Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Thoughts and Scenes and Favourites

To pre-warn you, this is a bit of a mishmash of a post. Continue at your own peril.

I take an awful lot of pictures on my phone. Some of them end up on Instagram, but as I flicked through my phone this morning, I realised that there's an awful lot of pictures which I don't do anything with- either because I decide they aren't instagram worthy, I forget about them, or they were entertaining in the moment, but ended up looking a bit weird in a picture. But still- I found a few from December which I thought I'd share in more of a general here's-a-load-of-things-I-liked-in-2013 sort of post. (There's also a 2013 review post over here)

Row 1: Alstroemeria are my favourites, it was bloody windy at the top of Cox Tor, my friend J made this gorgeous card, I'm making more of an effort to play the piano at the moment
Row 2: I'm a sucker for pretty wrapping, "light" post-Christmas lunches are the best, blue skies on Boxing Day, physics is a brilliant and confusing thing- why can't I see my reflection?
Row 3: Wrapping with ribbon and a cat never ends well, Emma and I went for coffee, my brother's Christmas tree was perfect, all the ribbons in the world will never be enough
Row 4: If you look carefully, my reindeer biscuit is an upside-down gingerbread man, I was given a Christmas tree charm as a leaving gift from work- we all think it also looks like a Dalek, Waitrose need to work on their punctuation, Devon, you will be missed.

As I've mentioned before, I liked 2013. It's certainly had its moments, but overall, it has been a very good year. And in honour of this, I present to you, Alice's Favourite Things of 2013, because obviously you're all dying to know.

Best Book- It's always insanely hard to pick just one, but to be honest, the one which has had more of an impact on 2013 than the others I've read is, bizarrely, Game of Thrones. I've spent so much of this year reading these books- to the point I had to take a break from all the murder/ pillage and read something lighter- and I got it as a result of Jenny's Book Swap, which also resulted in me making a firm friend in Jenny herself. See, reading leads to all sorts of brilliant things!
Best Album- I can't pick just one- mostly because I've only bought two full albums this year (don't hate me), so I'm picking both Passenger's All The Little Lights and Bastille's Bad Blood. Both of them remind me of Thailand- Passenger, because M and I put the album on as background noise to scare off the cockroaches in our room in Pai, and Bastille, because I listened to it on the plane home. Both albums are great- go and listen to them now.

Best Film- I absolutely loved Rush, and Catching Fire, but the film which has stuck with me more than any other since I first saw it is Like Crazy. Maybe not one to watch if you're in a transcontinental relationship, but for everyone else- it's brilliant. 

Best product- My skin has been saved this year by Origins' Mega Mushroom Cleanser. Seriously- if you have sensitive skin and/ or rosacea, I cannot recommend this highly enough. The face cream from the fame range is also bloody brilliant.

Most Popular Post- I can't really explain how I feel about the fact that this post is the most read post on my blog. Seriously- I'm not sure if happy, or humbled, or whatever is the right word for it, but I like that I only had positive feedback from that post. Thanks, everyone. And I am in a really really good place right now, and I can only see that continuing. Onwards and upwards!

Favourite Bloggers- These girls have made my year, basically, even if the PE club has only existed for a couple of months. EmmaBessJennyEmily, and Ellie, you are all flipping fantastic and I cannot wait to spend more time with you all in 2014.

Happy New Year everyone- have a brilliant (and safe!) last night of 2013. I'll see you on the other side!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Happiness Is... (vol. 48)

And here we are! The last Happiness Is... of 2013 (and you can see the first one here, if you want). As I mentioned at the end of last week, 2013 has been a really very good year- and given that 2014 is starting with a big change, I'm hoping it's going to be a good one too.

I still feel slightly bemused by the fact that we're still in between Christmas and New Year- I am completely lost with what day it is, and time seems to have slowed to a snail's pace- maybe it's because I'm excited for all sorts of things happening over the next couple of weeks, and I still have like two weeks before my new job starts. I need to find ways to fill my time that don't just involve packing!

