It has felt like a long time since I've sat down and wrote a post for my little blog. Lately I have woken up not knowing what day it is, with the craze of Christmas and that strange in between period before New Year I find myself getting quite confused. I'm looking forward to the early days of 2015. Where I can get back on track, make a good start on my goals and hopefully get rid of my horrible cold.

I have a far better outlook on the possibilities that could happen in the next year than I have ever had before. Last year I was the opposite but then I surprised myself a little and things have happened that I didn't think would. Saying that some things haven't been as successful as I hoped they would be but all those little steps eventually lead to bigger and better outcomes.

December started to wind down very quickly, before I knew it all of the doors on my advent calender were open. And now we are days away from the beginning of the next year. Some days have been very cold but unfortunately no snow, I'm hoping we'll get some in the next month or so. This has meant a lot of coffee has been consumed and as it's the time of year to treat yourself I had a ginger loaf in my new favourite pudding/coffee shop. My favourite thing to do during the festive month is to decorate the tree and wrap up presents for those closest to me. On Christmas day I keep it casual, spending the morning in PJs and then staying comfy to visit my Dad in the afternoon before cooking the whole Christmas dinner all by myself (and it wasn't a disaster). On Boxing day my sister and I went for an afternoon walk at a park right by my old uni campus. We walked past the buildings I used to have my classes in, it felt very nostalgic walking in the same paths that I walked every day 4 years ago.

I hope you and your loved ones have all had a lovely Christmas and are doing well. I would like to just say thank you to those of you who do read my little blog. It honestly means the world to me and I'm hoping to make it grow and blossom in the next year. Have a beautiful end of 2014, love Natasha x


December + Festive Snapshots

28.12.14


It has felt like a long time since I've sat down and wrote a post for my little blog. Lately I have woken up not knowing what day it is, with the craze of Christmas and that strange in between period before New Year I find myself getting quite confused. I'm looking forward to the early days of 2015. Where I can get back on track, make a good start on my goals and hopefully get rid of my horrible cold.

I have a far better outlook on the possibilities that could happen in the next year than I have ever had before. Last year I was the opposite but then I surprised myself a little and things have happened that I didn't think would. Saying that some things haven't been as successful as I hoped they would be but all those little steps eventually lead to bigger and better outcomes.

December started to wind down very quickly, before I knew it all of the doors on my advent calender were open. And now we are days away from the beginning of the next year. Some days have been very cold but unfortunately no snow, I'm hoping we'll get some in the next month or so. This has meant a lot of coffee has been consumed and as it's the time of year to treat yourself I had a ginger loaf in my new favourite pudding/coffee shop. My favourite thing to do during the festive month is to decorate the tree and wrap up presents for those closest to me. On Christmas day I keep it casual, spending the morning in PJs and then staying comfy to visit my Dad in the afternoon before cooking the whole Christmas dinner all by myself (and it wasn't a disaster). On Boxing day my sister and I went for an afternoon walk at a park right by my old uni campus. We walked past the buildings I used to have my classes in, it felt very nostalgic walking in the same paths that I walked every day 4 years ago.

I hope you and your loved ones have all had a lovely Christmas and are doing well. I would like to just say thank you to those of you who do read my little blog. It honestly means the world to me and I'm hoping to make it grow and blossom in the next year. Have a beautiful end of 2014, love Natasha x


Sometimes I believe we could all use a little help. When I'm in need I turn to those close to me and thoughtful words. Simple yet inspiring quotes can be enough to turn my day around, changing my attitude and improving my mood. They are great reminders of how well I'm doing and bring my head back down to earth. Here are some of my favourites, I hope they keep you going that little bit longer and stronger.


 

Words that inspire

21.12.14

Sometimes I believe we could all use a little help. When I'm in need I turn to those close to me and thoughtful words. Simple yet inspiring quotes can be enough to turn my day around, changing my attitude and improving my mood. They are great reminders of how well I'm doing and bring my head back down to earth. Here are some of my favourites, I hope they keep you going that little bit longer and stronger.


 




Last year I made some decorations for my tree and this year I wanted to make my Christmas cards. Creating something instead of buying I think is a lot more thoughtful, it can also be really fun if you like to be a bit crafty. I wanted to keep it quite simple and make them personalised for each person.

You don't need a lot to make them, if you're like me and have a collection of embellishments, paints, glue and glitter. I did however need to buy some card and envelopes. It is actually cheaper for me to make these than buy which is an added bonus. 
 

The first thing I did was make my stencil/stamp. I made an outline of a gingerbread man and a tree, for the snowman I painted freestyle but there are lots of printable outlines that can be used. Using cardboard I made a little handle to make it easy to take off after printing the design. I brushed on acrylic paint onto the stamp and then pressed on the card then I was left with the shape. After I used the brush to smooth it down and added white glitter.

When that was dry I used sequins, string, pens, thread, glitter and ribbon to decorate the card. You can be so creative with what you want the design to look like. Once the glue had dried I used letter stamps to write 'Merry Christmas' on the cards, alternatively you can print out or hand write what you want. And then leave a message inside. 

It's very simple and took a few hours but I found it enjoyable. Maybe this will give you an idea to hand make something this festive season. And if you have already please share your idea!


Handmade Christmas Cards

14.12.14




Last year I made some decorations for my tree and this year I wanted to make my Christmas cards. Creating something instead of buying I think is a lot more thoughtful, it can also be really fun if you like to be a bit crafty. I wanted to keep it quite simple and make them personalised for each person.

You don't need a lot to make them, if you're like me and have a collection of embellishments, paints, glue and glitter. I did however need to buy some card and envelopes. It is actually cheaper for me to make these than buy which is an added bonus. 
 

The first thing I did was make my stencil/stamp. I made an outline of a gingerbread man and a tree, for the snowman I painted freestyle but there are lots of printable outlines that can be used. Using cardboard I made a little handle to make it easy to take off after printing the design. I brushed on acrylic paint onto the stamp and then pressed on the card then I was left with the shape. After I used the brush to smooth it down and added white glitter.

