Friday, 29 January 2016

30 THINGS I'VE LEARNED
IN 30 YEARS

Last month I turned 30, which I think (despite all my protests) makes me officially an adult. It's weird being grown up! I have two big sisters (who are 8 and 12 years older than me), and I remember when I was little I wondered how I would feel when I became a PROPER grown up, like they were.

Turns out, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 20 or 25. I just know a bit more! I've got a bit more money, but a bit less free time. I like olives and fish and wine (good), but hangovers hit me harder (bad).

I've seen a few bloggers do posts like this, and I really like them, so here's my version. 30 things I've learned in 30 years...


1. Fake it 'til you make it
I was a painfully shy teenager. I used to blush horribly when anyone paid attention to me, or anything made me uncomfortable, and I hated it. That lasted until I met my high school BFF Steph (who is still one of my favourite people in the world), and she was brave and cool and I wanted to be like her. So I pretended to be brave and cool too, and it worked!

Turns out this is a technique that works well in so many different aspects of life. If you act like you've got it all sussed, people will believe you! And you'll give yourself the first stepping stone of confidence to actually get out there and do good things.

2. Nothing will work unless you do 
I read this in a daft motivational calendar at uni, and it genuinely gave me a bit of a wake up call! This applies to work, your personal life, hobbies, everything. You cannot achieve something unless you put effort into it. It's such a simple statement, but it is easy to forget - especially when you're stressed and just want to hide under the covers and wait for everything to work out.

3. Make the effort with your friends
It's very easy to lose touch with people when you are all busy, working busy jobs, with relationships and slightly different friend groups. But pals are wonderful, and one day you'll realise it's been a whole month or six months or even a year since you last reached out to a particular person. I've been bad for this in my life, but even worse, I used to feel so guilty about letting a friendship slip that I'd be scared to get back in touch. This year I'm determined to stop this happening, and say hello to the people I miss. I know I'd love it if they reached out to me.

4. But don't be scared to cut ties
Saying that, sometimes you lose touch for a reason. People grow apart, or you realise that a friendship is actually super unhealthy or just too much hard work. It is okay to cut people out of your life if they bring you down, are super draining, or you just don't want to be their pal anymore. Just don't be a dick about it.

5. Always have a pet 
Animals are the very best thing in the world, and as an adult you can buy whatever pet you want, whenever you want to. How amazing is that?! I really believe that a house doesn't feel like a home unless you've got a pet. I live alone and so having Soba (my very adorable hedgehog) gives me a routine I was missing, of caring for something, and having a little pal to spend time with.

6. Buy a bicycle
Yeah, it's a bit daunting to cycle in a city, but it doesn't take long until you become a badass, confident cyclist that zooms around town! I only really got into my bike two years ago, but I feel a bit helpless whenever I'm without it. In Edinburgh it's often so much quicker to cycle than getting the bus, you don't have to sit near awful commuters in a small, stuffy place, and you can leave at exactly the moment you want - no waiting around at bus stops or for taxis that'll cost you a fortune. Plus, when the weather's nice you can go on big weekend adventures (via nice country pubs). Bikes are ace!

7. Accept that you will sometimes look rubbish in photos
A while ago I came across a stash of photos from when I was about 17 or 18. I remember HATING those photos at the time. I was much curvier than my skinny pals, and I was really self conscious of my chin (I will never have a nice jawline, no matter what weight am I) and my hips. But looking at the same photos, 12 years later? I was a (skinny!) kid, laughing with my friends, and looking like I was having the very best time.

Accept that sometimes you will not like how you look in photos. Does it really matter? Isn't it better to have an unflattering photo of you having an ace time with people you love, rather than being the dreaded person who insists on checking a photo the second it's taken?

8. Take no shit, but do no harm
There's only one constant in your life, and that is you. Stand up for yourself and put yourself first, but never ever at the expense of others.

9. Learn to cook
Day to day I am a fairly lazy cook, but I can throw a mean dinner party, and I am not afraid to brag about how amazing my pies are. Find someone who can cook and copy them! Ask questions. Try cooking classes. Discover the total satisfaction of cooking for the people in your life.

