five things | life lately

1. I've been blogging a lot more recently. I started thinking about why I got into blogging in the first place and that's what I am going back to. I wasn't really interested in collaborating with brands and things, I blogged because I wanted somewhere to write about my interests, my hobbies and my day. That's what I'm going back to, this blog needs to be a little more me.

2. Winry has been so much more affectionate with me recently. She is super cuddly and will not leave my side, it's so cute. She's also perfected leaping directly into my arms. I can tell when she wants to do it, she'll stand on the edge of something and sit up like a meercat and meow. I walk over, open my arms up and pat my chest, which is her queue to jump. She lands like a pro and then sits there quite comfortably. Other than the odd claw in your boob, it's a pretty fun way to get your cat onto you.

3. Autumn is officially in full swing and I'm loving it. It's time bring out the jumpers and scarves and buy a new pair of winter boots. I love buying winter boots.

4. I switched to a new kind of washing powder for my clothes which is leaving them smelling divine now. I have washed pretty much everything I own over the last week or so and now all my clothes smell amazing. So fruity and fresh. It's the little things that make a difference, isn't it?

5. This sounds like such a soppy sentence to write, but Craig called me beautiful recently and it caught me completely off guard. There's something about being complimented by your other half that is so wonderful and I honestly couldn't stop smiling for ages after it. He's such a sweetheart!

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things to do when you're under the weather

I've been feeling very under the weather recently. Since having the cold and an incredibly sore throat for the last three weeks or so, I've managed to find a few simple ways to help make myself feel better and slightly more myself.

1. Take some medicine.
Regardless of what you're suffering, be it a sore head, the flu or your lady bits are giving you a hard time, take something to ease the pain. Sometimes a few paracetamol is enough to help feel a bit more human and will motivate you to be a little more active.

2. Drink plenty of water.
I do this all the time when I'm not feeling well, I indulge in copious amounts of water. I drink water on a daily basis anyway, but when I'm ill I drink ten times more. I always make sure I have a bottle or glass of water next to me at all times. Keeping yourself hydrated is key.

3. Read a book.
If you're a reader anyway, you've probably already done this, but getting lost in a good book is a sure fire way to distract yourself from whatever it is you're currently under the weather with. I tend to always go back to my Harry Potter collection and get lost in one of the books in the series.

4. Watch a movie.
This is kind of a no brainer, but on those days where you just feel like shit, stick one of your favourite movies. I had a Disney day recently, pulling on all of my Disney dvd's out to watch back to back. Let me tell you, even if I never get ill from this point on, I will definitely be having another Disney marathon soon.

5. Play a game.
I always turn to my Nintendo DS when I'm not feeling well. I'll stick on a good old game of Mario or Animal Crossing, something easy to play that doesn't take too much concentration. If I'm feeling a bit more up to it, that's when I'll play Mortal Kombat online. Nothing challenges your dexterity more than when you're choked with the cold and trying to beat a random player online!

6. Browse on Pinterest / Twitter / Instagram.
If I'm feeling particularly lazy when I'm ill I'll resort to Pinterest on my ipad. It's an incredibly easy way to distract myself from the present and live vicariously through the people that own these perfect homes. Sweet lord, what I'd give to have my home decor board apply to my actual home. That's the dream, right there.

7. Relax and take it easy.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Given that most of us probably work full time or even part time, the urge to power through and put on a brave face is pretty high. I'm encouraging you to take a day off, phone in sick and sit with a blanket and some tea and just relax. Hopefully if you've got an understanding boss and don't phone in sick very often, they'll understand.

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my must haves for manicures

I love painting my nails. What I don't love so much is the actual process of letting them dry and protecting them. In fact, it's enough to put me off painting my nails most of the time. What changed all this was these two little miracles from Bourjois. Instant Dry Nail Drops and 3D Gel Top Coat. I honestly don't know what I did before using these two products. I remember the old days of sitting with my hands at funny angles, blowing on my nails for ages, not being able to go to the bathroom for fear of smudging my manicure on my jeans, and the dreaded bed creases in the polish. No more.

Now I use any type of nail polish, paint a small coat on my fingers letting them dry for around thirty seconds and then drop a tiny bit of of the Dry Drops over the freshly painted nail using the little squeezy nib and let them air dry. I let that dry for around two minutes and then apply a thin layer of the 3D top coat, repeating the first step with the Dry Drops again. Viola, a perfect manicure in less than ten minutes. What a time to be alive, ladies.