When that was dry I used sequins, string, pens, thread, glitter and ribbon to decorate the card. You can be so creative with what you want the design to look like. Once the glue had dried I used letter stamps to write 'Merry Christmas' on the cards, alternatively you can print out or hand write what you want. And then leave a message inside. 

It's very simple and took a few hours but I found it enjoyable. Maybe this will give you an idea to hand make something this festive season. And if you have already please share your idea!



One of my favourite things to do is to walk around a book store and physically browse books and see if any of them catches my eye. A lot of the time it's an impulse buy after reading the back, other times I remember a title of a book that is on my 'to read' list and I feel that it is a sign that I should read it. Initially when I was attracted to the title and found out what it was about I was immediately interested. I'm trying to branch out when it comes to what I read, I haven't read short stories for a very long time. I still have memories of my Dad reading to me and my little sister before bed from a big book of stories. There was also a lot of praise for Carver's writing style. When I found this, I picked up the last copy on the shelf and went to pay.

I believe that all authors are talented, they create something in their mind, put pen to paper and it's there for anyone to read. To write a series of stories with such different characters, narratives and events, each of them significant in their own way is artistic. Being able to achieve the same in a few pages that others do in a few hundred is quite inspiring. They are about people, all different types of people, young, old, relatable, unimaginable, men and women.

They really do linger in your mind, it as been a month since I read the 17 stories and some of them really got me thinking. In particular the story with the same title What we talk about when we talk about love. A group of people are having a conversation and one of them says 'There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love?'. I couldn't stop thinking about that when I first read those words. It seems like love can grow as easily as it can die. Maybe there is a balance in the universe and there can't be more love or more hate, it must be equal. But who truly knows, and that is what I love in a book. When I think about something I never thought about before. 

As it is a relatively small collection it was really quick to get through, perfect for days when you want to read a few pages at a time. If you want a change from an entire novel I would recommend giving this a read. 
 

Book Review: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver

10.12.14


One of my favourite things to do is to walk around a book store and physically browse books and see if any of them catches my eye. A lot of the time it's an impulse buy after reading the back, other times I remember a title of a book that is on my 'to read' list and I feel that it is a sign that I should read it. Initially when I was attracted to the title and found out what it was about I was immediately interested. I'm trying to branch out when it comes to what I read, I haven't read short stories for a very long time. I still have memories of my Dad reading to me and my little sister before bed from a big book of stories. There was also a lot of praise for Carver's writing style. When I found this, I picked up the last copy on the shelf and went to pay.

I believe that all authors are talented, they create something in their mind, put pen to paper and it's there for anyone to read. To write a series of stories with such different characters, narratives and events, each of them significant in their own way is artistic. Being able to achieve the same in a few pages that others do in a few hundred is quite inspiring. They are about people, all different types of people, young, old, relatable, unimaginable, men and women.

They really do linger in your mind, it as been a month since I read the 17 stories and some of them really got me thinking. In particular the story with the same title What we talk about when we talk about love. A group of people are having a conversation and one of them says 'There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love?'. I couldn't stop thinking about that when I first read those words. It seems like love can grow as easily as it can die. Maybe there is a balance in the universe and there can't be more love or more hate, it must be equal. But who truly knows, and that is what I love in a book. When I think about something I never thought about before. 

As it is a relatively small collection it was really quick to get through, perfect for days when you want to read a few pages at a time. If you want a change from an entire novel I would recommend giving this a read. 
 


It is a week later after seeing The National play live and I'm still listening to their discography in attempt to re-live the evening they played a 2 hour set. It was their last stop of the Trouble Will Find Me tour and an incredible one, in my opinion. The National are a band I have known and have listened to for years (thank you One Tree Hill) but only a selected number of songs. When they brought out their latest album it reignited a love for their music. And after hearing them play in an arena that holds 20,000 people yet making it feel so much more intimate I fell in love with the band. The very next day I watched Mistaken for Strangers a documentary style film created by the writer and singer of the band, Matt Berninger's brother Tom.

Whenever I go to see a band or singer live, I always have a song or two I really hope they play. They played all of the ones I wanted. My favourite song, Hard to Find was one I wanted over any others. I know the lyrics by heart and I cannot even tell you how many times I have listened to it. As soon as I heard the opening tune on the piano I knew instantly they were about to play it. We all have those songs that are extra special to us, for whatever reason it may be, this is one of mine. During the song I listened and watched, feeling so content. At certain bars during the song I felt chills down my back.

There were those moments where you were sat so still like that during the night and others you just wanted to stand up, sing and dance. A man sat behind me was singing/shouting along to almost every single song, he should have been up there with them. Of course they played England, when in London, England it is probably a requirement. Then the four song encore ended with Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, the whole stage was lit and had everyone singing along. I can't imagine what it's like to be singing a song you wrote and play to have thousands of people singing it back to you, it must be quite breathtaking. The band showed their appreciation in between songs, so polite and thankful to everyone, especially to the people that helped them get to where they are now.


The National at the London O2

3.12.14


It is a week later after seeing The National play live and I'm still listening to their discography in attempt to re-live the evening they played a 2 hour set. It was their last stop of the Trouble Will Find Me tour and an incredible one, in my opinion. The National are a band I have known and have listened to for years (thank you One Tree Hill) but only a selected number of songs. When they brought out their latest album it reignited a love for their music. And after hearing them play in an arena that holds 20,000 people yet making it feel so much more intimate I fell in love with the band. The very next day I watched Mistaken for Strangers a documentary style film created by the writer and singer of the band, Matt Berninger's brother Tom.