10. Try food you don't like
I didn't eat fish for YEARS. I got weirdly wound up by being so fussy though - I wished I liked sushi (it looked so cute!), but I just hated the smell and taste of fish. That's until I started work at the Science Festival, learned that you can basically train yourself to like anything, and started on a journey of fishy discovery! It took a few months, but to my total amazement I tolerated, then liked, then loved fish, and I haven't looked back. Try new things and surprise yourself!


11. Go on adventures
The world is a huge wonderful place and there is so much to see! You'll never regret spending money or time on adventures (big or small).

12. Stop going to shit pubs
The best thing about being 30 and not 20 is that I can afford to go to nice pubs with nice pub food and  drinks that don't taste like watered-down sadness. I cannot believe people my age still go to bars we went to as students. Find a nice local! Stop ordering the cheapest wine! You deserve it.

13. Only buy something if you love it
My friend Brigid gave me this advice, and it has served me well for years. Only buy something if you really, honestly love it. If you like it, but you're not quite sure, or the sleeves are a bit funny, or you reckon you'll find 'somewhere' to wear/put it. Don't. It'll just sit in your drawer, unloved. Save yourself time and money by being ruthless when trying things on and you'll purge your life of mediocre things!

14. Practise makeup
Make up, like almost everything, is something you can get better at by simply practising. There are so many amazing blogs and vlogs and tutorials out there, there's no reason you should be rubbish at it. Even if you barely wear makeup, there is probably going to be the odd occasion where you want to wear eyeliner or false eyelashes. You don't need to beg your pal to do it for you, just practise a couple of times!

15. Bleach your hair when you can
I am mad that teenage Juliet didn't bleach her entire head of hair because I was scared of what my parents would think. Now I am 30, and I look at people with amazing rainbow hair, but I can't do it because I have a job where quite often I have to present to important/older/official people, and they would judge me and the company I represent as a result. I wish I had dyed my whole hair bright pink or bleach blonde or neon yellow when I could, because I don't know when I'll get the chance now. Sad face!

16. Be picky about your hairdresser
I spent too many years going to rubbish hairdressers where I just felt like I was someone on a production line in a busy salon. Now going to the hairdresser is an absolute JOY - I totally trust her with my hair, always love how it turns out, and I feel like she genuinely cares about me and my hair! You deserve a lovely hairdresser too. Try new places until you find someone you click with.

17. Buy yourself flowers
I think it's quite ridiculous that flowers get treated as a special occasion gift. Flowers are lovely and make your house very pretty. Get into the habit of buying yourself flowers (it's only £1 for a bunch of daffodils in the supermarket at the moment!) and make your world a little more beautiful.

18. Learn how to make coffee
Once you've had a nice coffee, you realise how horrendous mediocre coffee is. Get yourself a nice coffee maker (if you can't afford a machine get an aeropress or a stove top perculator) and discover the JOY of nice coffee. Plus it is super satisfying to buy coffee beans and grind them yourself!

19. It is perfectly okay to watch Disney as an adult
I remember being about 12 and having the horrible realisation that I was probably officially getting too old to watch cartoons, and very sadly having one final watch of all of my favourite films. I didn't realise that when I went to uni all of my flatmates would be equally as nostalgic as I was, and most Sunday mornings, aged 18 - 21, were spent on the sofa watching old Disney films and still knowing all the words. Now I'm 30 and I still go to see Disney at the cinema, and regularly watch cartoons. It's okay!

20. Don't beat yourself up if you can't afford to buy a house
British people have it ingrained in their brains that you MUST buy a property to be a proper grown up. It's nonsense. Yes, when you buy a flat you have total control of how it looks, but you often have to compromise on so much to find something you can afford (and then you are responsible for everything that needs fixed/repaired/done to it). Europeans rent forever, so don't kick yourself if you don't have a deposit to buy. Just focus on finding a nice landlord who will trust you, and won't freak out if you want to put shelves up (private landlords are generally much better than agencies!).


