'd cope without lists I have to be honest.

13. My hair didn't get dyed until I was 18, apparently rare nowadays (why quickest way to sound like a granny in 1 word), but I sold it for wigs a few times so dying it was not an option. Then I caved, dyed it & the wig related income in my teenage years was no more & now at 29 my hesitance at dying remains & I have dyed it a total of 4 times; dark brunette twice, blonde to get my blonde back when it was taking forever to return & lilac (as one does when they realise they are nearing 30 & start to panic).

14. In many ways I am a bit of an old soul; including cats, knitting, snail mail, using words like 'nowadays', occasionally more elderly sentences & phrases fall out of my mouth before I can monitor them, I have a bit of a love for knitwear & layers & yes a cup of tea can solve everything!

15. I have 14 piercings including a nipple piercing; would I advise it to others? Not sure, I still stand by the concept that having my nose pierced hurt more. It's more the length of healing time & thus hassle that comes afterwards that annoys me, or my tendency to accidentally brush it when brushing my hair that makes me highly consider taking it out.

16. This may perhaps seem strange but my granny was the first person I told when I lost my virginity; in fact she was the first person I told most things to. She was one of my best friends until she died just before I turned 20 & I trusted her completely so she really did know everything; stupid moments, lost virginity, crushes, upsets, struggles with my mental health, hopes, dreams, idiocy laced ideas & ideals, everything seemed to be run by her.

17.  I find knitting very therapeutic; there is something about the rhythm & the constant movement that can calm down a wired brain, help make things feel more manageable & make days feel a little more ordered. I have yet to work out why exactly but there is something about it all that is very satisfying, especially if you actually make something you set out to make.

18. I know how to make sunscreen & mascara from scratch & really should make it more often, sometimes though time flies away from you & other things get in the way; job hunting, almond milk yet to be blended, daily mundane tasks, exercise, the job you have at that time, battling a flu/cold thing, whatever it is somehow it leaps into the way & your plan of making it that day once again are scuppered.

19. I'm a vegetarian although that's hardly exciting & lots of people are one of these, but it's a random thing about me. I also prefer natural & raw foods & yes that includes having a great preference for Almond milk over cows milk or in fact soya milk, but almond milk & cafes in my town are not massively friendly with each other & beggars cannot be choosers.

20. Films regularly make me cry & I don't mean a little bit, I mean full blown in tears, tissues, puffy eyes moments. There are moments it comes as a surprise then there are the moments I have done it on purpose, when you know you just need to cry hysterically at something that is not related to yourself & your own life & sometimes it's not as full on as you fear, but films will regularly reduce me to tears.

21. I am a bit of an SPF fanatic, to the degree I wear sunscreen all year round. Yes even though I live in England, but skin care is important, so I wear it all year round on my face, hands, when lazy on the rest of me as a moisturiser, but all year round especially where I know the sun will sneak in & get me. Ageing skin worries me & I think it's important to look after your skin where you can, so I do. It also means that I am a 29 year old who has yet to endure the nasty world of sunburn, there is something therefore to be said for skin maintenance & care!

22. Matching underwear feels important to me; tragic perhaps but true. It's one of those strange things where I do think a day can start better if your knickers & bra match, even if nobody else is going to see them, you know, so it tends to be a booster for yourself that at that time you have a boosting 'secret' for yourself.

23. I very briefly had lilac hints in my hair (that on the fade out turned a strange grey & blue . . . why?? What is that about?) & although I loved it think doing it again may not be an option since the hints was purely down to 70% of my hair decided as a natural blonde I should stay blonde & not altering colour at all, irritating it must be said when 2 bottles of lilac later it is the same situation!

24. Oh pants I just lost 'THE Game'!!

25. Wellington was the name of my first guinea pig; I have no idea why I chose wellington but I did & it could have been a far worse name for a guinea pig when the owner is 5 years old! He was potentially the best guinea pig ever . . . but then I was 5 & he was my very first 'all of my own' pet so of course he would be the best, plus he was a coronet so the crest made all the difference in his wisdom sharing abilities!

26. Manners are important to me. Saying please & thank you is not hard & yet it apparently is to many people, on the same hand I find it very difficult to be in the company of people who eat with their mouths open (charming grosses me out, I am glad you are enjoying your food but I should not have to hear the enjoyment), or talk with their mouths full or wave cutlery around when they tell stories. Blame my upbringing but since when is a knife a dinnertime magic wand?