Whenever I go to see a band or singer live, I always have a song or two I really hope they play. They played all of the ones I wanted. My favourite song, Hard to Find was one I wanted over any others. I know the lyrics by heart and I cannot even tell you how many times I have listened to it. As soon as I heard the opening tune on the piano I knew instantly they were about to play it. We all have those songs that are extra special to us, for whatever reason it may be, this is one of mine. During the song I listened and watched, feeling so content. At certain bars during the song I felt chills down my back.

There were those moments where you were sat so still like that during the night and others you just wanted to stand up, sing and dance. A man sat behind me was singing/shouting along to almost every single song, he should have been up there with them. Of course they played England, when in London, England it is probably a requirement. Then the four song encore ended with Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, the whole stage was lit and had everyone singing along. I can't imagine what it's like to be singing a song you wrote and play to have thousands of people singing it back to you, it must be quite breathtaking. The band showed their appreciation in between songs, so polite and thankful to everyone, especially to the people that helped them get to where they are now.




The first day of the last month of the year begins tomorrow. Time is like a thief in the night, it goes by and takes it all away while you're sleeping. At least that's what it feels like sometimes. I become very reflective as certain milestones arrive, like the end of a year. I think about where I was a year ago and where I hope I'll be a year from now. And I feel that I can say I'm quite proud with some of the progress I've made since last year and I hope to look back in a years times and say the same.

So November, you have been a month full of darkness, rain and cold. Winter has arrives once again. I've had a lot of nights spent inside. Sometimes you just have to give in and hibernate a little. In the daylight I made sure to take a long look at the gorgeous autumn leaves that I now won't see for another year, leaving the tree branches bare. I had a few girlie nights, they are always my favourite. As you get older it is important to remember to make time for those friends who are dear to you. Last week I did have one 'rock and roll' night and went to see The National live, one of my favourite bands that were just incredible. I also did all of my Christmas shopping in one day, thank you Black Friday. I'm hoping I will have a very lovely final month of the year and I hope you all do too.


November

30.11.14



The first day of the last month of the year begins tomorrow. Time is like a thief in the night, it goes by and takes it all away while you're sleeping. At least that's what it feels like sometimes. I become very reflective as certain milestones arrive, like the end of a year. I think about where I was a year ago and where I hope I'll be a year from now. And I feel that I can say I'm quite proud with some of the progress I've made since last year and I hope to look back in a years times and say the same.

So November, you have been a month full of darkness, rain and cold. Winter has arrives once again. I've had a lot of nights spent inside. Sometimes you just have to give in and hibernate a little. In the daylight I made sure to take a long look at the gorgeous autumn leaves that I now won't see for another year, leaving the tree branches bare. I had a few girlie nights, they are always my favourite. As you get older it is important to remember to make time for those friends who are dear to you. Last week I did have one 'rock and roll' night and went to see The National live, one of my favourite bands that were just incredible. I also did all of my Christmas shopping in one day, thank you Black Friday. I'm hoping I will have a very lovely final month of the year and I hope you all do too.



Lately I have not had a desire to buy clothes for myself, when I am in a shop I will look and think it's really lovely but as I stand there after a minute I just decide I don't like it enough and/or to expensive, doesn't have my size or wouldn't suit me. I think all of us go through those phases. A blessing for my bank account is the only good side about it. But here are a few of those items I've seen that have caught my eye. Surprisingly, it's not all grey and black, my go to colours to wear.

Winter Style

26.11.14


Lately I have not had a desire to buy clothes for myself, when I am in a shop I will look and think it's really lovely but as I stand there after a minute I just decide I don't like it enough and/or to expensive, doesn't have my size or wouldn't suit me. I think all of us go through those phases. A blessing for my bank account is the only good side about it. But here are a few of those items I've seen that have caught my eye. Surprisingly, it's not all grey and black, my go to colours to wear.

Ever since the beginning of this year I have been trying to be healthier and eating clean. Of course there are days when I don't eat very well but I have learnt and discovered some new food combinations to eat that are healthier than a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps to snack on. I try not to snack but sometimes the sweet craving inside and the need for a boost of energy takes over. Finding these alternatives that are not only better for me but relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to make, they have really changed my bad habits.

Rice cake with almond butter and chia seeds
This is one of my favourites to satisfy my sweet craving, you have the crunch of the rice cake, the natural sweetness from almond butter plus the added benefits of chia seeds. Only takes a minute, ideal if you're in a rush.

Kale chips
The super food that I think everyone has heard of, it's quite a tasty leafy green. Mix the kale with a tablespoon of olive oil (per 75grams) add some sea salt, pepper or whatever seasonings you may fancy. Place on a baking tray, keep an eye on it, mix the kale around so it's evenly baked for around 20 minutes at 170C.


Peanut butter and apple slices on toast
As a snack this is great and won't leave you wanting something else, I sometimes have this for breakfast. Simply toast a slice of bread, spread peanut butter and add apple slices. You can alter this with your favourite fruit, berries are incredible with peanut butter.


Ryvita with hummus and tomatos
If want more of a savoury snack get a piece of Ryvita or flat bread, spread some hummus and add tomatos or anything you want, avocado and cucumber also taste great.

Greek yogurt, berries and nut mix
So very simple, you can just grab some yogurt but I like to add some flavours and textures. Add berries or whatever fruit you like and some seeds, nuts or granola. Mix it up with what you like, blueberries, almonds, walnuts and chia seeds are one of my favourite combinations.


I find that sometimes these snacks are substantial enough for breakfast or lunch. I really hope that this has given you some food inspiration. I love to go on Pinterest when I need some new ideas. If you have any suggestions please let me know them.

5 Quick and Good For You Snacks

22.11.14

Ever since the beginning of this year I have been trying to be healthier and eating clean. Of course there are days when I don't eat very well but I have learnt and discovered some new food combinations to eat that are healthier than a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps to snack on. I try not to snack but sometimes the sweet craving inside and the need for a boost of energy takes over. Finding these alternatives that are not only better for me but relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to make, they have really changed my bad habits.