21. Learn a good party trick 
Everyone needs a party trick. When I was younger I had stretched ears, and I could fit a pen through my earlobes (sorry mum). Now I can hula hoop with FIRE (not for long, but that's not the point).

22. Enjoy everyday moments
Life is so much more than a countdown to the next big exciting thing. Life is also pottering round your flat, chatting to pals at work, drinking coffee on a grey day, and marathoning the Vampire Diaries on netflix with zero shame. Aim to enjoy the quiet moments and the boring moments too.

23. Read lots of books
Books will bring you joy, and help heal your heartache, and take you on adventures, and teach you about the world. They will make you laugh and cry and think and find solace when you need it. They are the very best thing, and you should aim to have one in your bag at all times.

24. Get a dishwasher
I don't care that this makes me sound like a total grandma - if you are in a position to get a dishwasher, GET A DISHWASHER. I have only recently discovered the absolute joy of dishwasher ownership, and it feels like my life has improved a million times over. Life is too short to do dishes in the sink (or whinge about the dishes you should be doing).

25. Think 'will this matter a year from now?'
Life will occasionally be awful. Someone will hurt you, or you'll make a mistake, or do something stupid, or something bad will happen. It's pretty much just how life goes. But pain is helped by sleep and time, and in the midst of it all going wrong, it can be helpful to ask yourself if it'll really matter a year from now.

26. Pay your bills on time
This one's pretty obvious. Pay your bills, don't ever skip anything for a stupid reason, and don't be scared to ask for help if you need it.

27. Do not panic at interviews
When you go into an interview, remember that the interviewers are on YOUR SIDE. They picked you because they liked the cut of your jib, they want you to do well, and they definitely won't judge you if you are nervous (it's actually nice to see the person genuinely wants the job!). Also, if you're ever in a group interview with a task, always volunteer to be the person who writes notes!

28. There is no such thing as too many notebooks
There just isn't.

29. Put your mobile down!
If you are with people, put your phone down. If you're having dinner, put your phone down. If you're struggling to sleep and it's the middle of the night, put your phone down.

30. Remember you are still young 
If I had written a post like this when I was 20, I bet I would read it back and cringe and cringe. It feels like an absolute lifetime ago, but it was only 10 years? I'm not sure where I'll be in the next 10 years, but I'm looking forward to the things I'll learn (and the embarrassment of rediscovering this blog one day). Bring it on!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

MY TOP TEN PODCASTS

Ever since I got hooked on Serial last year (like everyone else in the world), podcasts have become a big part of my life! I listened to them LOADS when I was learning to run, I find them really soothing to listen to when I'm in bed if I can't quite be bothered to read a book, they make tidying the house so much more interesting, and they make boring plane and train journeys go by in a flash.


Here's a few of my current favourites...

1. Serial
If you didn't listen to Serial last year, what were you doing with your life? Last year Serial investigated the murder of Hae Min Lee, an American student who was killed in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend was charged with the crime and put away for life, but did he actually do it? They go through all of the evidence (which does not add up in many places), and it is fascinating. If you were hooking on Making a Murderer, you will be obsessed with this!

2. The Message
The Message is a science-fiction podcast and it is SO creepy. Each week you get an update from Nicky, a student who is working with a team of cryptologists as they attempt to decipher, decode and understand an alien message that was received over 70 years ago. Did I mention it is CREEPY? I loved it.

3. This American Life
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, produced by the team who also made Serial. Each week is focused on a different theme, from status updates to changing your mind to education inequality. It's always fascinating, and Ira Glass (the host) has the most soothing voice! I'd recommend you start by listening to their favourites page and take it from there.

4. Freakonomics
I really hate maths, so it's possibly a bit surprising that Freakonomics, an economics-based podcast, is one of my favourites, but it's so good! Each week the show uses the tools of economics to explore real-world behaviour, telling stories about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, the secrets of online dating, and crack-selling mama's boys.

5. The Mortified Podcast
The Mortified Podcastis a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids - diaries, letters and lyrics - on stage in front of total strangers. It is hilarious, and strangely comforting to realise that we were all embarrassing nightmares as teenagers. I almost cried with laughter listening to this episode - a boy who, inspired by the Wu Tang Clan, wrote in his journals as if he were a hip hop star.