It's been a lovely festive period though- the perfect mix of busy and relaxed, family-filled and quiet-time. I've watched more films in a week than I have done all year (a particular high point was watching three in one day- namely The Holiday, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Toy Story), have had many lovely natters with family members. I'm just generally in a really happy place- I spend many days feeling like I'm fizzing, which can only be a good thing. And this week, happiness is...

... getting at more than eight hours of sleep every night. By the time I finished work for Christmas, I was completely running on empty- I am the sort of person who needs a lot of sleep, and had not done well with this over the past few weeks. But recently, I've been going to bed when it feels right, and waking up when I'm ready, and I feel phenomenal for it.

... Jenny, Bess, Ellie, Emily, and Emma, who kept me sane over Christmas. Seriously- these girls are absolutely fantastic, and it was an absolute joy to meet Emma this week for tea and far too much gossip about boys- particularly considering my dad's colleague was at the next table (sorry M, there was no way of warning you about that!)

Apologies for the dreadful iPhone snap...!
... baking with Little L. I bought Little L a load of baking things for Christmas- a special mixing bowl, child-sized spatulas, and a biscuit making kit, and promised when she opened them that I would come over and help her make them. Yesterday, I surprised her by popping in, and together we made an awful lot of snowflake shaped biscuits. It's so lovely to do something just the two of us, and particularly sharing something I love doing with her- I'm hoping to properly give her the baking bug before she turns six.

... pointing out to my mum that the Daily Express lead with a weather related story almost every day. Seriously- it's absolutely ridiculous how often they lead with a story about a "killer storm" or "arctic blast", and it always makes us giggle. Yes, the weather is dreadful at the moment- but it's the magical thing called winter. Terrible flooding aside, it isn't vastly newsworthy.

... being near the sea. I know I posted about this yesterday, but being near the sea makes me so unbelievably happy. More so when it's warm and sunny, of course, but just being near a rough sea makes me feel small and powerless in the best possible way.

... getting back to eating ordinary food. OK, I love the Christmas leftovers- lunches of brie and crackers, olives, and hummus may be terribly middle class, but are delicious- but now we're getting back to a semblance of normal food, rather than festive feasts, I'm really very happy about it.

What are you happy about this week?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Beach Baby

On Saturday, the family who descended for Christmas had all departed, the house was feeling very quiet, and Mama CupandSaucer and I decided we'd had enough of Christmas TV. So we packed ourselves into the car, armed with raincoats, wellies, and my camera, and headed towards the coast.

Living in Devon, you can never be terribly far from the sea- and while the little village I live in is very definitely landlocked, you can see the sea from the veranda at my dad's house, and you can drive to the coast in something like 30 minutes from our house.

We headed to Wembury- a little village and gorgeous, National Trust owned stretch of coastline just outside Plymouth, known for lovely rockpools, great surf, and Great Mewstone. As soon as we'd parked the car and I had my wellies on, I sprinted down to the beach to take advantage of the gorgeous winter light that was peeking through the clouds, and try to capture the waves breaking on the rocky shoreline.

The brave soul below was the only person in the sea- despite the pretty choppy water, he was doing a cracking job on his paddleboard. It's something I'd love to try one day- it looks so much fun, and is meant to be a cracking core workout.

We decided it would be a good idea to stroll the mile and a half (or so, the signs couldn't make their minds up) from Wembury to Heybrook Bay, along the South West Coast Path. It was horrifically muddy, but we had some gorgeous views of Great Mewstone (the rocky lump in the picture below), which apparently has been used as everything from a smugglers' safe haven to a prison. I can see why- the way the waves were breaking around it made me think that only the most seasoned of sailors would dare to try and land there, and you certainly wouldn't want to try to swim away from it...