Rice cake with almond butter and chia seeds
This is one of my favourites to satisfy my sweet craving, you have the crunch of the rice cake, the natural sweetness from almond butter plus the added benefits of chia seeds. Only takes a minute, ideal if you're in a rush.

Kale chips
The super food that I think everyone has heard of, it's quite a tasty leafy green. Mix the kale with a tablespoon of olive oil (per 75grams) add some sea salt, pepper or whatever seasonings you may fancy. Place on a baking tray, keep an eye on it, mix the kale around so it's evenly baked for around 20 minutes at 170C.


Peanut butter and apple slices on toast
As a snack this is great and won't leave you wanting something else, I sometimes have this for breakfast. Simply toast a slice of bread, spread peanut butter and add apple slices. You can alter this with your favourite fruit, berries are incredible with peanut butter.


Ryvita with hummus and tomatos
If want more of a savoury snack get a piece of Ryvita or flat bread, spread some hummus and add tomatos or anything you want, avocado and cucumber also taste great.

Greek yogurt, berries and nut mix
So very simple, you can just grab some yogurt but I like to add some flavours and textures. Add berries or whatever fruit you like and some seeds, nuts or granola. Mix it up with what you like, blueberries, almonds, walnuts and chia seeds are one of my favourite combinations.


I find that sometimes these snacks are substantial enough for breakfast or lunch. I really hope that this has given you some food inspiration. I love to go on Pinterest when I need some new ideas. If you have any suggestions please let me know them.
One of the best things I believe people can do for themselves is to read. The mind expands while having an enjoyable time. I'm not much of a TV person, I do have the odd favourites like Made in Chelsea and The Vampire Diaries, however in my down time you're more likely to find me reading. Whether it's a novel, magazine, website or blog. I honestly wish there was more time to read everything but like all avid readers will know, it will never be possible. There are so many creators in the world, professional and amateur. So my advice would be to find what you love to read and try to branch out a little into other subjects every once in a while.

And I wanted to share some of my favourites at the moment and tell you about some great blogs out there.




Right now I have about a 80 pages left of Us by David Nicholls and I've enjoyed it so far. I really like the writing style, it does not require a lot of concentration and the story is unfolding at a good pace. You can pick it up from wherever you left it and can be brought back into the story easily. I'm trying to predict the ending but I honestly am not sure what will happen.

Magazines are not as popular in my house as they once were. A few years ago I used to read two or three a week back when I was taking public transport every day but now I only manage to read my Elle subscription every month. This month it's the feminism issue and they have a feature article with Emma Watson.

Fashercise is a new discovery for me, I have become more interested in health and fitness this year and I like to educate myself. This website has great tips for food, music and general wellness while making it stylish for the modern woman.



I make an effort to keep up with the blogs I read, I can't express how much I love reading what others have written and created because each individual blogger has put in so much effort and I find a lot of the time they are better than some major mediums.

Here are a few of my favourites at the moment..

Offbeat + Inspired
Tiffany and Sarah do a bit of everything from style, beauty, illustration, baking and cooking. The photography is always great, especially the food, their coffee and maple spiced nuts recipe really caught my eye this month.

Junkaholique
I have been keeping up with this blog for years now, Artemis is a jewellery designer and all round creative, her sewing pieces are my favourite especially the little dresses and bits and pieces she makes her daughter. Sharing adventures her little family go on in their camper van around England.

Jennypurr
The blog I go to when I'm in need of advice from blogging, life and beauty. The post on how to turn your ideas into something awesome is one of many great inspiring and motivational posts.

Pale Lily
Sofia writes a little bit of everything like most of my favourites, you can get your beauty fix, lifestyle advice and recipes. A blog I would love to have in paper to flick through, the vegan pumpkin chai latte recipe she shared looks so delicious.

Sailboat
A beauty and lifestyle blog with so many great reviews on all things young women love and lovely writing by Jennie.

The Private Life of a Girl
A little bit of everything type of blog, could even describe it as a handbook for every female creative. Sophie is a designer-maker sharing creative and business advice, among other posts about books, travel and fashion. I really enjoyed reading this post about ways to be more efficient

My New Roots
As I mentioned, I have become more interested in healthy eating, this blog has so many recipes that are full of nutritious goodness.

Nishaantishu
Freya's writing is probably my favourite part of this blog, as well as the gorgeous photography. Sharing her travel adventures and snippets of her lifestyle.

Bless The Weather
Another all round creative, Siobhan takes wonderful photographs, her portraits in particular are always so striking. There are vegan recipes, music and lifestyle posts to read, the nice stuff features are one of my favourites.

Cider with Rosie
One of the best blogs to read when you're curled up under a blanket on your sofa, Rosie shares the joyous moments of her life. Everything from home and personal style and other simple pleasures. Her 10 things that have made me happy this week feature always makes me feel a little happier and remind me there is a lot to be happy about.

There are so many more incredible blogs out there, I might start sharing them every now and then. Please let me know what you love to read.


Reading Material & Sharing the Love

15.11.14

One of the best things I believe people can do for themselves is to read. The mind expands while having an enjoyable time. I'm not much of a TV person, I do have the odd favourites like Made in Chelsea and The Vampire Diaries, however in my down time you're more likely to find me reading. Whether it's a novel, magazine, website or blog. I honestly wish there was more time to read everything but like all avid readers will know, it will never be possible. There are so many creators in the world, professional and amateur. So my advice would be to find what you love to read and try to branch out a little into other subjects every once in a while.

And I wanted to share some of my favourites at the moment and tell you about some great blogs out there.




Right now I have about a 80 pages left of Us by David Nicholls and I've enjoyed it so far. I really like the writing style, it does not require a lot of concentration and the story is unfolding at a good pace. You can pick it up from wherever you left it and can be brought back into the story easily. I'm trying to predict the ending but I honestly am not sure what will happen.