If you haven't tried either of these products, especially the Instant Dry Nail Drops, then you definitely should, especially if you are a fan of painting your nails on a regular basis!

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favourite stationery items and where to find them

Pens - Sharpie pen (whsmith), Paperchase gel pen (paperchase), Pilot Frixion erasable (whsmith).
Highlighters - Zebra Mildliners (amazon), Pilot Frixion erasable (whsmith).
Washi tape - Etsy, Paperchase, Ebay.
Stickers - Martha Stewart dew drops (staples).
Sticky notes - Target to do stickies (target), WHSmith chevron notes (whsmith).
Notebooks - Rifle Paper Company notebooks (paperchase).
Page flags - Etsy, Ebay, Target.

It's absolutely no secret that I love stationery. In fact, it's the only sort of hobby I've kept since I was child. I was obsessed with stationery when I was young, which has only developed over time into a very colourful and satisfying hobby over the years. I tend to buy most of my stationery from the same few places; Those being - Paperchase, WHSmith, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Target and Staples. Most of things pictured are quite easily procured in the UK, however the Target items are only sold in the US so you'd either need to be friends with someone over there or buy them on Ebay/Etsy. The dew drop stickers from Staples are discontinued I think, which is a shame, but you can find stickers that are very similar online, again on Etsy.

I use everything in this picture almost on a daily basis, I like to write things down a lot and plan things and having the pages nicely decorated with washi tape or highlighted in a pastel shade highlighter just makes things that little bit nicer. I'll list some of my favourite online shops too, just incase I've tickled your fancy for buying some cute stationery!

Some of the Etsy shops above state that they only ship to the US, however I've found that if you send them a message asking if they'd kindly ship to the UK at a bit of an extra cost, most shop owners will oblige. Damn US and their cute stationery items!

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recently purchased

I've not been on a little shopping spree for something that wasn't specific in months. Usually when I go shopping it's to one particular shop, like Primark or Lush. I rarely go shopping and wandering, especially in Edinburgh because it's always so busy and I'm not overly fond of crowds. Although, recently I changed all that and went a little bit of shopping.

First shop on my spree was Paperchase. I always go into Paperchase to browse, even just for a wander around. Although the store here is nowhere near as big as the store in Glasgow so I don't browse for long. I'm so jealous of the Glasgow store! I didn't get much, I picked up the little bronze/copper skull dish, which I thought was so pretty. I keep little dishes on my desk like that for rings or paperclips etc. In fact, most of the time it's used to keep kirbies (bobby pins) in. I was standing in the queue and spotted the beautiful Rifle Paper Co notebooks. I absolutely love the pattern on them, so figured that since I had a voucher and redeemable coupon on my member card that I'd get them too. They are so pretty. (I will probably never use them though, they'll just sit there like the other notebooks I've collected.)

I then popped next door into Waterstones to search for a book that I've seen everyone mulling over online, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. I've heard really good things about this book and I'm so excited to give it a read. Anything that motivates me to keep my flat a bit more organised and tidy is fine by me. Craig seems baffled by it, however.

After a little browse around and wander along George Street, I headed down to Princes Street avoiding all my usual places along the way. I stumbled into Boots to pick up a few nail bits and bobs from Bourjois, some nail drying drops, a gel top coat and a lovely dusky pink polish called Fuchsia Hype. The last two stores were only a fleeting visit. I needed a new pair of sunglasses after my previous pair snapped in my bag, so I popped into the Vans store to get a new pair. I love Vans stuff, and when I seen these beautiful matte sunglasses with white legs, I paid for them and put them on instantly.

I visited next door into Urban Outfitters for a necklace or two. I'm never really keep on shopping in Urban Outfitters as I do think that a lot of their stuff is over priced, but I seen the circular necklace (similar here) on sale and thought it was cute so decided what the hell and bought it too.

All in all, I think it was a very successful shopping trip, even if my bank balance doesn't agree!

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how I know my cat loves me

1. She headbumps me. When she's feeling particularly loving, she'll bump her head off my head or body. This is like a 'hey, how's it going, I love you' gesture. (Science says that's she's just rubbing her scent on me, but she's actually just being cute. What does science know?)