27. My housemate is South African & makes a very good Baileys & soya milk hot chocolate; combine that with a chai pud pod & it makes for a good Christmas tree decorating combination.

28. I cannot see a dandelion clock without picking it, blowing it & yes making a wish. It is I fear a compulsion, or a moment of desperately at times wanting those childhood moments when things really were that simple, that easy to find joy in & that lacking in complexities but it also means even if I am having a crumby day a dandelion clock waiting to be picked & blown will always make me smile. In the same manner a bridge requires a game of poo sticks, stones must be attempted to be skimmed & if nobody is watching . . . puddles jumped in.

29. We didn't have a tv in our house until I was 13, so spent huge amounts of our time being children who ran, drew pictures, played frisbee with dry cowpats, climbed trees, played variations of french cricket, got dirty, in the same way I have never had my own games console handheld or plugged into the tv. My brothers both have but I never had & I have yet to work out how I entirely feel about it.

30. I know the Muppet's Christmas Carol word for word because of my youngest brother & in the same way if someone says the sentence "what's this a pretty little girl?" yes I instantly think of Blind pew 'coming to get you'.

31. At 29 years old I still have yet to learn to drive' combination of reasons really, but it is on my 'before I am 30' list & I am determined I will do it, but I just have never needed to & have seen so many people get lazy & stop walking 20 mins down the road & I like walking. But surely if I like walking driving or not I will continue to walk. So all should be fine with that bit & it does mean I am reliant on lifts from other people or public transport which is at times a bit of an irritation & hindrance.

32. I'm slowly working my way towards becoming a qualified counsellor, with the aim of working with children from 7/8-18 years old who struggle with OCD & eating disorders.

33. Sprouts make me happy; potentially on a ridiculous level. I adore them, cold, raw, cooked, boiled, at christmas, or in fact at any time, made into bubble & squeak. I even love the ritual of peeling oodles of them on christmas eve night ready for christmas day. I think they are just divine, even if many do not, I also think more vegetarians love them then meat eaters, at least that appears to be the experience I have had.

34. I know a lot of my friends by strange names & vice versa, for instance; 'Patsy', 'Bobkins', 'Angus', 'Beet', 'Liz-Whizz', 'Ketamine Kate Bush', 'Beanie'.

35. I have hand-reared lambs & poultry including geese & would do it again in an instant if I could.

36. Hilary Bags are a vital part of my upbringing, family & childhood memories & I dread the day that they are no more.

37. Hula hooping is a great stress reliever & just lots of fun, plus if it can help erase/tame my stomach I am always going to be a fan of it & is something you can do all year round, either inside or outside, no limitations, bar potentially having people wonder what on earth you are doing & looking at you sometimes strangely (or I like to pretend in awe).

38. I'm still in touch with some of my primary & secondary school teachers; they were important people to me when I was growing up, I love snail mail & I think important people have value & can be important always, so I don't think you grow up & cut people out, you can depending on the people, but with the teachers I am still in touch with it's because I adored them & thought they were fantastic & they were important to me.

39. I used to be able to put my feet behind my head, however I got stuck once & have not been brave enough to do it since - one day I might, but must guarantee I have my old flexibility back first as I have very little desire to get stuck in that undignified manner for a second time.

40. Musicals are a bit of a chronic guilty pleasure of mine; I adore them, from Rent to Calamity Jane, The Sound of Music to Les Miserables, there is something about them that will always boost a shitty day & even better if I can be able to sing-a-long with it without fear of judgement or without caring, trust me I will do that at any given moment.

41. I used to work in a 'DIY' wine bar & became a bit of a red wine fiend during that time, I had always reached for white through choice or gin, but then I met the fantastic red wines I was surrounded by & the love affair began.

42. Talking to myself has become a bit of an art form. I do it slightly chronically, no matter what time of day or night, sometimes without being entirely aware that I am doing it & without company; it tends to be making lists out loud to myself, or telling myself off for my own stupidity, it's not full blown conversations where I expect answers just to erase notions of complete insanity, but it happens & a lot.

43. I have a bit of a coffee problem . . . I do love coffee, indulging in it, drinking it, starting & ending my day with it. It's a little luxury of mine that makes me happy & at times fuels my day. In my defence I do also indulge in chai tea, camomile tea, water, green tea & similar. There is some less bad aspects being poured down my throat but coffee is one of those things that makes me very happy & long may our love affair continue!