Magazines are not as popular in my house as they once were. A few years ago I used to read two or three a week back when I was taking public transport every day but now I only manage to read my Elle subscription every month. This month it's the feminism issue and they have a feature article with Emma Watson.

Fashercise is a new discovery for me, I have become more interested in health and fitness this year and I like to educate myself. This website has great tips for food, music and general wellness while making it stylish for the modern woman.



I make an effort to keep up with the blogs I read, I can't express how much I love reading what others have written and created because each individual blogger has put in so much effort and I find a lot of the time they are better than some major mediums.

Here are a few of my favourites at the moment..

Offbeat + Inspired
Tiffany and Sarah do a bit of everything from style, beauty, illustration, baking and cooking. The photography is always great, especially the food, their coffee and maple spiced nuts recipe really caught my eye this month.

Junkaholique
I have been keeping up with this blog for years now, Artemis is a jewellery designer and all round creative, her sewing pieces are my favourite especially the little dresses and bits and pieces she makes her daughter. Sharing adventures her little family go on in their camper van around England.

Jennypurr
The blog I go to when I'm in need of advice from blogging, life and beauty. The post on how to turn your ideas into something awesome is one of many great inspiring and motivational posts.

Pale Lily
Sofia writes a little bit of everything like most of my favourites, you can get your beauty fix, lifestyle advice and recipes. A blog I would love to have in paper to flick through, the vegan pumpkin chai latte recipe she shared looks so delicious.

Sailboat
A beauty and lifestyle blog with so many great reviews on all things young women love and lovely writing by Jennie.

The Private Life of a Girl
A little bit of everything type of blog, could even describe it as a handbook for every female creative. Sophie is a designer-maker sharing creative and business advice, among other posts about books, travel and fashion. I really enjoyed reading this post about ways to be more efficient

My New Roots
As I mentioned, I have become more interested in healthy eating, this blog has so many recipes that are full of nutritious goodness.

Nishaantishu
Freya's writing is probably my favourite part of this blog, as well as the gorgeous photography. Sharing her travel adventures and snippets of her lifestyle.

Bless The Weather
Another all round creative, Siobhan takes wonderful photographs, her portraits in particular are always so striking. There are vegan recipes, music and lifestyle posts to read, the nice stuff features are one of my favourites.

Cider with Rosie
One of the best blogs to read when you're curled up under a blanket on your sofa, Rosie shares the joyous moments of her life. Everything from home and personal style and other simple pleasures. Her 10 things that have made me happy this week feature always makes me feel a little happier and remind me there is a lot to be happy about.

There are so many more incredible blogs out there, I might start sharing them every now and then. Please let me know what you love to read.



Ever since I began to take interest in skincare, I have been always been looking for the best ways I can treat my skin. One of my main woes has been the dryness on my face. When it gets a bit colder it begins to be a little more troublesome. I have three products that I grab when I need an extra boost of moisture and hydration.

Balm Balm Little Miracle Rosehip Serum
A recent addition to my skincare routine. I typically use this in the morning with my moisturiser. It can be used on it's own depending on your preference, all you need is a drop or two. I have tried other serums and I would suggest to add one to your daily routine if you don't already use one to help hydrate your skin. This one in particular gives a kick and feels smooth on the skin. I particularly like this one as it is 100% organic and smells of rose, rosehip is a very nourishing ingredient and can also help make your skin look clearer, so it's a two in one product.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
A long time favourite of mine is the Antipodes Aura mask, another natural beauty product that I like to use every now and then. I smooth it one my face, keep it on for about 20 to 30 minutes and my skin feels so much softer, smoother and hydrated. I find it is also very calming with the honey scent. It also cleanses and helps to treat spots and blemishes. I have read some great reviews for face masks from Aesop and Origins that clarify and add moisture, so I may have to try them out when I've finished the Aura mask.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
A cult beauty favourite amongst many women. The 8 hour cream is a multi-purpose products, so you can pretty much do anything with it. If you have a cut, burn or dry patch it will aid your skin. It feels rich on the face and soothing. I love using it on my lips when they are dry and chapped, it's a miracle worker. I'm aware that some people do not like the smell but there is a fragrance free version, I personally don't mind it so maybe find a tester if you're considering giving it a go because I think everyone should try this out.

I would love to know if you have any recommendations to help with dry skin, I'm always interested in trying out new things. And I hope this has helped you with any dry skin problems you may have.


The 3 Things You Need For Dry Skin

8.11.14


Ever since I began to take interest in skincare, I have been always been looking for the best ways I can treat my skin. One of my main woes has been the dryness on my face. When it gets a bit colder it begins to be a little more troublesome. I have three products that I grab when I need an extra boost of moisture and hydration.

Balm Balm Little Miracle Rosehip Serum
A recent addition to my skincare routine. I typically use this in the morning with my moisturiser. It can be used on it's own depending on your preference, all you need is a drop or two. I have tried other serums and I would suggest to add one to your daily routine if you don't already use one to help hydrate your skin. This one in particular gives a kick and feels smooth on the skin. I particularly like this one as it is 100% organic and smells of rose, rosehip is a very nourishing ingredient and can also help make your skin look clearer, so it's a two in one product.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
A long time favourite of mine is the Antipodes Aura mask, another natural beauty product that I like to use every now and then. I smooth it one my face, keep it on for about 20 to 30 minutes and my skin feels so much softer, smoother and hydrated. I find it is also very calming with the honey scent. It also cleanses and helps to treat spots and blemishes. I have read some great reviews for face masks from Aesop and Origins that clarify and add moisture, so I may have to try them out when I've finished the Aura mask.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
A cult beauty favourite amongst many women. The 8 hour cream is a multi-purpose products, so you can pretty much do anything with it. If you have a cut, burn or dry patch it will aid your skin. It feels rich on the face and soothing. I love using it on my lips when they are dry and chapped, it's a miracle worker. I'm aware that some people do not like the smell but there is a fragrance free version, I personally don't mind it so maybe find a tester if you're considering giving it a go because I think everyone should try this out.