We passed several small coves on our way, despite the high tide- and I can't resist climbing on rocks and looking out toward the sea. Because the sea was pretty rough, and I have a tendency to be pretty clumsy, I gave the camera to mum for safekeeping- and she put it to good use, snapping a few pictures of me looking mildly ridiculous. I can also confirm that the cream knee high socks were a really bad idea- they may have made me look faintly like Father Christmas with my black wellies and red jeans (unintentional, I promise), but they are now really rather muddy....

As we approached Heybrook Bay, the weather gradually improved, and I was able to happy snap even more, using the excuse that "the light had changed". Seriously, I haven't got the foggiest when it comes to photography, but fortunately neither does my mother and she was happy to wait while I merrily snapped away.

I'm always faintly astonished by the hardiness of people in the South West. As fun as it probably would have been to run screaming into the sea, unfortunately I'm just a little bit too wimpy to do it- but I'm pleased the surfers we encountered on our way back to the car weren't, as they were great fun to watch from the safety of our car whilst sipping flasks of tea and munching on a leftover chocolate orange.

I often find these limbo days between Christmas and New Year faintly challenging- I get cabin fever, grow bored of my surroundings, and can become fairly fractious. But this? This was a great way to spend a Saturday, and an even better way to spend a limbo day.

What have you been up to since Christmas? 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Twenty Thirteen

Well happy December 27th to you! I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas- mine was relaxed, full on, busy, and calm all at the same time, and I wouldn't have changed it for anything. 

I'm sure everyone will be doing these sorts of posts over the next few days, but there have been so many great things about this year that I kind of wanted to put together a year-in-review type post just to help me remember it all. Whether anyone reads it is actually kind of incidental (but I'd love it if you did, obviously). It's why I love snapping away at everything in sight- it's great to look back at everything that's happened over the past few months and remember all of the fun things that have happened! 

So without further ado, here is my 2013 (warning- it's pretty damn picture heavy)- 

In January I turned 23, and it snowed on my birthday for the first time ever (or at least, for the first time that I can remember!). I was also incredibly stubborn, and drove from my corner of Devon to Cardiff through mental snow to get to my uni buddies- which is still probably one of the most stupid things I've done all year.

February began with me starting this little piece of the internet! I still can't quiet believe that less than 12 months later, over two hundred people follow this blog on Bloglovin (you can join them by clicking here), and I think you're all great. I also changed jobs, and let myself in for an absolutely mental commute, and spent the most brilliant weekend at a friend's farm in Wiltshire.

Three weeks in to my new job, at the very beginning of March I had my car accident- as we know, I was perfectly fine, but my poor little car was written off (RIP Dot, you were marvellous). As a result of all of the stress, I chopped all of my hair off (again), and have spent the rest of the year trying to make it grow. My hairdresser aunt is now recommending Vitamin B12, but now I've seen it short again, I'm tempted to have it cut again. Someone stop me?!

In April I won a competition for the first time I think ever! I'm still working my way through all of the chocolate... I also did the Camel Trail in light snow with friends, and wore a ski jacket on Easter Monday because it was so bloody cold.

May was one of the quieter months of the year, I think. Even still, I managed to have a cracking weekend in London with my school bestie C, and fell ever so slightly in love with Greenwich- it's my new favourite part of London. We also had old family friends to stay for the weekend, and the twenty-something-year-olds all acted like big kids with a group trip to the Zoo.

One of the best months of the year was definitely June- where I was brave, got on a plane alone, flew halfway around the world, and spent two brilliant weeks in Thailand with M. I can honestly say that when 2013 started, I never expected to ride an elephant bareback, do headstands in a yoga class, peacefully raft down a river, spend a day in a cookery school, or have cocktails in a rooftop bar in Bangkok at sunset.

That said, July was inordinately brilliant for the sole reason of the birth of the Royal Baby! Seriously- I don't think I have ever cared so much about the birth of a baby I didn't even know (though Baby MadeUpOfLittleThings came a very close second). My main memories of July though involve alfresco suppers, sunbathing on lunchbreaks, and soaking up as much of the sunshine as possible, particularly on my few days away to Cornwall.

