Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Looking Forward, Looking Back #1

Life isn't always easy and sometimes it can be super tough to find stuff to be thankful for. I know I can certainly be prone to bouts of the grumps! So when I heard about 'gratitude journalling' (a fancy way of saying writing down stuff you're grateful for) I though 'why not?'. So, I've decided to try and do a regular little post entitled 'Looking Forward, Looking Back'. I'll look forward to something coming up - even the toughest times are easier when you've something to look forward to, no matter how little! Then I'll look back and find something great to be thankful for. Sounds simple enough right?


So here we go with my first 'Looking Forward, Looking Back':

Looking Forward
My mum always says Autumn seems awfully sad, with everything dying and hibernating for winter. But what a pessimistic view! Personally, I think that this time of year has a certain sort of glamour - not the out-and-out 'woo let's wear a bikini' sort that summer has, or the delicate new life of spring, but instead everything gets a little mysterious. Sunset is earlier and everyone disappears into their lovely new coats and scarves. Plus, tights are my best friend...I'm about as white as they get and I just don't enjoy faffing around with all that fake tan! Now if finally being able to put the pasty legs away isn't something to look forward to, then I don't know what is!

Looking Back
I've had an absolutely fab summer! It's been the perfect combination of holiday, productivity and just chilling out. I feel completely refreshed and ready to hit October hard now! I was really lucky to be taken on holiday to France by my parents, which was amazing - great weather, lovely day trips and most importantly lots and lots of food and wine! Definitely something to be grateful for.

So there we go, my first 'Looking Forward, Looking Back'...and ya know what? I feel better already!

Sarah x

The Flip-Flops' Last Hurrah

Until next summer dear flip-flops!

What an unexpectedly lovely sunny day! Well not entirely unexpected, I know the weatherman has been going on about potential good weather this week, but I never that them raise my hopes! Especially not when apparently they're forecasting snow for the second week of October (or so a taxi driver told me - those guys are fountains of knowledge). I spent a little time out on a picnic blanket reading my newest book ('The Red Tent' by Anita Diamant) and, surprise surprise, got about half way through! It's just so easy to lose time when the weather is gorgeous and you're lost in a great book.

I must admit I am going to miss being able to go outside without piling on the layers, so it was lovely to be able to just spend some time relaxing outside.

I hope everyone has had a minute or two to enjoy the sunshine!

Sarah x

Monday, 26 September 2011

Book Review - 'When God Was A Rabbit' by Sarah Winman

I have an awful habit of getting so absorbed in a book that I finish it in a matter of days, and I must admit that 'When God Was A Rabbit' is definitely one of those books that I did this with!

Told in the style of a two-part memoir, this book is narrated by Elly, who tells the story of her relationships with family and friends. The most central and formative of her relationships are with her elder brother Joe and odd classmate Jenny Penny, and as the novel progresses we see how they impact upon Elly right through into adulthood.

The first half of the book revolves around Elly's childhood experiences and is told with a childish wonder - so many events are described perfectly through a child's eyes and it is often not until the second adult part of the book that the reader, alongside Elly, comes to fully understand them.

There are plenty of subtly shocking moments in 'When God Was A Rabbit', and Winman does not shy away from difficult issues such as terminal illness, abuse and murder. Nothing, however, is ever included purely for shock factor and it is fascinating to see how Elly and her family cope with the many events throughout the book. Despite the inclusion of several upsetting events, this is not a depressing novel - quite the opposite in fact! There are plenty of uplifting and beautiful moments, and the ending, although a little inconclusive, leaves the reader satisfied. The book's blurb claims that this is "a book about love in all its forms", and that is certainly what it achieves.

Overall: A really lovely and though-provoking book, perfect if you need a little heart-warming but don't fancy the typical love story.

Sarah x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

All Tangled Up

I'm having a bit of a mare as my jewellery addiction is coming back to bite me! I've been maltreating my accessories a little recently and just chucking them all together in a bag and of course it then takes an absolute age to separate them again. The necklaces especially are a pain because of the chains getting all tangled together. So, I decided to have a look for a little inspiration for a nice jewellery holder to make. I must admit I was amazed at how resourceful some people can be!