6. Limetown
Another science-fiction podcast, Limetown is what would happen if Serial met the X-Files. This seven-part podcast looks at an American mystery, when over three hundred men, women and children  disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. I couldn't stop listening to this, even though it absolutely terrified me at times!

7. Criminal
Criminal is a podcast (unsurprisingly) about crime. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Each episode is only about 20 minutes long, which makes it easy to dip in and out of, and gives you a fascinating glimpse into people's worlds.

8. Game of Owns
Do you want to listen to a group of pals talk for hours on end about Game of Thrones? This podcast is for you! Each week they dissect the show, try to make sense of what is actually going on, and guess what's going to come next.

9. Lore
I've included a couple of creepy podcasts on this list, but Lore beats them all. This podcast looks at true-life scary stories (waaah), picking a uniquely scary tale each week and covering the truth behind it. I have tried to listen to this at night but I actually can't - I always have to turn it off and watch some nonsense on youtube to shake the fear off. It's so good/terrifying!

10. You Must Remember This...
Last but not least, You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast about the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century. I first started listening to tale of Charles Manson's Hollywood and I've been hooked ever since.

I hope that's given you some listening inspiration! If you are also a podcast fan, let me know what you're listening to at the moment too.

Monday, 25 January 2016

EMBROIDERED PATCH WISHLIST

Since I stitched up my denim patch jacket, I have suddenly been obsessed with patches - I want them all, and I want them now!

Annoyingly, as I have a) no money (thanks early December payday), and b) nothing that really needs patches added, I'll just have to bide my time by making a wishlist of what I'm planning to buy next! It's totally okay to dress only in denim jackets and shirts covered in patches, right?

Here's a few of my favourites...


Top row

Middle row

Bottom row

Sunday, 24 January 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

I am shattered. Since coming back to work after the most wonderfully relaxing Christmas break, it has been flat out. The Festival I work for isn't actually happening until March, but this is the month that our programme goes to print - and as I run the sponsorship team it means we need to get as much funding as possible confirmed in January, so that logos can run correctly, and it all gets signed off in time. AND we have to start planning for the next financial year AND do analysis of progress so far, and look after all the other bids and reports and projects that are going on. Eep.

I generally love a deadline, but this week it all just got a bit much, and I couldn't find the energy to blog or go running or do anything that wasn't just crashing on the sofa as soon as I got home.

But this weekend has helped - I've been a total hermit and just mooched around my flat, slowly tidying it, and getting my (non-work) life in a little more order. Tonight all I plan to do is eat sushi, watch the rest of the Vampire Diaries (it's ridiculous but I am OBSESSED), and sleep before another manic week rolls round. Bring on February - January is dark and stressful and I need Spring!

Anyway, here's a round up of the interesting things I've seen online this week (when I wasn't panicking over an ever-growing to do list...). Hope you're all having a nice Sunday!


In the last few months I've really embraced leaving my hair curly, and as a lazy person, I love the look of these 16 messy updos (I also love that hair colour!).

I love this so much - Kylo Ren takes part in Undercover Boss for Saturday Night Live.

Can you believe that it's been fifteen years since Popworld first aired?! As a teenager, I bloody loved it. Here's a nostalgic look back at why it was so brilliant.

Talking of music shows, how do we fix the Brit awards?

Here's a really fascinating look at the deeper meaning of emojis, and how social media is changing communication.

I agree with all of this. The 12 things that restaurants must stop doing in 2016.

Have you seen the massive NYC milkshakes that everyone's going on about? Here's an ace rant about how they are bullshit.

And finally, it's almost February, which means Valentine's Day is around the corner! Here's 9 adorable DIYs for your Valentine.

Monday, 18 January 2016

OUTFIT: MONOCHROME FLUFF

Over Christmas my best friend came up to visit from London, and as part of BFF-bonding time, we found ourselves in Tesco, attempting to finish Christmas food shopping, but being distracted by the clothing section instead. At first we were trying to find something to buy for a night out with our school pals... but then we came across the most ridiculous fluffy jackets and decided that OF COURSE we should buy matching ones!