44. A broken heart is a horrible thing to live with, or try to live with. Sometimes trying to stay friends with someone you are in love with is excruciating & the worst form of punishment you can willingly force upon yourself - I like to hope time makes it easier. I have yet to find that out though, in the past it has, with this particular person it is seemingly more difficult.

45. I get ill about once a year & loathe every minute of that period of time; granted I am one of those people who will still go to work where possible & hope that being working through it I will find a way to make it vanish much quicker - alas so far that theory has not amounted to much. I regularly feel for the people who get ill a lot though as I cannot imagine how ghastly that must be, once a year is bad enough thank you.

46. Orders slightly run my life; I like things in orders. Books on my book case, DVDs, clothing, nail polish, I like things to have their place & be in specific designated spots & spaces. It is just one of those things but it does mean if I am not careful I get a little twitchy if they get messed up, although learning to hide that with a little more success so that people are not instantly aware of my nervous twitching!

47. I used to horse ride & really miss it, in the same way I really miss playing hockey. Regularly reconsider starting both, but fear of being shockingly rubbish means I avoid the hockey one more & more & more. I am more likely to horse ride again then play hockey because of the fear of not being good enough. I think that's in part why I love running; it can be done alone.

48. My family is full of talented, artistic, creative, intelligent, beautiful, stylish, funny, successful people & it makes me incredibly nervous, rather on edge & more than a little bit worried about why I don't have those attributes myself. I adore them all but it doesn't mean I am not in awe of them & a tad embarrassed about myself when with them.

49. I don't have a favourite season. I know most people do but I genuinely don't have a favourite season, I love them all & enjoy them all (& have areas I don't enjoy about them all also; wasps for instance, surprise rain fall also), for different ways. I know some people suffer from SAD I am not one of them, but maybe that is aided by keeping an eye on making sure I have doses of vitamin D in my life, or because walking can boost moods, I don't know but I think there is something to be said for all of the seasons.

50. I will always make my bed - a made bed is important, far more inviting, makes rooms like nicer & I have this weird theory that it sets you up better for the day ahead if you make your bed. Plus because I use mine as a desk, seat, creative space & more, I'd rather it was made & didn't ooze sleep from it's every corner.

So there we are some utterly random snippets about me. The person behind the blog, I figure over time with random musings, entires, pondering & more you will gauge more of who I am, so view this as a bit of a starting point, a beginners crib sheet if you will.

Friday, 21 November 2014

ASOS Wish List.

I have a terrible habit of online 'window shopping' & with ASOS it makes it a little worse as there is that delightful thing known as 'saved items'. Dangerous! Really dangerous but rather fun for the bit inside us all that is lust related.

So I thought that this morning, whilst it is hammering down with rain & before I traipse off to work I'd take a wee gander into my saved page & launch some of the items I am currently lusting at on you.

Starting with tops; which I think is something you can never really have too many of let's go;

Row 1: River Island Floral Top with Crochet Hem; £15. ASOS Double Layer Vest with Jersey Ribbed Neckline; £22. ASOS Plait Detail T-Shirt; £28. River Island Checked Swing Top; £30.
Row 2: ASOS Colour Block V Neck Wrap Shell Top; £22.50. Free People Auntie Em Top with Soft Peplum; £32. New Look Petite Print Trim Tee; £17.99. ASOS White Embellished Double Layer Vest in Organza; £65.
Row 3: ASOS Shirt in Velvet; £36. ASOS Crinkle Oversize Blouse; £30. Kiss The Sky Jersey Crop Top with Lace Trim; £28. Vila Vicas Printed Tunic; £18.
Row 4: ASOS Long Sleeve Shirt in Stripe with Contrast Plain Collar; £28. Native Rose Tripsey High Neck Top in Haka Print; £48. Vera Moda Lace Insert Pleat Back Blouse; £32. ASOS Mono Stripe Pleat & Wrap Shell Top; £12.

ASOS Leggings in Mono Tile Print; £10. ASOS High Waisted Denim Mom Shorts in Washed Black with Rips; £22.50. ASOS High Waist Cord Mom Shorts in Berry; £22.50. ASOS Tartan Check Peg Trouser; £16.50.