In August I continues soaking up the sun, and managed to squish in a day trip to London, where I had an interview for a position at Buckingham Palace. OK, I might not have got the job, but this was such a great thing to say I've done- though I'm sure in a year or two no one will believe that it happened.

2013 was the first September where I didn't start a new school year or new job- but I did start a brilliant new sport and met up with some amazing Devon-based bloggers, including the fantastic Jess. I was also invited to the Emma Bridgewater factory for the day, where I spent far too much money on brilliant crockery and cemented my reputation as being a middle-aged woman before my time. I can't wait to head back up there at some point!

I love October, even if this year's was probably the quietest month of the year (though not at work, where I finely tuned my multitasking skills!). I did however manage to squish in a visit to the newly-reopened Theatre Royal in Plymouth to see War Horse, which I can't recommend highly enough- you really must all go when it appears in a theatre near you. I promise, you will not regret it.

Picture courtesy of Bess
Without a doubt, the busiest month of 2013 was November, which involved trips to Birmingham, York, Cardiff, and away matches in Bristol. I met some of the most brilliant bloggers of all time, JennyBess, and Ellie, and spent far too much time emailing them, along with Emma and Emily, all of whom have turned into really brilliant friends. I also successfully interviewed for a new job, and made a mental six-layered birthday cake.

December has gone far too quickly for my liking. It predominantly my last day at work, a brilliant work Christmas party, being brave, festive baking with Little L, Christmas with the family, and an awful lot of Christmas shopping and wine. Which to be honest, has been the most brilliant end to the year I could have hoped for.

Of course, this year wasn't all sweetness and brilliance, but those are the moments I'm choosing to remember here. There were weeks where I cried every evening, expensive car repairs, arguments, broken nails, unsuccessful runs- but to be honest, I don't think it's always healthy to dwell on the bad things, and overall, I think this year has been a really great one. Come at me 2014!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Winter Jumpers and Weather

Happy Christmas Eve lovely people! I hope you're all managing to stay warm, dry, and haven't been blown away. The storm seems to have passed my little corner of South West England now (though apparently there's horrendous disruption on the trains still), but I know it's still causing chaos everywhere else. If you're trying to get a train somewhere today, I salute you- and I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed that you manage to get to wherever you're going.

Back in September, Mama CupandSaucer were perusing the knitting patterns in a little shop in Tavistock, when I came across a beauty of a Christmas jumper pattern. It was exactly what I was after- not so subtle you couldn't tell it was a Christmas jumper, nor so obnoxiously festive you can only wear it for a day or two either side of the Big C. After only a little bit of pleading from me, Mama CupandSaucer agreed that she would give it a go. And what a bloody fantastic job she has done...

Yes, she made this. Yes, by hand. Isn't she brilliant!?
Originally, we had hoped the jumper would be finished by my work "Fakemas" at the end of November, but sadly this was not to be. So when it came to my final week in the office last week, Mama was knitting furiously to make sure I could wear it to work- she knew that I'd told my (now former) colleagues how cool the jumper was, and that I was desperate to wear it to work. Yes, I'm aware I'm a brat, no, I did not ask her to stay up til 1:30am finishing it. She did that because she's the reason for my perfectionist genes.

I've basically lived in the jumper since. It's so cosy, and managed to keep a smile on my face when I ended up staying later than everyone else in the office on my penultimate day. And I'm wearing it today in the hope it will encourage the weather to change from rain to snow- we can still hope for a white Christmas, right!?

So thank you Mama CupandSaucer- and because this is a winter jumper, not a Christmas jumper, I think I can completely get away with wearing this until March.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Happiness Is... (vol. 47)

Hey look, Pharrell Williams released a soundtrack for these posts (also known as Happy)! Isn't that kind of him?

