Tiny things Tuesday #44

It was (pretty much) still daylight when I left work today. YES! Spring is coming.

I had a good weekend where I went to a gig in Birmingham on Friday to see T-shirt Weather, Okinawa Picture Show, No Ditching and Jesus and his Judgemental father. They were all really good live and it was nice to hang out with pals too.

On Saturday I slept a lot to make up for my late night (we got home at midnight which is pretty much now classed as a late night for me) On Sunday I went to the cinema to see Deadpool with J and we ate katsu curry at Wagamamas. I loved Deadpool (aside from that one really transphobic “joke” which pissed me off) and it was nice to have some ridiculous escapism on a Sunday afternoon. When we came out of Wagamamas there was even a few flakes of snow falling.

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. Look at this valentines card that my sponsor owl Iolo sent me! What a cutie!

2. I was also treated to this cute mug from J (and made breakfast in bed) I had spotted it in town before but thought it was a bit egocentric to buy it for myself so I was happy to get it as a gift.

I feel like I don’t have much to write about these but that doesn’t matter. I’m filling out a gratitude diary each night that a friend sent me from Flow and it’s really nice to just write a few things about positive stuff.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #43

My laptop is back! The positive was that it wasn’t the harddrive so I haven’t lost any of my data. It’s so nice to be able to type properly and listen to all the music that I didn’t have on my ipod.

I’m finding that I have too much to do at the moment and not so much a case of not enough time but a case of not enough time to relax AND do the things I need or want to do. I’m still learning my own limits. Taking one evening a night to attend a class leaves me a little exhausted the following night so I find that I just spend evenings either at class, studying or relaxing. I feel guilty sometimes like I should be doing more but then when I try to do more, I wipe myself out.

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I have been hoarding this unicorn horn bath bar for month now and finally used it on Sunday evening. It was lovely to relax with after a weekend of tidying and sorting. I also put on a face mask and concentrated on stretching out my achy back and legs.

2. The sad ghost club does some wonderful work around mental health support and awareness as well as making some super cute illustrations. I treated myself to one of their shirts last week and its so soft and lovely.

3. I love pancakes! They are a staple thing that I will make for people who stay over at our house (and just for me and J on a weekend if I am feeling fancy). I usually make crepe style ones but after having some amazing american style ones that my friend Sarah made, I tried making my own tonight (and last night as a practice run) I used this recipe from Edgy Veg and it worked so well. I substituted the coconut oil with standard sunflower oil and found the trick was to wait until bubbled came through the batter to the topside before flipping them over.

4. I haven’t finished reading the whole of “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo but I liked what I have read. I’m working on overhauling my house at the moment and at the weekend I used Marie’s method of organizing clothes to sort my wardrobe and drawers. Look at all my neatly folded tops! I hope it’s something I can maintain.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #42

I went to Weirdo Zine fest in London at the weekend. I even managed to make a tiny zine to take with me dedicated to my love of stationery.

The zine fest was a lot of fun and I’m glad I went although it did wipe me out energy wise pretty much all of yesterday. I’m so glad that I booked the day off of work to sleep and recuperate. It was really good to be able to visit DIY Spare for London too. Such a good idea and I would love to see something like this happen in the West Midlands.

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I haven’t really had chance to read all of the lovely looking zines that I picked up yet but I just wanted to highlight this beautiful patch that I got alongside the SAD care zine from Kim Searle – there were a few designs to choose from in the patches but I loved the look of this one most of all. The other designs came on stickers in the pack though so I didn’t feel like I missed out on them.

2. Someone added me to a crochet group on facebook and I keep meaning to leave because it’s pretty high traffic but every time I do, I see loads of lovely projects and yarn so maybe I’ll keep on there for a while. A lot of people on the group have been making C2C blankets (corner to corner) and I really liked how they look especially with variegated yarns so I decided to start my own at the weekend as a more portable project that the other blanket I am working on (which uses 14 colours of yarn so isn’t that portable) I used this post and video tutorial to learn how to make this blanket.