Row 1: ASOS Swing Dress with Broderie Inserts; £40. One Teaspoon Cavalry Bomber Dress; £70. ASOS Neon Ditsy Floral Cami Beach Dress; £26. Noisy May Drape Back Maxi Dress; £25.
Row 2: Glamorous T-Shirt Dress in Paisley Print; £22. Greylin Lucy Dress; £65. Girls On Film Petite Pleated Skirt Dress with Collar Detail; £38. ASOS Stripe Open Back Smock Beach Dress; £26.
Row 3: ASOS Petite Exclusive Printed Paisley Halter Dress; £19. Girls On Film Petite Mosaic Print Colour Block Skater Dress; £35. Glamorous Petite V Front Button Through Animal Print Dress; £30. ASOS Petite Country Denim Smock Dress; £25.

Row 1: ASOS White Cashmere Roll Neck Jumper; £95. ASOS Blanket Cardigan with Stitch Detail; £26. Pull & Bear Honey Comb Cardigan; £19.99
Row 2: ASOS Blazer in Crepe with Slim Lapel; £42. ASOS Cape Cardigan in Rib; £40. ASOS Jumper with Funnel Neck & Fine Knit Sleeve; £40.
Row 3: ASOS Maxi Cardigan in Brushed Pattern; £55. J.D.Y Stripe Cardigan; £18. ASOS Oversize Jumper with Pocket; £18.50.

Report Signature Allon Velvet Lace Up Heeled Ankle Boots; £95. ASOS Jellybean Flatform Espadrilles; £16. KG by Kurt Geiger Harriet Black Glitter Cut Out Shoe Boots; £120. ASOS Saviour Heels; £28.

So there we are some of the seemingly endless saved items wishing that I regularly do on ASOS; not included, swimwear, accessories, underwear, or in fact numerous other dresses, tops, trousers, skirts & more, but this is todays little lust moment. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hump Day; Loves & Loathes.

Courtesy of we heart it.

I am a chronic list maker, I love making them, for everything & ultimately anything; to do lists, shopping lists, wish lists, lust lists, event lists, packing lists, daily lists, I am one giant set of lists, including summaries over the weeks loves & loathes moments. So let's go with it. 

So what has the last week looked like in those categories?


* Good friends & time spent with them; for giggles, wine, gin, catch ups, long chats & just moments that make me remember how wonderful my friends are & how lucky I am to have them. Friday & Saturday especially were good times that included those things are more & tomorrow I am all set to have that again as the Christmas market starts & post work I will be doing mulled wine, mooching & time with two of my favourite faces. 

* Bio Oil; I may always remain a firm fan of this stuff, I love the smell, the way it moisturises your skin, the fact that it has numerous uses - dry hair ends, cuticle skin, stretch marks, your face, all sorts, I am a big advocate & where some loathe the smell I love it, it also is probably the babies equivalent of warm milk before bed - I have a bio oil moment. 

* Music; I am a big music fan, I don't have a day when I don't listen to it in some way or another, whilst walking, whilst running, whilst getting ready, where I am not a big TV person I am a big music lover & I love that I have music loving friends who like to send me new bands to listen to, like for instance First Aid Kit, a definite new favourite & a band I definitely recommend. 

* Layers; in the world of 'style' & fashion, I am a massive fan of layering up, I love mixing fabrics, patterns, colours & more & given the weather & dip in temperature layers will always be a winner, they also help on days you are feeling less then slim you get to disguise the bits that are making you feel less then perky. 

* Online 'window shopping'; I have made so many mental (& online) wish lists as of late, I am a big fan, as long as it doesn't lead to actually pressing that magically spend button, but away from that it's proving to be a great stress reliever, work out christmas gift ideas for others & yes I must confess at times buy things. 


* Stress factors; there are various areas of life at the moment that are causing me great levels of stress, in turn it's giving me stressed skin (never much fun), some are more likely to be solved more quickly than others, but when areas are out of your control it does make you feel a little more . . . well stressed! 

* Unhappy skin; I am not saying I have perfect skin, I really don't but generally it's rather good skin, so I am not best pleased that at the moment I am enduring what can only be described as break outs thanks to the aforementioned stress. So given the increase in age (ouch) skin will never be as forgiving as it would have been a decade ago, so out with the green tea & an increase in water! 

* Being so close to pay day & yet so far; does anyone enjoy that time period between skint & a little less so? I'd like to think not, then you find yourself telling yourself that 'next month' you will be 'sensible' & start budgeting, it may not actually occur . . . however again it's making me think that I should probably attempt both of those things.