I'm so excited by the fact that it's Christmas Eve Eve- how quickly has this crept up on us?! I'm less excited about the fact I have to run into town first thing this morning to finish my Christmas shopping though- I have been more disorganised this year than ever before, which I can only put down to being too busy over the past few weeks/ months. But hey- it has been bloody brilliant, and I wouldn't have changed it for anything (though whether I still think that when I get home from shopping will be an entirely different matter).

But anyway. All sorts of crazy ridiculousness leads to all sorts of things to be happy about- this week, I'm positively fizzing, and happiness is...

The blue sky didn't last long at all
... carol services. Mama CupandSaucer and I wrapped up warmly yesterday afternoon, and headed to one of our local churches for a candlelit carol service. Now I'm not particularly religious, but I firmly believe that everyone should have an understanding and appreciation of why we celebrate Christmas, and I think carol services are a great, low-pressure was of being reminded of what the season is all about. And hey- it's always fun to sing O Come, All Ye Faithful at the top of your lungs, right!?

... a brilliant send off from work, including an absolutely hilarious evening at the work Christmas party. Far, far too much wine was consumed, but I think I managed not to make a complete idiot of myself, so fingers crossed I've left a good lasting impression. I was sent on my merry way with a card full of seriously sweet messages, and some gorgeous gifts. They were all far too kind!

... being picked first at a sport (for what I think is the first time ever). At korfball on Tuesday (which also happened to be my last training session with the Exeter guys), two of the guys were allowed to pick teams- and one chose me first. I still can't quite figure out why he picked me first, but whatever the reason, it made my evening. Because how many people can say they've been picked first for a team by a guy wearing a Spiderman onesie? Very few, that's who.

Found here
... catching up. Recently, I seem to have spent a lot of time running into people I've known since I was tiny- I guess it's the season, with everyone returning to the motherland from the various places we've been scattered by university, work, and just general adult life. It's so nice to have a little chatter to people I've known for years, and just find out a little bit about what they're doing (even if you inevitably already know some of it from Facebook or local gossip).

... doing brilliantly at the pub quiz with my brothers and childhood friends. After a fairly long hiatus, and a one-week-only festive name change (we became The Hoe Hoe Hoes - the Es are fully intentional, and no, we weren't talking about gardening), we came second, losing by only a point and a half, and gaining a cash prize and a bottle of wine for our efforts. We'll take that!

... taking Little L ice skating. I know I try very very hard to not put pictures of people I actually know on here, but this picture was too sweet for me not to share. She had never ice skated before and did brilliantly, which made me exceptionally happy- no sobbing little sister for me to deal with!

What's made you happy this week?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Not-Quite-So-Secret Santa

Over the past couple of months, the beauties that are BessEmilyEllieJenny, and Emma have kept me entertained, sane, and have turned into brilliant friends I speak to on a literally daily basis. So when the idea of a Secret Santa was bandied about a few weeks ago, I was super keen. After all, it's always fun to buy for people you know well, right?! 

A little bit of co-ordination later (including the use of a secret online elf), an email containing everyone's addresses, and a few rules (budget/ final posting dates and so on), we were away!! And all too soon, a parcel I wasn't entirely expecting dropped through my letter box, and I realised it had to be my PE Secret Santa gift...

As soon as I opened the parcel, I knew my Santa had been the brilliant Jenny- after she posted on This I Know: Notes On Unraveling The Heart, I've been meaning to read it- but it is absolutely something I never would have picked up for myself, so I'm so pleased to have been sent this as a gift!! And when we met back in November, she was recommending it- so I'm so excited to give this a read (and if you're keen too, you can buy it here).

I won't reveal who I bought for- it was pretty obvious between us though, as I was so useless with getting around to posting my gift- as you might have gathered from my haphazard posting, life has been a little bit (read: very) busy recently. But I'm pretty certain it got there, and fingers crossed she likes it!!

If you want to have a go at guessing who bought for who- check out BessEmilyEllieJenny and Emma's posts- looks like we have all been very, very lucky girls!

Have you been involved in any Secret Santas this year?