3. As today is the start of my working week, it was good to have the added motivation of going out for a curry and catch up with some friends tonight to get me through the day. I’ve had such a craving for curry lately (possibly as I have been drooling over Jack Monroe’s Instagram feed. Everything that they make looks so delicious)

4. I got my fringe cut back in on Friday so today I have been revelling in all of the “ooh nice hair” compliments. I’m unsure if I am going to keep dyeing it purple and green shares for much longer so I combined my left over bits of dye to give myself a mixed shade new look! I feel much more “me” with a fringe again. It’s hard to explain but it just feel really right.

Wanna know what David Bowie was doing when he was your age. This website makes it easy (to realise you are wasting your life!)

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #41

I’m missing writing on here. I’m missing writing in general. I’m jotting down snippets of pieces for zines in a note file on my phone but I don’t have a laptop at home to properly sit and bash things out on and as much as I thought I could do without one, I think maybe I can’t.

Anyway, I have taken the opportunity while J is out at the gym to use his laptop and write one of these posts.

Here’s this week’s things;

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1. This week has already been tiring as I’ve been helping to prepare for award ceremonies at work in the latter part of this week. I’d promised myself a proper, long, relaxing bath this evening after spending 2 days hunched in a chair, sorting through piles of paperwork. Here’s me relaxing with don’t look at me face mask from Lush (the irony of that name and picture combo is not lost on me). I look like a smurph but it did make my skin feel good.

2. I’ve been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls recentry. I treated myself to the first few seasons on DVD second hand and its been great cozy January watching for me. I’m dreaming of drinking coffee and eating pancakes at Luke’s diner.

3. Speaking of cozy January activities – Joe brought me the set of the Moomin stories. I can’t wait to read them under blankets.

4. I spent Friday night and Saturday day in Birmingham with J. Friday marked 5 years of us officially seeing each other. On our first date, we went to the Urban Coffee Company in Birmingham so we dropped in there again to reminisce. I tried a coconut latte for the first time too and it was pretty tasty. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was coconutty without being overwhelming and sweet enough that I didn’t need sugar or syrup in my coffee.

Till next time…

Oh hi 2016

I’m sitting here drinking some left over bucks fizz at 3.45 in the afternoon on the first day of 2016. I had a quiet NYE at home with Joe after our plans fell through, but that was ok as I’m not really one for going out on these ‘big nights’. One of the great things I have discovered about getting older is that I can stay home when I want and the world will still keep turning. I’ll still have the same friends, I won’t miss out on anything major and even if I do, I still did what I wanted.

Today I had a huge lay in, read some of my first book for 2016 (The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas) and now after a shower and an excellent late breakfast of cinnamon swirls, coffee and bucks fizz in bed, I’m here listening to the Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts CD that I got for Christmas.

So what of this year? What do I want from it and who am I going to be?

Unlike last year, I haven’t come to this point with a fully formed set of goals so I’m kind of winging it at this point. That’s ok though because another thing about growing up is that I’ve given up on the idea that I have to stick to goals and ideas that aren’t serving me. I can change and adapt and it will still count.

Here are some of my preliminary goals or ideas;
star_off Complete and pass my Japanese for beginners class
star_off Renew my passport and plan a trip to see my friend Lisa in Tokyo in October
star_off Grow my hair and get a fringe cut back in (I’ve tried to get away for it, but I always end up with fringe envy!)
star_off Take a second silversmithing class (This is something that I’m almost sure will happen because my Mum generously paid for this as my Christmas gift)
star_off Have a massive overhaul of my possessions and our current house (ready for the next point)
star_off Keep saving towards buying our own place
star_off Carry on writing in this blog on a regular basis
star_off Write another perzine and another issue of Rebel, Rebel
star_off Read at least 52 books (an average of 1 per week) – I read 90 last year so hopefully this one should be easy as I have LOADS that I have on my to-read pile as well as even more that I have brought in the kindle sale

I’d also like to explore the following but I’m trying to be realistic with time/money/energy constraints so some of these may end up as longer term goals
star_off Join and complete the little red tarot course
star_off Take a wood turning class
star_off Take a stained glass course
star_off Take part in the Sketchbook Club course

Above all, I want to live my best life this year. I want to spend time with people who matter to me and give my energy to those people and to myself. I want to feel healthy and mentally well. I want to create and laugh and to be the kind of adult that my younger self would think was pretty damn cool.