I would love to know if you have any recommendations to help with dry skin, I'm always interested in trying out new things. And I hope this has helped you with any dry skin problems you may have.


With the colder days that have now arrived, there is nothing I like more than doing a little bit of baking. It warms me up, the kitchen begins to smell sweet and I always love making something with my hands (that's the creative art student inside of me). The other afternoon after I finished work I had a desire to bake something new, I asked my sister what she would like and she said something with almonds. I remembered seeing a recipe in one of the baking books we have for almond cookies, so then I went over to the shops to pick up what we didn't have and we got baking.


To make 10 to 12 cookies you will need..

125g spreadable butter
65g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
50g ground almonds
a few flaked almonds (around 10-15g)
caster sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C (165C for fan) and prepare a large baking tray, Cream together the butter and sugar together and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg very gradually, beating continuously, then beat in the vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and ground almonds with a spoon, then using a dessertspoon, scoop little piles of the mixture on to the tray. Press a few flaked almonds on top of each scoop. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Take them out of the oven, sprinkle a little caster sugar and leave to cool and then enjoy.


Almond Cookies

5.11.14

With the colder days that have now arrived, there is nothing I like more than doing a little bit of baking. It warms me up, the kitchen begins to smell sweet and I always love making something with my hands (that's the creative art student inside of me). The other afternoon after I finished work I had a desire to bake something new, I asked my sister what she would like and she said something with almonds. I remembered seeing a recipe in one of the baking books we have for almond cookies, so then I went over to the shops to pick up what we didn't have and we got baking.


To make 10 to 12 cookies you will need..

125g spreadable butter
65g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
50g ground almonds
a few flaked almonds (around 10-15g)
caster sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C (165C for fan) and prepare a large baking tray, Cream together the butter and sugar together and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg very gradually, beating continuously, then beat in the vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and ground almonds with a spoon, then using a dessertspoon, scoop little piles of the mixture on to the tray. Press a few flaked almonds on top of each scoop. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Take them out of the oven, sprinkle a little caster sugar and leave to cool and then enjoy.



I still can't get my head around the fact that it is now the second to last month of the year. It feels almost surreal, I have been told that as you grow older time just passes without you even realising. The days drag and the years fly by as my friend said to me yesterday. For me the first part of the year felt painfully slow, May arrived and since then time started ticking although when I look back to that month it feels like a long time ago. Time is a strange thing.

In October I have had the same old mundane days of going to work and feeling the struggle of getting out of bed in the dark cold mornings. Powering through graduate life and constantly doing what I can to improve on myself and achieve goals. As it is my favourite time of year I felt the desire to immerse myself in the simple things like baking, drinking a cup of coffee in a warm new jumper and taking a walk to look at the many colours we are now surrounded by before they disappear for a few months.

No matter what happens in our lives whether it is long hours at work or a huge curve ball being thrown at us or if we're just not feeling like ourselves. We need to take the time to remember what is truly important to us, take a step back and do something for yourself. Even one little thing every now and then like indulging in chocolate, a quick work out or watching your favourite show for a few hours. It will keep us stronger in the long run. Something I have learnt this month.

Have a wonderful November everyone.



October

1.11.14


I still can't get my head around the fact that it is now the second to last month of the year. It feels almost surreal, I have been told that as you grow older time just passes without you even realising. The days drag and the years fly by as my friend said to me yesterday. For me the first part of the year felt painfully slow, May arrived and since then time started ticking although when I look back to that month it feels like a long time ago. Time is a strange thing.

In October I have had the same old mundane days of going to work and feeling the struggle of getting out of bed in the dark cold mornings. Powering through graduate life and constantly doing what I can to improve on myself and achieve goals. As it is my favourite time of year I felt the desire to immerse myself in the simple things like baking, drinking a cup of coffee in a warm new jumper and taking a walk to look at the many colours we are now surrounded by before they disappear for a few months.

No matter what happens in our lives whether it is long hours at work or a huge curve ball being thrown at us or if we're just not feeling like ourselves. We need to take the time to remember what is truly important to us, take a step back and do something for yourself. Even one little thing every now and then like indulging in chocolate, a quick work out or watching your favourite show for a few hours. It will keep us stronger in the long run. Something I have learnt this month.

Have a wonderful November everyone.




In a place called Little Wing, a small Wisconsin town, there were four boys, born and raised, grew up and started to become men with all the responsibilities and decisions that surface with becoming an adult. They are Henry, Lee, Kip and Ronny. Some of them left the town, took a journey and when they're all back together after years apart they have also gained different types of success, personally and vocationally.

Lee is a musician who wrote his debut album in Little Wing, naming it 'Shotgun Lovesongs'. He then comes back home, finds his best friend Henry, a farmer, a good and loyal friend who is married with children. There is Ronny who was a rodeo rider and ended up with brain damage. His outlook of the world is innocent like a child with a good sense of humour. And Kip, a business man who is obsessed with money and greed.

The present events evidently get them thinking about the past. Bringing up old wounds, happy memories and a chance to step back and evaluate their lives. Beth who was with them while growing up and is still there years later is a woman who ignites passion, the same kind that resembles love songs. She too thinks about how different her life could have been if the past was written another way.

The book tells the story from each of their own eyes. In a plain and simple language. Touching on friendship, conflicts between husband and wife, heartbreak and dreams. Secrets are uncovered, people have changed but sometimes being back home will bring you back down to who you truly are and discovering what matters most. Showing that no matter how long it has been, there are still parts of us that will always connect us back to the home we grew up in.

A good read that you will begin to think about how everyone has something going on in their lives but we should not stay a stranger from those we care about most.