* Utterly mortifyingly embarrassing moments; I'm not actually going into detail on all of these, but it's fair to say that in the last week I have had a number of moments I'd much rather find a way to erase from my memory (& ideally others too) - oh well we live & learn & ideally in these situations laugh it off & move on . . . VERY quickly! 

So what would be on your lists if you were to make them for the last week?

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Daily Water Tally.

Courtesy of We Heart It.

This may seem like a painfully dull post topic but there we are. In a nutshell with rising stress levels my skin is not all that happy on top of which, my love for coffee has continued to increased & I must confess, somewhat replaced water. So with 30 less than a year away & skin being important to me I've decided that somehow I must keep tabs or the water I do, or do not, drink because the reality is that I just do not drink enough of it. 

I used to have rather good skin, not at the moment, I also used to be very good at drinking water, again not so much at present, there isn't really any excuse either & the reality is that a large % of the time that people eat & feel hungry actually they are dehydrated, so my extra lumps & bumps are probably also somehow linked to not drinking as much water as I should be. 

So let's see what happens if I actually keep a daily tally in my daily diary of water drunk & when & see if I can lower those levels of toxins (otherwise known as utterly lovely coffee indulgence), get 'my' skin back to where it was pre stress & with it improve hair, mood & waistline & no doubt more. 

Why do I already fear this may not go as well as I might like? 

Let's see I guess. 

Do you regularly drink water? Are you good at grabbing water over diet coke or coffee? Do you make it fancy with lemon slices or mint? What makes you guarantee you drink water? 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

29 & a fresh start.

I'm newly 29, which feels like a ghastly admission to make & with that came an abundance of thoughts & yes a ludicrous level of list making & then before I knew it I'd deleted my blog in favour of the idea of a fresh start. A place I'd actually make the effort with & not find I was returning to here & there in an exceedingly messy & ad hoc manner. In the same 'shit I'm nearly 30 manner' I grabbed a bottle of dye & added lilac to my hair, drank potentially too much & danced like my life depended on it (the prevention of a hangover did depend upon it), found I was doing chin ups (with help) in one of my favourite pubs (as one does), because if one's going to do these things best do it now!

It's my last year in my 20's & I'm determined, where possible, to make it a good one, do things I've put off doing, create a blog space I can be genuinely proud of & navigate the array of hurdles that makes up life & I have every intention of documenting it as & when it occurs, lilac hair dye, doodling moments, fashion lusts, loves & ensembles & all!

So it's a Sunday, I'm cosy & warm at the mummio's house & have a coffee date later with a friend of mine & her scrumptious, giggly 4 year old daughter, then back to the working week tomorrow, so in the manner of fresh starts I thought I'd do a bit of a 411 on me, share some snippets of utterly random information & give an idea of what to expect from this little corner of the world.

Why 'Little Niggly Bits'? A previous boss of mine who is fantastic & I still see regularly changed my name after about 6 months into my working time there, he changed it to 'Niggles' & it stuck & has continued to stick. It came about because I'm a quirky being & when he told me I was odd I explained that I wasn't odd I just had niggly bits & it's accurate really. So that's why this is what it is.

I love fashion, my siamese cat (who lives with my mother), creating things, dreamcatchers, gin & tonics, a good chinwag with friends of mine who are incredibly important to me, music, festivals, brown paper, snail mail (people do not write letters enough in my opinion), coffee (I am basically caffeine fuelled), long walks, blowing dandelion clocks, list making, markets & knick knack stores & oodles more, but you'll learn this as I scribble away here.

Random things; I can put my feet behind my head, I don't eat meat, love almond milk (even better when made by myself), will wear flip-flops for as much of the year as I can, I regularly have conversations with a friend of mine that is ultimately made up of nothing but gibberish yet somehow it makes sense to us, I know how to make sunscreen from scratch, I'm a big fan of boardgames & 'heads up' fantastic game when a little tiddly (that being what happens when I drink, I don't get drunk I get tiddly or a little sloshed), I struggle to pass a dandelion clock without picking it & blowing it & yes making a wish.

What do I want this place to hold? Things I love; fashion (will be brave & do ootd), beauty, lists, events, experiences, food, running, vegetarian whimsy, creative endeavours & more. So watch this space & let's see what occurs.