Sunday, 1 May 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Hello! I'm cheating a bit and writing this post in advance, as I'm currently in Copenhagen (presumably having a lovely time eating danish pastries and drinking coffee in beautiful cafes). It's been a fun week, I've cheered up considerably since writing this blog post (over-sharing on the internet DOES work!), and I've had a busy week of pals, fun, and pubs.

Here's the best bits I spotted online this week. Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

The Future is Naps - Enamel pin
So, Beyonce released Lemonade, and it's all everyone is talking about. Here's why it is so important. Also, wondering who 'Becky with the good hair' is? This is why you should not care.

Game of Thones is BACK, and I am so delighted that my favourite brutal show is here again. I thought the first episode was a pretty solid start to the season, but it's weird to see new stories - I'm so used to knowing what's next in the tv show! I'm also a bit alarmed at how much I still love Jaime Lannister. Gah. 

A totally fascinating and mammoth look at Uber, and how it conquered London.

I absolutely loved Carrie's DIY embroidered bomber jackets! I want to go on a girl gang trip to Paris now, it looks amazing!

Did you know that Denmark is the world's happiest country, and they have the best work-life balance in the world? I need to move there, stat!

Why are so many celebrities dying in 2016? Mainly, there's just more celebrities than ever.

Aaaand despite my very whingey post earlier this week, I am genuinely fine, but I really loved this article- 8 ways to tackle the life crisis you think you're having. Thanks to all the real life and internet pals who reached out, or emailed, or commented though - I really appreciated the love!

Friday, 29 April 2016

COASTAL CARRIAGE

Earlier this month, Josh and I went on a trip up North. We had both just worked the Edinburgh Science Festival (which was 18 days of non-stop festival work, and months and months of prep beforehand), so we were in need of sleep and peace and quiet.

We had been swithering over where to go - originally the plan was to go camping (open fires! Gorgeous views! Nature!), then I went on a bit of an enthusiastic tangent and starting planning a walk of the West Highland Way (lol), before we realised that we were both too knackered and the weather was too unreliable to do anything but find somewhere snug and cosy in a quiet location.


After a fairly stressful bit of last-minute searching, we came across Coastal Carriage - a reclaimed railway carriage on the Banffshire Coast. Owned by the same people who run High Seas Hobbit, it ticked all of our boxes: relatively cheap (£70 per night, plus a discount as we were staying for 4 nights); a quiet, scenic location; a wood-burning stove; we didn't need a car to get there; and it looked pretty quirky (we've stayed in a gypsy caravan and a treehouse, so a railway carriage was the obvious next step!).

We'd been keen to avoid hiring a car (to save £££s), so travelled up from Edinburgh using public transport. This meant getting a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (2.5 hours), a bus from Aberdeen to Rosehearty (2 hours), then a lift from Rosehearty to the Carriage (the owner very kindly picked us up on the way there, and we ordered a taxi back to town for our way home).


The Carriage is situated on a quiet, family-run farm in Aberdeenshire - in farming country near Fraserburgh and Banff. It looks out over the Moray Firth (you can see dolphins if you are lucky!), and  there's loads of beaches, cliff walks, castles, and other interesting historic things nearby.

We were pretty lazy for most of the trip, but went on a big walk to New Aberdour beach - a beautiful big pebble beach, with loads of rock pools and caves to explore. There was also a cute doocot near by, and an interesting old graveyard, with a memorial to a chieftain who fell at Culloden.


The Carriage itself was pretty simple, but cosy enough to just curl up and chill in. At one end there's a really comfy bed (I spent about 80% of my time here), and at the other there's a wood-burning stove, a small table, and some chairs. The Carriage has french doors that look out over the sea, so it's a pretty beautiful place to nestle down in - although it would benefit from an armchair and a rug to make the space a bit nicer to nestle in!

The wood-burning stove took a while to get going, but was very toasty in the end - even when the weather went bonkers, and alternated between sun, sleet and snow in one day. I'm lucky that Josh is such a good cook, so we ate amazing food all week - slow roasted lamb stew, spatchcock poussin, steak and chips, and baked avocado, eggs and bacon. YUM.

There's no electricity (so you really are forced to switch off), but there's solar powered lights and lanterns, so you aren't sitting in the pitch black every night. There's also a bush shower in the Carriage, and a toilet in a hut nearby.


We spent the week reading, playing yahtzee and cribbage, and listening to a totally ancient Jurassic Park audiobook (which I loved!). It was bliss!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

INSECURITIES

I generally try and keep my blog a happy, positive place. I like writing about the things I like, and on the whole, I'm an optimistic, happy-go-lucky kind of person. I'm good at finding the silver lining, and even when I am a bit grumpy, it generally doesn't last for long.