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Book Review: Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

28.10.14


In a place called Little Wing, a small Wisconsin town, there were four boys, born and raised, grew up and started to become men with all the responsibilities and decisions that surface with becoming an adult. They are Henry, Lee, Kip and Ronny. Some of them left the town, took a journey and when they're all back together after years apart they have also gained different types of success, personally and vocationally.

Lee is a musician who wrote his debut album in Little Wing, naming it 'Shotgun Lovesongs'. He then comes back home, finds his best friend Henry, a farmer, a good and loyal friend who is married with children. There is Ronny who was a rodeo rider and ended up with brain damage. His outlook of the world is innocent like a child with a good sense of humour. And Kip, a business man who is obsessed with money and greed.

The present events evidently get them thinking about the past. Bringing up old wounds, happy memories and a chance to step back and evaluate their lives. Beth who was with them while growing up and is still there years later is a woman who ignites passion, the same kind that resembles love songs. She too thinks about how different her life could have been if the past was written another way.

The book tells the story from each of their own eyes. In a plain and simple language. Touching on friendship, conflicts between husband and wife, heartbreak and dreams. Secrets are uncovered, people have changed but sometimes being back home will bring you back down to who you truly are and discovering what matters most. Showing that no matter how long it has been, there are still parts of us that will always connect us back to the home we grew up in.

A good read that you will begin to think about how everyone has something going on in their lives but we should not stay a stranger from those we care about most.

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When this time of year comes around the music I listen to changes slightly, I put on more acoustic, slower songs with lyrics that send goosebumps down your body like the chill of the colder air. It's a more peaceful time of year and music is a powerful addition to your life. Despite how beautiful it is when I look at the trees changing colour they are also dying. It provokes me to reflect on everything and I like to do so at the moment with these songs. I hope you like some of them as much as I do.

October Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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October Music

19.10.14


When this time of year comes around the music I listen to changes slightly, I put on more acoustic, slower songs with lyrics that send goosebumps down your body like the chill of the colder air. It's a more peaceful time of year and music is a powerful addition to your life. Despite how beautiful it is when I look at the trees changing colour they are also dying. It provokes me to reflect on everything and I like to do so at the moment with these songs. I hope you like some of them as much as I do.

October Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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A few weeks ago I took a trip up to Scotland, where I was born and where half my family live. Throughout my whole life I always remember making the journey there, when I was a child it was by car and now by flying. Although there is not much to do at my Grandparents house in the countryside I forget how gorgeous the landscapes are, miles and miles of fields and trees. The air is cleaner, it's so peaceful and you can walk around the roads feeling safe and to my surprise a cheerful 'hey there' and 'it's a fine day today' from complete strangers just walking past. I do for a moment consider moving to a place like this where it is slower, calmer and friendlier. Then I think, where do the people that live here go when they want a break away from the already peace and quiet? For now I'll settle for living on the outskirts of London and the smaller towns. I took a walk with my sister down a path I never visited before and quickly found a small bridge and river amongst the tall trees. I sat on a bench beside it for a few minutes and let the sun warm up my face. It's the simple things that can make you feel so good inside.

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Down the country path

8.10.14



A few weeks ago I took a trip up to Scotland, where I was born and where half my family live. Throughout my whole life I always remember making the journey there, when I was a child it was by car and now by flying. Although there is not much to do at my Grandparents house in the countryside I forget how gorgeous the landscapes are, miles and miles of fields and trees. The air is cleaner, it's so peaceful and you can walk around the roads feeling safe and to my surprise a cheerful 'hey there' and 'it's a fine day today' from complete strangers just walking past. I do for a moment consider moving to a place like this where it is slower, calmer and friendlier. Then I think, where do the people that live here go when they want a break away from the already peace and quiet? For now I'll settle for living on the outskirts of London and the smaller towns. I took a walk with my sister down a path I never visited before and quickly found a small bridge and river amongst the tall trees. I sat on a bench beside it for a few minutes and let the sun warm up my face. It's the simple things that can make you feel so good inside.

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As the seasons change I without fail go on a shopping frenzy, in shops, online and even Pinterest looking for new items to add to my wardrobe. Last month I gave a lot of clothes, scarves, shoes and other bits to charity and now have a little bit of room to add some good pieces to my clothing collection. I like to make sure I really want what I'm buying and think about how often I would wear something and how I would wear it because like most girls I can sometimes buy things and never end up wearing them which is incredibly wasteful.

A new scarf is a given, I wear them throughout Autumn, Winter and even on colder Spring days. Blanket wraps are everywhere this year and I love it, I think we can all thank Christopher Bailey for that, blanket wraps were big in the Burberry Porsum A/W 2014 collection. I like a nice simple black bag, big enough to fit all the daily essentials but small enough that it won't get in the way of everything. Jumpers are a classic piece in every ones Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I love ankle boots, I wear them almost all year round, I have to control and reason with myself when I'm looking at boots otherwise I would have more boots than sense. I really liked wearing skirts this past Summer and I'll be continuing that as it gets colder.

What is on your list to buy this Autumn?

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Autumn Style Pieces

4.10.14


As the seasons change I without fail go on a shopping frenzy, in shops, online and even Pinterest looking for new items to add to my wardrobe. Last month I gave a lot of clothes, scarves, shoes and other bits to charity and now have a little bit of room to add some good pieces to my clothing collection. I like to make sure I really want what I'm buying and think about how often I would wear something and how I would wear it because like most girls I can sometimes buy things and never end up wearing them which is incredibly wasteful.

A new scarf is a given, I wear them throughout Autumn, Winter and even on colder Spring days. Blanket wraps are everywhere this year and I love it, I think we can all thank Christopher Bailey for that, blanket wraps were big in the Burberry Porsum A/W 2014 collection. I like a nice simple black bag, big enough to fit all the daily essentials but small enough that it won't get in the way of everything. Jumpers are a classic piece in every ones Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I love ankle boots, I wear them almost all year round, I have to control and reason with myself when I'm looking at boots otherwise I would have more boots than sense. I really liked wearing skirts this past Summer and I'll be continuing that as it gets colder.