Jacket - F&F at Tesco
Jeans - Primark
Brogues* - George at Asda
I have a couple of furry jackets, but this manic monochrome number felt SO far out of my comfort zone. But my pal is a persuasive person, and she talked me into trying it on... I kinda liked it, and even though I really don't feel cool enough to wear something like this, I've worn it out a few times! And I've never felt daft... I've been too busy being the warmest human alive. 


I've mainly been wearing it over dresses, but today I chucked it on over black jeans (my winter staple), and my adorable sparkly black brogues (which are currently £8 in the sale!). I like this outfit a lot, I think my hair is still bright enough to add a bit of colour to the monochrome look (even if it's lightened up LOADS in the last month - look how bright it was before!), and it's super comfy and very little effort. 


I think I'm a faux fur convert - there's nothing quite like feeling like you've got a polar bear cuddling you as you walk. I also love that if I'm wearing it, there's a chance that at the other end of the country, my pal is too! 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

It's been quite the week, hasn't it? I am absolutely shattered - work is in full swing, and I'm so fed up with dark and cold January nights. Bring on Spring - I need some sunshine in my life!


One for the sweet tooths out there. Here's how you make this beautiful candy floss pastel rainbow cake!

It's been a bit of a horrible week with news of David Bowie and Alan Rickman (sob!) losing their battles with cancer. Sali Hughes shares her thoughts on the grief police in The Pool.

I feel quite overwhelmed when I think about my mortgage, and how long it's going to take me to pay it off. Why are Brits so obsessed with buying their own homes?

Moot moot! This is really interesting - a look at how they made Pingu.

Have you seen Making a Murderer yet? I started watching it during the Christmas holidays, and before I knew what was happening, I watched all 10 episodes in under 24 hours (and then spent the next few days reading everything I could about the case). If you haven't seen it yet, I am so jealous! If you have, here's 12 documentaries you should watch next.

This is brilliant and rings very true - how the twisted villian of the new Star Wars film, Kylo Ren, is a gatekeeper.

Looking for a new penpal? The super creative Kaylah from the Dainty Squid is seeking new postcard pals.

And finally, I really enjoyed this blog. Liz pushed herself out of her comfort zone, said 'I am going', and travelled across the world all by herself. Then she realised she was actually having a pretty terrible time, but that was totally okay too.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

BROCKLOCH TREEHOUSE

Just before Christmas, Joshua and I went off on a secret adventure to celebrate my birthday, and I was so excited! It's the first time I've ever been whisked away on a secret trip, and I couldn't wait to see what he had planned. My only clue was that we were taking books and wine, so I knew it would be a super relaxing escape - I imagined a little cottage or cabin, maybe somewhere up in the Highlands.


Turns out I was wrong - we headed South. Two taxis, one train, and one bus later, we pulled into a field in the middle of nowhere and discovered this...a treehouse! An actual treehouse!


This is the absolutely beautiful Brockloch Treehouse, and it's possibly the most adorable place I've ever stayed (and definitely one of the nicest surprises I have ever gotten!). It's an eco retreat on Brockloch Farm in Dumfries and Galloway (the farm also has a Bothy, if trees aren't your thing), and it is the PERFECT place for a peaceful, lazy adventure.

The treehouse sits in a Bluebell wood in the grounds of the farm, and it feels like you have disappeared from the world. There's a log-burning stove so it's super cosy, and a small kitchen and bathroom, so you don't have to go anywhere at all, unless you fancy a walk through the wilderness. There's a bath with a skylight too! A bath! In a treehouse! Another skylight sits above the bed, so you can gaze at the stars, and watch the trees in the wind.


I was a bit broken by 2015 (more on that here), so it was SO nice to get the chance to properly relax before the madness of the festive season kicked in. This is the second year we've gone off on a birthday adventure (last year we stayed in a lovely gypsy caravan in the Scottish Borders), and I'm so happy that this is becoming a new tradition in our lives!