2. She follows me around. I don't know about you, but if I like being with someone, then I'll want to be around them. It's the same with cats. Cooking food, she's meowing at me from the sink. Tidying up, she's hovering around my feet. Going for a pee, she's pawing at the bathroom door or is already inside and staring at me. Or trying to sit on my lap while I'm on the toilet. That happens.

3. She slow blinks at me. This is a very common sign of cat affection and I always do it back. I do look like a nutcase though, so I tend to do it when no one else is around.

4. She plays with me gently. She'll be five in January but still plays like a kitten. When she plays with me, she doesn't bite hard, she'll nibble on my hands or fingers but she'll never actually bite or scratch me. She does with other people, but she obviously doesn't want to hurt her mama.

5. She lies / sits / balances on me literally anywhere. You need to be able to cope with the odd claw poking you, but if you can, prepare for a world of balancing cat acts. First up, cat on shoulders, parrot style. Next up is the more elusive cat balance on bum act while you read. Finally, the leap of faith, jumping into your arms from a distance because it's super cute and who doesn't want a cat's complete trust that you'll catch them.

6. She talks to me. Apparently cats don't meow at other cats (a fact I find a little hard to believe) so they only meow to their humans. She is a regular little chatty one, I only need to say her name and she'll meow back. It's even worse if she wants something. Or she's around the laser pen.

7. She lets me kiss her and rub her belly. Over the years, she's gotten used to me kissing her on the head. She used to shy away, which gradually moved onto ducking down. She now knows that I do it on a regular basis and purrs when I do. She finally figured out that it's affection. Cats are also sensitive about their bellies, their most exposed and vulnerable part. If you can rub their belly without a firestorm of claws and teeth, then congrats, your cat loves you.

ain't she just so fricking adorable?!
her name is winry, btw.
(win-ray, in case you're saying it in your head wrong)

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five things | life lately

1. It was Craig's birthday last weekend, he's now an old man at twenty five years old. We celebrated with paintball and drinks later that night. Although, we were all pretty tired after running around being shot at for hours, so it was a fairly early night for us.

2. My little brother came over to stay with me for a few nights and we spent most of them sitting up until around 2pm/3pm listening to music and just talking. He's really good at playing the guitar (annoyingly good) it was nice to listen to him. We're very alike now, growing up we used to fight all the time, but now we think the same and it's really nice.

3. My dad is also up visiting me. He lives in England so he's travelled up with his partner and his baby girl, my little sister! She's is so adorable and squishy and cute and just so smiley! I need to get a proper picture of her, I'll be taking my camera with me next time I see them.

4. Summer has well and truly ended, I had to wear a jacket out today. It's official now. I'm really looking forward to autumn and all the scarves, cosy jumpers and endless amounts of tea. I think I prefer autumn, it's just so cosy and comfy. Plus, you can never have too many jumpers. I just need to dig all mine out again now.

5. I recently started watching through The Office: An American Workplace again. For like the fourth time. I honestly love that show and I wish they'd make another season, like a where are they now season. It's so good and I can't get enough of Dwight. Might go watch a few more episodes actually.

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September Goals.

1 - Go through my wardrobe and sort out my clothes. I have mountains of clothes that I no longer wear or are too old but hang on to because I liked them years ago. I'll never wear them again, chuck them out!

2 - Blog more. I have seriously fallen away from blogging and I used to love it so much. I think working full time has really pulled me away from it, I don't have the time any more to sit and take hundreds of photos and spend all day reading and commenting on other people blogs. I ain't got time for dat. But, I will make time from now on.

3 - Drink more water. The past weekend there was Craig's birthday and it was a very active one. Paintballing, ice skating, lots and lots of walking around. Drinking too, but that's besides the point. I need to drink more water. I'm lucky if I have maybe two glasses a day, way less than I should be drinking. I might force myself into a little health kick.

4 - Make something for the flat. I've been browsing Pinterest non stop lately looking at all these amazing home diy's and how crafty some people are. I want to make something for the flat, I haven't decided what yet, but I'm sure when I do I'll make a mess doing it.

5 - Fill in my provisional drivers form and actually attempt a lesson. I've been putting off driving for years and now I think I finally want to learn. I love the idea of being able to go into my car and drive off somewhere. Living in the city is perfect for public transport, the buses are amazing and so cheap, but they are also quite limited on where you can go. A car would totally fix that. It would also cut around thirty minutes off the time it takes to travel to work.

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