Here are some of the ideas that I found on Pinterest...

Kitchen Grater

Garden Rake

Antique Typeset Tray

Branches and Twigs

Alas until the time when I manage to find some way as lovely as this to sort my jewellery I'll have to continue throwing it in a bag and then getting irritated as I spend twenty minutes trying to separate out the necklace I want!

Sarah x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Specs Appeal?

A little post today that was inspired by Selin over at The Tuesday Girl, who posted about making peace with her glasses. Apparently today is 'Proud Of Your Specs' Day, at the behest of Gok Wan. Now I certainly don't feel proud of my specs, in fact I do just about everything I can to avoid wearing the things. I can't wear contacts and so my life is, for the most part, a rather blurry experience. Apart from driving and times when I need to read at a distance, my glasses stay firmly in their (admittedly very pretty) Cath Kidston case. Some people manage to work the geek look, or even just look downright hot in their specs, but I'm just not one of them. Looks aside they always slip off as well. I know life would be easier if I just put the darn things on my face every now and then, but I don't! There would certainly be a drastic reduction in cases of mistaken identity but I'm used to the embarrassment by now, and this would of course provide most people in my town with a lot less entertainment.

Nope, I'm afraid I still don't think I can pull off the sexy specs look, but in the spirit of 'Proud Of Your Specs' Day I will at least let my glasses have one little outing...

Happy now Gok?
There you go, the glasses are outed! One day we may finally reconcile our differences, but until then I'll just pop them back in my handbag...

Sarah x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Art of Distraction

So in an attempt to distract myself from all the important things I should be doing, I hit Boots for a teeny bit of retail therapy. Here's a pic of my purchases...

Okay, so I lie the toothpaste (yawn) came from the Pound Shop. But these are a few things I've been wanting to try for a while. The shampoo and conditioner were on offer and after borrowing a little of my friend's 'Nourish Me Truly' conditioner I was hooked! I'm a little sceptical of the'adaptive' technology, but hey they were on offer and I've nearly finished my current shampoo. Also I barely ever use conditioner so I thought it would probably be a good habit to get into, since my short hair often requires heat styling etc. The Garnier 'Miracle Skin Perfector' has also been on my list of things to try, as I've heard a lot of hype about 'B. B.' creams. I have quite a lot of scarring and unevenness in my skintone, so will be interested to see if this truly does what it says on the tin. Finally I've been hunting for little skin treat and after reading Zoella's review of Soap and Glory's 'The Fab Pore' I figured I'd give it a little try, since I had some Advantage Card points going handy (gosh I love those things!).

I'll maybe give a little review of these things, so stay tuned!

There was also a food and drink festival on in town, so I couldn't resist getting myself a little lunch. I had a samosa platter from an Indian stall, which had vegetable crisps, chickpea curry and a samosa...absolutely delicious!

I'm off to see Slow Club tonight and I am SO excited! I've waited so long to see them live and after they postponed their May show, I can't believe I finally get to see them. I'll be reviewing them for a music website I write for called Soundsense Online (www.soundsenseonline.co.uk), so I'll post that when it's done for you music lovers. 

Sarah x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Everything's Beachy

After spending almost the whole of yesterday being forced into watching football, I really fancied getting out and about today. This time we headed to Sea Palling near Norwich for a day at the beach. We took a walk on the beach and even a paddle in the water, until this dreaded black clouds which had followed us all the way finally burst! Thank goodness I had my new duffel coat with me...

Wrapped up but still going for a paddle!
We took a little packed lunch, but alas had to finish it in the car as the rain got heavier and heavier, but I had a great time anyway! It was definitely a little chilly, but nothing a cup of tea didn't solve when we got in.

Those ominous black clouds just before they burst
There's nothing like a day at the beach...even if it all gets a little wet!