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Sense Of An Ending

Don't panic, I'm not going anywhere. Not from here at least.
Today is my last day in the office in my current job, and it feels incredibly weird. It has been a fantastic ten months there- I feel like I've learned and grown an awful lot, and in ways that I certainly didn't expect when I first got the job. I've definitely become more confident, happier within myself, a more confident driver (long commutes seem to do that to you), and while I'm still mildly scared of the phone, but I certainly no longer have to talk myself into using it. The job has definitely had its ups and downs- even yesterday was a particular low light, when I was reduced to tears by an email, and ended up staying considerably late to try to get some of my tasks finished- but generally, it has been an absolutely fantastic experience and I am so sad to be leaving the brilliant people I work with.

Then again, in some ways I can't wait to move on to a new job and start afresh, somewhere new where nobody knows me. Inevitably, I already have that feeling of "but what if they don't like me?", particularly because I seem to be very well liked in my current job. (I think it's mostly because I bring them cake at fairly regular intervals, and have become bloody good at my job. Fingers crossed I'll be able to make this continue!) I'm excited to try something different though- my new role is nothing like my current one, so I think I'll have my work cut out.

From here
Tuesday was also my last korfball training with the Exeter City club (by the way- if you've even been remotely interested when I've mentioned the sport before, and you happen to live in the Exeter area, there's a beginners session on 7th January. Go along, I promise they are all so lovely), and it was only after that session that it really hit me that I was moving away. I'm terrible at goodbyes, and I think I mostly just awkwardly waved when I left the pub after training on Tuesday, but I really am sad to be leaving them.

And of course I feel unsettled by all of this- no one really likes change, do they? But I really do now know that this is the right decision- I am doing the right thing, and this will be positive- and I will make the effort to keep in touch with the people I like best.

So yeah. Today is bringing with it a real sense of finality- a real sense that I am genuinely leaving, and will genuinely be starting again somewhere else. And while it's all sorts of sad, and I'll probably end up quietly weeping into my drink at the Christmas party tonight when it comes to actually saying goodbye to people, it's actually also really, really exciting.

(And only partly because it means that Christmas is next week!)
From here

Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Possible Life

This is a slightly strange book review in that I actually haven't finished reading it just yet- in fact, I'm only about 100 pages in, but so far A Possible Life is so fantastic I just want to shout about it. And shout about it I did, to a couple of friends I caught up with over wine and Chinese food on Friday night before heading out for drinks for A's birthday. These guys and I have fairly similar tastes in books, so if I liked it, they will probably too- and hopefully, you all will as well.

I'm a huge fan of Sebastian Faulks- did you ever see his TV series Faulks on Fiction? It was amazing. And as a writer- well, Birdsong is certainly up there as one of my favourite books ever, and I loved A Week In December (though I will admit that I found On Green Dolphin Street really hard going).  I actually always kind of lump Sebastian Faulks and Ian McEwan in together- their books always seem to have a kind of similar tone to me, and I always imagine that they will be either brilliant friends in real life, or bitter rivals for this reason. If you like one, you'll like the other, and the opposite is probably true too.

A Possible Life isn't really my normal sort of thing though, despite my love for the author, primarily because rather than a novel, this is actually a collection of five novellas, each of which focus on... well, actually I can't say precisely what they all focus on, but for me, the first is about how we react when we're put into awful, unfamiliar situations. Maybe this is what he intended, because when you think about it, the title suggests that this could happen to any of us. But from what I've read so far, they will all be brilliant, and I'm certainly excited to see what comes up next.

From here
I hope I've intrigued you enough to go and buy this book- honestly, it's worth it just for the quality of the first story alone which I for one feel could certainly have been extended out into a full novel- though in some ways, its beauty lies in its length, or lack thereof.

Oh- and don't forget to read A Tale For The Time Being for our next Blogger Book Club! I'll be moving straight onto it as soon as I finish A Possible Life.


