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.


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