Butttt, that's obviously not always the case. And currently, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts and unsure of myself. I think it's a combination of leaving a long-term job, starting something new and exciting, and  the last six months being pretty manic and intense overall - I bought a house! I moved! I spent months panicking about cancer! I delivered a massive festival! I got a new job! I've had about two weeks to do reporting that normally takes six weeks! Aaaaargh.

Courage, dear heart - Etsy print
So, in no particular order, here are the things I am currently feeling insecure about. Because I figure writing them down will stop me squirrelling them away, and then I can just get on with things. Right?

I am starting a new job
In two weeks I'll be about to start my new job. The good thing is that I'm really confident about the work I'll be doing - I'm moving into a very similar position to the one I do now, and I know I'm good at it, and I understand festival life. But I'm nervous about all the little things. I have to make new friends, and I'm starting during a really busy period, when no-one will have time to hang out with me. And I've got a track record of things going really wrong in my first week of a new job (e.g. spilling coffee down a white dress, accidentally kicking my shoe off and it FLYING across an entire office) so I am nervous about the small, stupid things I can't control.

I will not be working with Josh anymore
I currently work in the same office as my boyfriend, and while I fully appreciate that it is going to be a Good Thing working in different places, I still feel insecure about it. I currently get to see him every day, and now I won't. I'll miss him. I'll miss getting to go for lunches with my boyfriend whenever the whim takes us, and making coffees together, and all the nice little moments that make office life so much sweeter. Aargh.

I am seriously unfit
This time last year I was well into training for a 10k race, and feeling pretty good as a result. I tried to restart running earlier this year, but gave up pretty quickly (because it was dark and rainy and I am definitely a fair-weather runner). Now I'm starting to get back into it, but I'm slow and sluggish, and I've started feeling sluggish and uncomfortable in life too. I know that I need to embrace the fact that I'm making healthy changes in my life, and keep exercising/eating healthily, but aaaah, I feel podgy and I just want to feel fitter INSTANTLY.

I am scared of my mortgage
I love my flat, but the responsibility of having to pay for it, and ANYTHING that needs fixed, stresses me out. I didn't realise how much I liked the safety net of renting (and passing any scary bills to your landlord), until I didn't have it anymore. I hate feeling nervy about money.

I don't know what to do with my hair/clothes/anything
This is probably all linked to just feeling a bit BLAH in my appearance, but I'm just feeling pretty over my current style. I have a haircut booked the week before I start my new job, which was meant to be a nice treat so I'd feel all ace when starting, but now I am SO UNSURE what to get done, and I don't know why it bothers me so much. I'm over-thinking my whole wardrobe, and panic-buying clothes I do not need, which is not a good thing.

I am a rubbish blogger
I cannot make time for blogging when I have any sort of work or life stress, which is why I drop off the blogging radar several times each year. But then when I do have time, I love it! I love writing, and  I love the achievement of having posts scheduled for the week, and I love hearing from people who like reading what I write. But I worry that I'm just too inconsistent, and I'm driving readers away. I get jealous when I see bloggers like me that are nailing it (I want to be cool and have a signature style and work with brilliant brands!), and I question whether my chat is even relevant anymore, and if it's worth the effort trying to post three times per week, if all I'm putting out is mindless nonsense. AHH.

I don't make time for creative projects
I don't consider blogging 'being creative' (although I do logically realise it is), so I get mad at myself when I don't make time for painting or drawing or writing fiction. I love those things! They make me happy and seriously help me destress and feel better. So why don't I do them? Why do I spend my time watching terrible movies like Divergent, that I hate so much I end up just mindlessly scrolling twitter on my phone? Whyyyy?

I can't dance
God, I'm an awful dancer. I really don't know what to do about that.

And WAH. Pity party over. I know it's going to be okay really, but it helps to acknowledge all the little things that add up to anxiety. I'm really excited about what's ahead of me, and I'm sure it'll work out fine - I just need to avoid light clothes/hot drinks in week one of my new job!

Monday, 25 April 2016

LIFE CATCH UP

Goodness, it's been ages since I last posted a catch up post! Whoops! Here's a round-up of what I've been up to, when I've not been blogging (I also went on holiday, and got a new job, but you're up to date on those things, riiiight?).

Instagram: @eversojuliet
1. I am so happy to see that Spring is here! It's been so nice to see the sun out - it's even been warm enough to go out WITHOUT a jacket several times (no mean feat in Scotland!). I'm hoping that we get a sunny summer again, I am keen to ditch my winter coat asap, and go on more beach adventures.

2. It's been really lovely seeing what my flat is like on sunny days too. I'm on the top floor so it gets LOADS of light, and gets absolutely roasting if it's been a sunny day and the windows are all closed - I reckon it's going to turn into a bit of a greenhouse in the summer. I'm worried I'm going to kill all of my plants as I'm quite lazy at watering them, eep. Must get better.

3. I stopped eating chocolate/anything with added sugar for a couple months this year, then broke my sweet-treat fast by having the most indulgent mocha coffee (with an ENTIRE creme egg melted in it), which made me feel a bit sick!