Tiny things Tuesday #40

Wow, I made it to #40 of these little Tuesday posts. I reknewed my webhosting for another year today and this was the first year that I felt like I have made use of my website.

I haven’t written on here for a few weeks because life has been busy. December has been pretty hectic with work, social bits and then Christmas.

Its been really nice to have some time off of work to rest, regroup and reflect on the last year. Hopefully I can write a little reflection of 2015 before 2016.

Here’s this weeks tiny things

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1. I visted my mum and Grandma the weekend before Chrstmas and this was the view from my Mum’s house. I forget a lot of the time how beautiful the area that I grew up in is. It was an emotional visit for me as it was the first time that I have seen my Nan since she moved into a nursing home. It was good to see how well she is being cared for but it was emotional all the same.

2. I’m currently working on this knitting pattern for a cowl that my friend Emma shared with me. Its deceptively easy to knit but I love how it comes out (as well as the different colour combos that would be possible) I’m using some cheap acrylic yearn that I picked up from Poundland but I’m tempted to make another one in some softer yarn in the new year.

3. I’ve been using the Real Kana website and app to really make sure that after 1 term of beginners Japanese classes, I know all the hiragana characters.

4. Its barely been cold enough so far this winter to wear these kitty mitts but they still make me smile & they are ready for the next batch of cold weather.

5. We visited Joe’s parents for Christmas and I spent lots of time reading and hanging out with this guy. He is called Tiverton and has the softest fur and the tiniest miaow.

6. I have been playing this Moomin game along side Neko Atsume for the last few weeks. It’s very relaxing.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #39

I think I may finally be starting to shake of this cold/cough that I feel like I have had for months. Plus, I’m going to see The Spook School this week so things are looking up

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I came home from work last night and felt full of energy so I made a vegan chilli (which I enjoyed this evening) as well as this spicy coconut and butternut squash soup. I like making soup but I do find that I tend to stick to my old favourites. This is one of those. For anyone that fancies the look of this – my vague method is as follows;

  • Cut a medium size butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven until it’s soft and squishy.
  • Leave the squash to cool slightly and fry a chopped medium onion in some oil until it’s soft. If you feel like it, add in some garlic too.
  • Once the onions are cooked, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste depending on how spicy you like it. I have used green and red types before. The one I picked up from Tesco this week is vegan friendly and doesn’t have any fish in it. It’s probably better to add less at this point and then add more after the final stage if you want more of a kick
  • Scoop out the cooked squash flesh and add that into the pan and give it a mix around
  • Empty in a whole can of coconut milk and stir well to mix all the flavours together
  • Simmer for 5-10 mins and then use a hand blender to (carefully) blitz your soup

Last night I decided to be fancy and I roasted the squash seeds that I had set aside and sprinkled these on top of the soup before serving. I’m not entirely sure it worked as they quite chewy but it looked good!

2. I read this book this week. I’d wanted to read it for a while but the shipping had always worked out super expensive where ever I saw it online until I realised I could get it as an ebook. Without going into too many details, it was both a happy and sad story. After reading “A little Life”, I thought this would be a softer and gentler read and in some ways it was but…oh, that ending. I’m glad I finally got to read it though.

Right, I have another Japanese speaking assessment tomorrow, so I’d better carry on revising.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #38

Ah, I can’t believe this is only the second one of these that I’ve written in November. It’s been a month full of germs, blankets and hibernating for me. For this post my photos really reach a new low because it’s pretty dark in here and I’m feeling wahy to lazy to try and get good shots of these things. Sorry, but not really because who really gives a crap about the quality of pics on here. No-one.