Sarah x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Afternoon Tea

I am a self-confessed tea addict (it really is true that a cup of tea solves everything!) and so when I went on a trip to Norwich yesterday I was keen to find somewhere for an afternoon cup of the good stuff. I can't remember where I first heard about Biddy's, but after a little hunting around Lower Goat Lane we finally found the tearoom. It was only a small upstairs room, but it was a great set up. There was music coming from a gramophone in the corner and the mismatched antique chairs gave the tearoom a lovely vintage quality. There were also plenty of pretty finishing touches such as old books turned into menus and proper china tea sets.

All sorts of vintage fare on offer - even old fashioned fizzy drinks!

I chose to have afternoon tea, which consisted of a sandwich, scone and pot of tea for £6.75 and came served on a cute tiered stand. I chose a ploughmans sandwich (always tasty) and a spiced sultana scone, which came with lashings of clotted cream and jam - exactly as it should be! It was a perfect amount of food for a late lunch. There were so many different teas to choose from that I felt a little boring just having plain old normal tea, but it is my favourite after all. However, for those who love trying different teas, Biddy's would be perfect!

Biddy's has a lovely atmosphere

Biddy's was such a cosy and intimate little place, I can imagine snuggling up there in the winter months after a hard day's shop in Norwich! Apparently it is also available to hire out for functions, which I bet would be fab. Definitely one to visit again and I highly recommend it!

Sarah x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Goodbye Summer

Well I took a walk this afternoon and I think it's time to finally give up any hope of an Indian summer and accept that Autumn is well and truly here! It always makes me a little sad to admit defeat and dig out the tights again, but Autumn does have a little charm of its own (even when it's often just full of drizzle, a la U.K.).
A little hopeful?! (weheartit.com)   
Of course there are some plus sides to the colder weather...for a start I can at last debut my new duffel coat! I saw it in Topshop for a while already and after finally laying my trusty old one to rest, I went a purchased the new one! It's really lovely and warm (very practical, wouldn't my mother be proud!) and I was especially happy to see it available in Topshop's petite section. Most coats end up with sleeves that are miles too long for me, so it's great to be able to find one that fits properly. I shall be warm all summer long!

Cosy new coat (topshop.com) 

 Stay warm!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

No. 17 Baked Cherry Nail Varnish

This is the shade I'm currently wearing and it is gorgeous! It's one of the No. 17 'Fast Finish' range, which I love as they're nearly always on offer in Boots (there's often freebies involved and hey, who doesn't love them?!). The only downside to this range is that they don't often last past two or three days, and even less if you occasionally have the dreadful habit of having a chew every now and then! But nonetheless the colours are always on trend and cheap, making it a great range for those who like to have a pop of colour on their nails for a few days.

Apologies for the state of my nails - cut short for guitar!

'Baked Cherry' is a lovely pinky red

Have a great Monday!

Sarah x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Follow me on Bloglovin!

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Click on the button on the right :)

Sarah x

A lovely weekend and some new music

I've just spent a really lovely weekend in Hereford for my Grandma's 80th birthday, full of great food, wine and family! We all had a fab time and my Grandma was particularly taken with the cake we had made for her - she adores walking (and can still beat me up a mountain any day, so jealous) so the lady who made the icing crafted a little icing walker which bore an uncanny likeness to Grandma!

What a cake!
Baking is always something I've wanted to get into, and although I don't think my skills will ever match those above, it would be great to be able to produce some cute cupcakes etc.

I was also very excited when I got back to see that my new Slow Club album, ' had arrived and I'd completely forgotten it was a special signed edition. I adore these guys and am going to see them live in two weeks time - perfect timing to have a listen to some new stuff! For anyone who loves lovely folky harmonies these guys are a MUST!

'Paradise' - Slow Club
What a nice weekend!

Sarah x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Very first post!

Well hello blog world!

I'm completely new to this, so it might take a while to get things up and running. I hope you enjoy the  finished product however!

This will just be a place for me to collect my thoughts on all sorts of things, but you might see me write about topics such as beauty, health, food and music...who knows! It's all very exciting.

I can't wait to get stuck in.

Sarah x