4. The Science Festival rolled round, and it was lovely to see all of our hard work pay off! The Festival started with a big opening party at the City Art Centre, where I celebrated slightly too enthusiastically, and then had to embarrassingly shuffle into work the next morning, bleary-eyed, with 18 straight days of work ahead of me. Ahem.

5. It was quite surreal to be working my last Sci Fest, and it was actually really sad to say goodbye to my lovely clients, who I've been working with for the last few years. I made an effort to go to as many events as possible (got to take advantage of my last festival pass!), and saw amazing speakers, got to use a real-life Enigma machine (TOO COOL), danced at a space party, played with robots, and realised I definitely would quite like to be an astronaut.

6. I definitely don't need any more homeware, but I CANNOT resist the charms of Tiger. I bought loads of candles (of course), plus some beaut monochrome mugs, and an ace face planter to replant my avocado plant in. I can't be trusted in that shop, I want it all.

7. Edinburgh's summer festivals are now on the horizon, and Edinburgh International Festival were the first to launch their programme - showing off their super cool new look at the same time. EIF have nailed it this year, I'm so impressed with their programme and I cannot wait to see it all in action in August!

8. I've owned Soba for over a year now (happy birthday Soba!), and if I'm honest, he's not much tamer (I think he will always be a grumpy hedgehog), but he seems pretty happy. Josh and I tidied up his hedgehog house and made cute backgrounds using black vinyl, so he's probably the most stylish hog around.

9. Post-Festival, Josh and I escaped up North for a week of chilling out, drinking wine, and doing very little indeed. We stayed in a reclaimed railway carriage, Coastal Carriage, and it was really sweet (I'll blog about this in more detail soon).

10. Most of the week away was dedicated to pure lazing, but we went on a couple of walks, including a big scramble to a beach dotted with rockpools and beautiful big caves to explore. It was so nice to discover a new bit of Scotland, and we were lucky enough to get some sun (in between the snow, hail and rain!).

11. Finally, after weeks and weeks of always having something on the go, I had a day of NOTHING, and it was glorious. I've been hoarding some Lush bath bombs for ages, so it was ace to get the chance to finally use one - this is the intergalactic bath bomb, which is gorgeous but SO glittery (be warned!).

12. Apologies for being quite the poser here, but after a few weeks of feeling thoroughly frazzled, it was nice to have a moment where I liked my look! My sunglasses were total bargains from Mallorca, and my scarf is an epic tartan/houndstooth number from Primark, that has been a staple in my spring wardrobe - it's like wearing a giant blanket (aka the best kind of clothing).

Sunday, 24 April 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Hello! It's been a while (again) - I've been a busy bee with the Science Festival taking over my life for the last month, but things are finally calm again and I've found the time to turn on my laptop again.

This weekend has been the first weekend in AGES where I've had no plans, and it has been properly glorious. I've been for a run, I've soaked in the bath, I've watched loads of movies and read my book, and I've still got most of Sunday ahead of me. Happy days.

I hope you're all having a nice weekend too, here's my round up of interesting things I've found online this week.

Being Little - Copenhagen
I'm off on an adventure to Copenhagen with my mum and sisters next weekend, and I can't wait! I actually can't think of the last time just the four of us hung out (without kids or our partners), so I'm super excited to get a bit of bonding time with them! I've been loving Lyzi's guide to Copenhagen, her photos are beautiful!

Yay Scotland! Here's how Holyrood became the most LGBT Parliament in the world.

This is fascinating! How one man accidentally discovered he had Aphantasia.

Oooh, I grew up thinking American MTV was the COOLEST THING ever, so it's quite nice to see that MTV is getting quite good again.

It's worth taking time to read this powerful interview with Monica Lewinsky about shame, public humiliation, and how she's rebuilt her life.

The dream is over, and the Government have ruled that it absolutely wouldn't be appropriate to name their new giant expensive research vessel Boaty McBoatface. Whatever, it'll always be Boaty to me.

I feel like I'm meant to be their target market, but rainbow bagels just look SO awful to me, I don't get it! Here's an interesting take on the most controversial bagel in Brooklyn.

I love Ask Polly SO much, and this week's column is almost as good as it gets. I've been feeling pretty introspective lately (down to changing jobs and the life evaluation that goes hand in hand with that), and it's good to be reminded that life is not a series of goals. It's savouring the little moments of each day, and realising that you are the centre of your life and that is good:

'If you can learn to be where you are, without fear, then sooner than you know it, your life will quite naturally be filled with more love and more wonder than you can possibly handle. When that happens, you'll look back and see that this was the most romantic time of your whole life. These are those terrible days, those gorgeous days, when you first learned to breathe and stand alone without fear, to believe not in finish lines but in the race itself. Your legs are aching and your heart is pounding and the world is electric.'

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