Here’s this weeks things

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1. New boots! I finally decided it was time to stop shelling out for new boots every winter that would fall apart by spring and reverted back to my 13 year old self and brought these beautiful vegan purple Doc Martens (they were in the sale too as an added bonus). You can’t see on the photo but they are 14 hole ones. I’ve just ordered some ribbon laces to pretty them up with. It’s taken me a few weeks of wearing them at home to ease them up a bit but I’m now ready to unleash them into the world.

2. A little life – I got this absolute brick of a book out of the library on Friday after hearing a few friends rave about it. I knew it was going to be a bit of a tough emotional journey but I don’t think I quite expected it to be this tough. That said, it was beautifully written and something I have been thinking about on and off since I finished it. It did feel like a perfect winter book to curl up with. I have a feeling parts of this story are going to keep coming back to me. I also really enjoyed finding this instagram inspired by the book that the author and another person maintains.

3. One of the advantages of not having a next gen console is that I can pick up very playable and engrossing games for under a tenner (or in a lot of cases, under £5) I’m currently playing Fallout 3 as seemingly the rest of the world is playing the newly released 4th game. It feels like such good value because I’ll get 30+ hours of entertainment out of this game so it’s defintely helping me to save some cash! I’m finding it a pretty relaxing way to spend time when I get home from work, wandering around the post apolcalyptic wasteland, scavenging for items and fighting other dwellers.

4. New vegan friendly snack alert! Found these in Sainsburys tonight in the Christmas section. They taste just like I remember tangy toms crisps tasting like from when I was a kid. Have had to stop myself eating the whole bag as I have a takeaway being delivered soon (ah pay day luxury!)

and on a final note, I stumbled across Kimya Dawson’s beautiful cover of “Game Shows touch our lives” on the Tallahassee turns ten album. If it wont play on that website, you can hear it here as well.

Till next time…

Something else instead

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I went to see Martha play in Birmingham last night with Radiator Hospital and Okinawa Picture Show. I’m pretty rubbish at going out on weeknights but this was worth the effort. After a weekend of tears and feelings of “what’s the point?” I needed something to remind me that I can still feel ok, I can still feel like it’s ok to be me – awkward face, words and all. Going to gigs like this does that for me.

“Oh my heart, I try to keep it open,
Oh my heart, I try to keep it full,
There’s a world outside where I feel so broken,
But you make me feel mendable”
– six men getting sick six times

I’ve been playing this song over and over for the past few weeks. I would have loved to hear them play it last night but never mind. Go and download it here and fling ’em some cash because they are great and make things a little brighter.

Tiny things Tuesday #37

Just a little post this week as I’m full of cold and have been sick in bed since last week. Today was my first day back at work and it was a struggle. By the time I got home, I was pretty much just good for flopping on the bed and listening to some podcasts. I did listen to a learning Japanese one though so I felt like I had been at least a little productive.

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1. As previously hinted – I had a nice day out last Wednesday day in Birmingham looking around the shops, having lunch with a friend and then in the evening I attended a silver ring making course. It was a birthday present from my Mum as I’d fancied giving silversmithing a try for a while and this seemed like a nice introduction. It was held at the Quarter workshop which is in the Coffin Works building in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. The tutor – Victoria was very friends and it was a small class of just 5 of us. I had such a nice time learning some basic techniques like sawing, shaping, soldering and sanding (and using a blow torch!).

I’m proudly wearing my silver ring (with a hammered decorative finish) on my little finger.

2.My friend Kerrie gave me some different teas to try when she heard I was ill. I had a cup of lime and ginger this morning and it lifted my spirits to enjoy something warm but to also know I have such caring and considerate friends around me (and for anyone who likes my mug, it was from Wilkos).

Till next time…