I'm already dreaming of when I can go back to Brockloch - I think it would be wonderful in summer, when the days are warm, and the wood is leafy and full of flowers!

Monday, 11 January 2016

HOME TOUR: MY STUDY

I'm giving myself a pat on the back as I have FINALLY unpacked all of my boxes and built all of my furniture (and it only took me, err, two months to do it all?). Here's a look at possibly my new favourite room in my home - my super colourful study! (You can also see my bedroom and bathroom here).

Desk - IKEA
Chair - Ebay
Bureau - Vintage
Rug - Urban Outfitters
When I bought the flat, this room had been a bedroom with one bright red feature wall. As soon as I saw it I couldn't get the idea of painting candy stripes out of my head - I figured that as I'd be painting the rest of the room anyway, I might as well TRY stripes, and if they looked stupid then it wouldn't be too much effort to repaint them.

Joshua helped me mark out the lines with masking tape because he's super arty, and then I just had HOURS and HOURS of painting to do. Turns out it's super fiddly painting between narrow lines, and that red paint needed a lot of white to cover it! But when it was finally done, it was so satisfying to pull the masking tape off, and reveal beautiful crisp white lines. I love it so much!


Annoyingly, as I was getting into my stride and sorting out the rest of my flat, my bathroom drama happened and the study became the dumping ground for all of my leftover stuff and all of the plumber's tools and materials. Even after he left, and took his MILLIONS of things with him, I just got a bit lazy and couldn't face tackling the ever growing mountain of boxes and bits and pieces that needed sorting. 

But I finally ran out of excuses last week, and after an epic session it's all done, and I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier! 


I bought my desk from Ikea (it's the sinnerlig table) and I love it so much! The table top is cork, which makes it feel so much fancier than Ikea, and I love the legs, I think it's really quirky. I'm using this room for blogging, painting and crafting, so I wanted a desk that was big enough to fit all of those things, and this does the job nicely.

I inherited a beautiful wooden bureau from my Great Aunt that holds all of my art supplies and stationary, and I've got a bookcase for crafty books, photo albums, and a few trinkets. I still need to work out what to do with the space on the non-desk side of the room... I think there's space for a chair, but I really don't want the room to feel cluttered so I'm a bit nervous about choosing badly! I also need to get some artwork on the wall above my vintage suitcases (which are ace for storage) - I'm thinking about this Luke Skywalker print that I've had my eye on for years!


It's so nice to have a space that is totally dedicated to writing and making. In my old flat I had a small desk in my bedroom, but I almost always would blog sitting on the sofa while watching tv, and I got really fed up with it. I like my living room being a super relaxing space where I don't take my computer, and having a bright, creative study - I totally prefer working at a desk, and I think it's helping me find more of a work/life/hobby balance!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Sunday! Have you had a good week? Mine has been manic - after the last lovely days of my holiday,  I was back to reality with a bump with the busiest few days back at work (deadlines are fast approaching and a little terrifying!), and a pretty packed weekend. I need to talk myself into going for a run today, but it's so cold out, I just want to stay in my pyjamas. Aargh!

Anyway, here's the return of Sunday Links - a round up of interesting, creative and fun things I've come across online this week.

Cactus doughnuts by Aww, Sam
New year got you in a bit of an existential panic? Here's 20 signs you're doing better than you think you are.

This made me laugh so much: man says fuck you to careers advisor who claimed 'astronaut' is not a real job.

I have been a huge Taylor Swift fangirl for many years, but this is really fascinating - how Taylor reversed female opinion to become the most famous pop star in the world.

Have you seen Star Wars yet? (You're not one of these people, yeah?). If so, you're probably in love with Oscar Isaac - the internet's new boyfriend.

I'm skint after Christmas, so I'm counting down the days to payday, when I can treat myself to some of the amazing enamel pins from this huge shopping guide! I feel like I need that hedgehog pin at least, right?

I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and I absolutely love Gormenghast, so news of the possible film adaptation is very, very exciting!