I finished A Possible Life this morning- as in, I nearly made myself late because I just had to get to the end of the last story. I firmly believe that the first and last short stories in the book are the best- You Next Time is a sublime way to end the book. 

So yes. I stand by what I said before- go and get this and read it and love it. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Your Wedding Cake I Will Eat

Before you ask, no I am not getting married. I'm currently very single (what does that even mean? Very single? All I mean is "I am single". No idea why I felt the need to add a "very"), and probably as far from getting married as a person could possibly be, and perfectly happy with that fact. And now we've got that out of the way, I feel this post needs a soundtrack- which Wedding Cake by Cataldo can provide perfectly, given that it gave the title of this post.

From here
On Monday, a former colleague popped into the office to say hi as she was shopping in town. I was stood talking to a group of colleagues including her for a full two minutes before I realised that S doesn't actually work with us any more, where I promptly squealed "S WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" and threw myself at her. What can I say, it was 8:15 on a Monday morning!

After we'd had a little catch up, I asked S how her wedding plans were going, as she had got engaged a couple of months before leaving. We chit chatted about venues, and dresses, and she showed me a few pictures of gowns she liked the look of, before she turned to me and said "Alice- I was wondering though. Would you be open to a commission? Would you be able to make our wedding cake?"

From here
Honestly, I've never been so pleased in my life. After ironing out a few details (a midweek wedding and me moving in a few weeks nearly broke the deal), I said a very firm and very delighted yes. I am honestly so flattered to have been asked to sort something so important for someone- I know if/when I get married, I'll be as excited about the cake as the dress. And even more so, this is my first real commission, which is huge. And terrifying.

So far, we haven't really settled on a brief- S has just said "something quite simple", and would like a traditional fruit cake. So I've started a board on Pinterest to store up some ideas to send to her, and I'm looking back at my post on Cake International as well as Bess' and Jenny's, for more inspiration.

From here

I am honestly so excited about this, I could pop- and only partly because this may just give me an excuse to buy something like this.

Do you have any ideas for a beautiful, simple wedding cake?

Monday, 16 December 2013

Happiness Is... (vol. 46)

Can you believe how quickly the year is coming to an end? I'm not entirely certain what happened to October and November- and I'm sure I said the same thing with April and May. It feels completely bizarre, though statistically speaking, it makes perfect sense that each year seems to go by more quickly than the last- in that for a four-year-old, a year is a quarter of their life- but for me, a year is 1/24th of my life. Still with me? Good.

I'm loathe to preempt the end of the year though- there are still many, many exciting things to come in the next 15 days. And this week, happiness is...

From here
... receiving post. I absolutely bloody love getting post, and with all the cards/ gifts/ deliveries going on at Christmas, I'm absolutely in my element. If anyone ever wants to send me something just to make my day a bit brighter, let me know!

... catching someone in another car singing along to the same song as you. Even more brilliant when it's catching another young-ish person singing along to Rocking Around The Christmas Tree (which was playing on Radio 2) at 8am on a Wednesday.

... getting the vast majority of my Christmas shopping bought and wrapped in a day. Sorry bank card, you really did take a battering. But hey- I've gone from feeling mildly panicked to rather smug in less that 24 hours. Boom.

... being praised at work. I think I mentioned before that I've got a new job, and this week will be my last in the office in my current role. Since I handed in my notice, a lot of senior people have approached me to say how good a job I've done and that I'll be missed. I feel really flattered, and like I'm really moving on on a high- which is the best way to go, I'm sure.

... tea and carrot cake with Papa CupandSaucer. I ran into my dad in town on Sunday, and he took me for tea and cake to bribe me into helping him buy a few Christmas presents. It was so nice to sit and have a little catch up just the two of us before going and spending all his money for him.

... putting on tights straight out of the tumble drier. I was madly disorganised this morning, so had to quickly tumble dry a pair of tights while I ate breakfast. Putting them on when they were all warm and toasty was such a brilliant way to start the morning!

What's making you happy this week?