What is on your list to buy this Autumn?

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This month has flown by, I guess that is what happens when you spend almost half of it away from home. It is strange how I've been to the beach in two completely different types of countries. In between going away to Spain and Scotland I got a new part time job in an attempt to improve my CV, re-painted my bedroom and cleaned every little corner, I also got rid of a lot of clothes and now on the hunt for new Autumnal clothing. Drank a ridiculous amount of coffee and eaten a lot of sweet treats. It has just been one of those busy months but I like getting back into a project or job, fulfilling my time productively. I hope to continue this in October while taking time to enjoy my favourite time of year. Have a great month everyone.

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September Days

30.9.14


This month has flown by, I guess that is what happens when you spend almost half of it away from home. It is strange how I've been to the beach in two completely different types of countries. In between going away to Spain and Scotland I got a new part time job in an attempt to improve my CV, re-painted my bedroom and cleaned every little corner, I also got rid of a lot of clothes and now on the hunt for new Autumnal clothing. Drank a ridiculous amount of coffee and eaten a lot of sweet treats. It has just been one of those busy months but I like getting back into a project or job, fulfilling my time productively. I hope to continue this in October while taking time to enjoy my favourite time of year. Have a great month everyone.

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Most people tend to stick to a type of book or story. I'm a culprit of that. I typically gravitate towards contemporary-love-drama-tragedy stories, whether it is books, films, tv shows or music. I like to be consumed by something, have deep thoughts and feelings. If I Stay is one of those kind of stories. I found out it had been made into a film and watched the trailer then decided to give the book a read. It spoilt the story slightly but the back of the book does the same.

Mia is a teenager, cello player, family girl, best friend and girlfriend. She finds herself stuck in limbo. Between life and death while in intensive care after her and her family get into a car accident. While fighting for her life or slipping away we see her recount the big events in her life as well as the simple yet good moments. From the arrival of her little brother, when she first played the cello, the first kiss with her boyfriend, Adam. Mia watches those loved ones who are there for her while deciding if she should stay. A little predictable I will admit, it's also a good story that covers all areas of a typical young person's life. It's emotional at times, cool punk rock references and inspiring.

A week later I watched the film and it's not often I think a film adaption is as good or better than a book but I think it was in this case. The book translates well, it had good actors, great soundtrack and shows what the story is about. Showing that with or without certain people in your life there is always someone there for you, who loves you and we all have greatness and a reason to be here to pursue and the life inside us.

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Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

27.9.14


Most people tend to stick to a type of book or story. I'm a culprit of that. I typically gravitate towards contemporary-love-drama-tragedy stories, whether it is books, films, tv shows or music. I like to be consumed by something, have deep thoughts and feelings. If I Stay is one of those kind of stories. I found out it had been made into a film and watched the trailer then decided to give the book a read. It spoilt the story slightly but the back of the book does the same.

Mia is a teenager, cello player, family girl, best friend and girlfriend. She finds herself stuck in limbo. Between life and death while in intensive care after her and her family get into a car accident. While fighting for her life or slipping away we see her recount the big events in her life as well as the simple yet good moments. From the arrival of her little brother, when she first played the cello, the first kiss with her boyfriend, Adam. Mia watches those loved ones who are there for her while deciding if she should stay. A little predictable I will admit, it's also a good story that covers all areas of a typical young person's life. It's emotional at times, cool punk rock references and inspiring.

A week later I watched the film and it's not often I think a film adaption is as good or better than a book but I think it was in this case. The book translates well, it had good actors, great soundtrack and shows what the story is about. Showing that with or without certain people in your life there is always someone there for you, who loves you and we all have greatness and a reason to be here to pursue and the life inside us.

Twitter   |   Instagram   |   Bloglovin'

Every year when it starts to get a little colder and the night falls earlier all I feel like doing is baking. I had some blueberries that needed to be eaten and decided to find a new recipe to use them in, after looking for a little while I went for scones.

You will need..
250g plain flour, 100g granulated sugar, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt, 115g unsalted butter,  120ml milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 200g blueberries, tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling on top before baking.

Preheat oven at 200C, line a round baking tray (8"). In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and combine with a knife or your fingers until it resembles a course texture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract together. Then drizzle that over the dry bowl. With a wooden spoon or spatula mix the ingredients together and carefully fold in the blueberries. Put the mixture into your prepared baking tray, sprinkle sugar on top. Finally put the tray into the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Take them out cut into even wedge shapes and enjoy.

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Blueberry Scones

17.9.14


Every year when it starts to get a little colder and the night falls earlier all I feel like doing is baking. I had some blueberries that needed to be eaten and decided to find a new recipe to use them in, after looking for a little while I went for scones.

You will need..
250g plain flour, 100g granulated sugar, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt, 115g unsalted butter,  120ml milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 200g blueberries, tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling on top before baking.

Preheat oven at 200C, line a round baking tray (8"). In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and combine with a knife or your fingers until it resembles a course texture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract together. Then drizzle that over the dry bowl. With a wooden spoon or spatula mix the ingredients together and carefully fold in the blueberries. Put the mixture into your prepared baking tray, sprinkle sugar on top. Finally put the tray into the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Take them out cut into even wedge shapes and enjoy.

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Weekends are a time to relax and enjoy your free time. Sleep in, stay out late, do nothing, do everything. No matter what it is, remember to listen to good songs to make the weekend even better. Have a listen to what I'm listening to this weekend.

September Weekend Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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September Weekend Music

13.9.14


Weekends are a time to relax and enjoy your free time. Sleep in, stay out late, do nothing, do everything. No matter what it is, remember to listen to good songs to make the weekend even better. Have a listen to what I'm listening to this weekend.

September Weekend Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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