And finally, this is BRILLIANT, and you should read it. Why don't men I date ever love me?

Friday, 8 January 2016

OUTFIT: DENIM & PATCHES

For my birthday Joshua bought me an amazing set of patches, which gave me the excuse to treat myself to a new denim jacket. I've been on the hunt for a nice denim jacket for AGES, but I'm really picky about them (and over the years I've bought loads that just sit unloved in my wardrobe and end up going to a charity shop).

This time though, I've lucked out with this super cosy ASOS number that ticked all of my boxes (including 'being in the sale', hooray!).

Denim jacket - ASOS
Top & skirt - H&M
Boots* - Buffalo - Mac Queen from Spartoo 
I'm a fan of being slouchy and cosy, so this is my ideal winter get-up. My number one issue with most denim jackets is that they tend to be cropped, and sit really weirdly on me. As someone with curves, I hate tiny jackets and always feel really uncomfortable in them, so it was such a relief to discover that this jacket sits nicely on my hips and doesn't make me feel like a massive denim ball.


I've had these boots for YEARS and I'm slowly wearing them to death, but they are so comfortable. They are fleecy lined on the inside, and the leather is SO soft, they are just like wearing slippers! I'm not sure if you can buy these anymore (Spartoo have a couple of pairs, but not in my size), and I'm a bit gutted for the day they do give up the ghost!


And my very favourite thing about this outfit? The amazing patches! I've got two from Stay Home Club (I cry at the most ridiculous things, so these are very, very appropriate for my life), a couple from TV shows I love, this amazing Jeff Goldblum Appreciation Society patch by Kodiak Milly AND a wonderful feminist dinosaur badge by Kate Gabrielle.

I actually can't pick a favourite, I feel like the coolest kid in town!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

HELLO 2016

This time last year I made my wishes for 2015. When I wrote this post, I was optimistic. Life felt like it was fitting together nicely, and I didn't feel the need to make any grand plans, all I wanted was to enjoy the small moments, and continue to seek happiness where I could find it.

Banner by Jimmy Marble
2015 was a bit of a mixed year, if I'm honest. One of my family had a huge health scare, and it took me a long, long time to admit how scared I was. Waiting on results (that don't come for months and months) is horrendous. You don't feel like you have a right to feel truly upset until you know something is actually wrong, but the uncertainty, and the what-ifs are killer. I spent the summer bottling it up, brushing off concern, and doing my best to stay sunny and positive, until one day it floored me and I just couldn't stop crying.

We've had the results now, and wonderfully it is good news, but I haven't stopped feeling scared. I guess this is the first time I've really had to face the fact that the people I love aren't invincible, and as much as you care, you are powerless to fix them.

At one point this year I was facing a triumvirate of stresses. I was (unsuccessfully) house-hunting, and viewing weird ex-drug dens after weird pokey expensive flats; we were waiting on test results that were equally vague and terrifying; and work was hard, and I feel like I never reached the end of my to-do list. I was exhausted. I stopped drawing or even reading. I just felt drained and a bit out of everything.

But, people are wonderful, aren't they, and I feel so lucky and grateful for the amazing people in my life. They kept my head up when I was down, they adventured with me, they helped me carry heavy boxes and paint my house, they accompanied me on many pub trips, and they (importantly) called me on my self-indulgent sadness bubble, when I started to lose sight of myself. I am very, very thankful to have such wonderful pals and a wonderful boyfriend, and this year I intend to be much better at making time for the people who made time for me.

So, that was a bit intense, wasn't it? If 2016 fancies being a little less stressful, I will absolutely be okay with that. For this year, I've got a few fixed goals I'd like to achieve. I want to be crafty again - I got a sewing machine for Christmas (eek!), so I want to learn to sew, and hopefully be able to make my own clothes by the end of the year. I want to keep running, which means I'll have to sign up to a race, as actual fixed deadlines are the only thing that motivate me. I want to explore new places (at home and far away), and, as always, I want to find peace and joy in the quiet moments.

I hope you all have a lovely year, and that good things come your way.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

DECEMBER CATCHUP

Hello! Long time no speak. I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and New Year!

It's been a little while since I last blogged, but I've really enjoyed a few weeks away from my laptop, after 22 days straight of blogging in December! I was doing so well with blogmas (and had planned to blog right up to the 24th), but my birthday rolled round, my best friend arrived in town, and fun and frolics took over!

Here's what December looked like for me...

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. I had a few flying trips to London this month with work, which were pretty exhausting but also surprisingly fun! I got to go to the Palace of Westminster with a client, which was quite surreal - the building is SO beautiful and ornate, we were greeted by a choir at the entrance, and I accidentally took home-soldered flashing circuits with me (for work!) and had to explain to the intense security team that they weren't anything dodgy. Oops.

2. This is the first Christmas that I've had Soba, which brought the JOY of posing him next to Christmas ornaments that are the same size as him. So cute, I die.

3. It was so fun decorating my new flat for Christmas - I still haven't taken any decorations down yet (they aren't going anywhere until my holiday is over!), but I don't want to, they're so pretty! I got my tree from Ikea as part of their 'buy a £25 tree, get a £20 voucher' deal, and I've been so pleased with it - it's hardly dropped any needles and fits so nicely into my living room! Now I just need to work out what to put in the space when it goes...

4. As a massive space geek I was SO excited to be part of the Scottish celebration of Tim Peake's Principia launch. Edscifest ran activities all day in the National Museum of Scotland, and we watched the launch live, with astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (aka the coolest woman alive) talking us through everything.

5. It was my 30th birthday this month, so I threw a super indulgent ginger-themed party. Joshua designed my birthday invites and made me these really cool ginger hairspray cans to use as props at the party.

6. My party was so much fun! I normally don't organise anything properly for my birthday as it's just a few days before Christmas, but as this felt like a big occasion (I cannot believe I'm 30) I held my party a few weeks early so my friends could make it. Everyone made such a big effort in dressing up, I had a gingerbread girl cake, massive balloons, and the nicest gang of pals to spend time with.

7. Just before Christmas I went to an immersive screening of Mean Girls, put on by the super creative Jelly & Gin. It was so much fun - we had a box of themed drinks and treats that matched the movie perfectly, including candy cane grams and a burn book cocktail.

8. After possibly the most stressful week at work ever, the Christmas holidays rolled round, and Joshua whisked me off on a secret birthday adventure. We arrived at the incredible Brockloch Treehouse, an amazing cabin in the trees in the middle of nowhere. It was the nicest ever surprise, and we're already dreaming about when we can go back.

9. I don't normally brag about gifts, but forgive me for this one - I was just so touched by my dinosaur-themed birthday present from Josh! I got a personalised lego set (!), a really excellent feminist dinosaur badge, a Jeff Goldblum patch, and a necklace made from real fossilised amber (with insects in it!). The best!

10. Back home, and my actual birthday finally rolled round. It's weird being 30! I don't mind it, but I just don't feel grown up enough to be a proper adult yet! Saying that, I've got a good job, I bought a flat this year, I occasionally shop in Waitrose. Is that adulting? I'm still obsessed with dinosaurs and I play a lot of video games and watch cartoons. Is that adulting too?

11. Christmas rolled round, and it was a really lovely, relaxing time. Josh & I spent Christmas Day at my flat, cooking too much food for two people (I made custard for the first time!), watching movies, playing games, and being super lazy. Boxing Day was round two with pals, more games, and a roast goose! I still feel full.

12. And to round off my super relaxing Christmas break, I booked into the Lush Spa to spend my birthday voucher (thanks Mum!) on one of their spa treatments. I went for the Comforter, a seriously indulgent treatment where you get scrubbed with chocolate scrub and doze in a room full of candyfloss bubbles. So lovely!

Now I'm coming to the end of my holidays and trying to get my head back into real-life mode. I always try and take a bit of extra time off at the start of the year to sort my house out and enjoy the quiet of days by myself, reading, pottering about, and taking in the new year. January is always a trying month - I have scary deadlines at work, and the days are dark and grim, but I'm feeling cheery. Bring it on.
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