Monday Link List: 070

This print is absolutely beautiful - I wish it was still available!
 Abbey Karson's all black outfits, like this one, are my style goals at the moment.
This beautiful art from Mia Charro 
One day I'll leave the city and live in a cabin in the woods
 I'm a big fan of this quote and really enjoyed the associated post from Juniper Woodbury - I was definitely a bit anti-feminist when I was young and I'm always interested in other people who felt the same way and how that changed.

 I love this cityscape from Pascal Campion
This gorgeous magpie tattoo by my favourite lady @shirleypettigrewtattoos
I'm just a little bit obsessed with this quote at the moment - it's something I'm really trying to focus on so I made this for myself using Canva. This version is A4 proportions but it fits pretty well for my phone lock screen too.

JK Rowling's tweet about the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone coming out gave me all the feels - I might even start rereading it tonight.

Emmy's story about accidentally locking her dog in the car is terrifying but her reaction was commendable - Scallywag getting locked in and overheating in a car is one of my worst nightmares.

Chantilly posted about teaching herself to turn off.

Buzzfeed shared a massive list of tweets that will make feminists laugh.

Charlotte shared some reasons she will unfollow your blog.

And it is a little bit late but I thought it was still worth sharing Rosie's ways to celebrate the summer solstice.

Visiting Stonehenge

Do you ever look at a photo and it suddenly hits you how much has changed since you took it? These photos were taken on a holiday I took at around this time last year and it feels like my whole world is different now. From the outside it may seem the same; same flat, same job, same dog but at the same time, everything is different. My five-year relationship ended, I made new friendships and rekindled old ones, I learnt how to live and be alone, and I'm not that same person who took these photos only twelve months ago. In fact, I can barely recognise her. 

It feels like a strange irony that I'm writing about changes in life when my photos are of Stonehenge - a monument that seems almost eternal. These stones have stood in place for thousands of years, weathered generations of humanity while I've only lived another year, a tiny blip in the larger picture of both the world and my life. It's a timely reminder that although things have changed I've somehow survived it all; solid and strong in my own way. 
Anyway - let's get on with what I had planned to talk about. Stonehenge is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. I've always been fascinated with prehistory and the monuments that have endured since that time. Finally seeing it in person was everything I could have hoped for. The distances these stones travelled and the organisation and effort involved in erecting them is absolutely incredible.

For those who aren't history buffs here's a little background. Stonehenge is in Wiltshire and is part of a complex of prehistoric monuments in the area, which includes several hundred burial mounds, The site around 1500 years to complete, with different aspects of the monument being built at different stages. It started with a circular bank and ditch enclosure around 360 feet in diameter around 3100 BCE or 5100 years ago and it looks like the site was in use until the Iron Age (between 1200 BCE and 1 BCE). That amount of time is just mind boggling. 

We'll never know exactly what the spiritual or religious significance of the site is but it is surrounded by burial mounds and shows evidence of use at different points of the year. It still has ritual surrounding it today, in fact as it is the summer solstice the site was opened up to the public this morning. It's one of the only times you can get up close to the stones, the rest of the time they keep you a distance away so that they can protect the integrity of the stones.  

It's an amazing place that I am so happy to have seen. Editing these photos and writing this post has been a little bittersweet but it's also making me excited for all the other places I can visit and learn more about. Time moves and things change but some things will stay the same - like my awkward photo face...
Alice xo

Monday Link List: 069

Well it's been a while again. I'm sure I'll do some sort of explanatory post soon but for now I just want to jump straight back in to it. I can believe this is my first Monday Link List since November 2014.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List The Secret Garden was one of my favourite books growing up (and does anyone else remember the movie from 1993?) I would love to get a copy of it with this cover from Karl James Mountford.
 This bedroom looks so cosy and comforting. I'm on a total fairy lights kick in my house at the moment.
 This wee guy makes me heart feel light, such a cutie!
I need this mug from Anthropologie in my life.
 This outfit from @caminimm is basically my clothing goals for the summer - it's too warm for anything fancier right now.

An oldie but still good - I love Buzzfeed's advice on making your rental into a home.

I found this article on getting consent before photographing people in public spaces really interesting and made me think about how I use my camera when I'm in a busy area or at an event.

The changes made to these album covers and ads to make them fit modesty laws are fascinating.

I'm totally obsessed with Sarah Graley's 'Our Super Adventure' and Dami Lee's 'As Per Usual' comics at the moment.

I really love these ideas of things to write in a therapeutic journal - the page also has a good explanation of the difference between a journal and a therapeutic journal. I was writing one for most of the last year and I'm really disappointed at myself for falling out of the habit.

Father's day was yesterday and I know that can be a difficult time of year for people for a variety of reasons. this article about letting yourself feel the hurt or anger of it might help anyone who has found it particularly tough,

Hello...

It's me.
 Sorry it's been a while. Life got, well, very busy. That sounds ridiculous, it's been over a year, but it's the truth. I had to throw myself completely into work for a while and then, when it all calmed down again, I guess I felt a kind of disconnected from this place. I didn't have the drive or the inspiration that I needed to come back.

I missed it here though. I missed the heavy bulk of my DSLR, fiddling on Photoshop, the words slowly coming together in my mind and the satisfaction when it all comes together into a post. It's a ritual, and falling back into it feels both strange and intimately familiar.

I thought about doing a massive run down of the last year and a half of my life but it would be ridiculous to try and fit everything that has happened in that time in only a couple of paragraphs so I'm not going to try. I've been healthy and happy and so have the people I care about, I'm sure that anything exciting I've done or seen or experienced will come up at some point anyway.

Instead of that I thought I might just start easy, a quick hello and a nice, easy post to start off again. So, yeah, hello.

What I Wore: An Ode To A Coat

Pretty Confused: An Ode To A Coat Pretty Confused: An Ode To A Coat What do you do as a personal style blogger when it is too damn cold to take off your coat outside? You dedicate an entire post to said coat.  This coat had been with my for 2 Winters now and it is still holding up well, I'm not even its first owner - I nicked it off a good friend when she decided she didn't need it anymore and yet it's still going. I love the shape, the colour and most of all I love the hood, which never fails to make me feel like I'm in a fairytale, rather than making a wet and dreary walk to work.

I think finding the right coat is particularly important when you live in a cold country. It is the only item of clothing that I wear for over 200 days of the year. I've actually been searching for a new one since back in October but not had any luck. It's my outer layer and for a lot of the year it is the only bit of my outfit visible to the rest of the world. For that reason alone I always want to find one that represents me as well as an item of clothing can. 

These photos were taken on our New Years day walk with the pups and it was freezing - I did actually take one or two photos with my coat undone to show off the dress I was wearing my I looked so painfully uncomfortable and cold that I didn't want to share them. Instead you get these super cosy ones where I'm piled up with my gloves, hat and a good pair of woolly socks. Also I need to apologise for the photo quality here - you really wouldn't believe these were taken on my SLR would you? They are appallingly grainy. I think there must be an issue with one of the connections between my lens and the camera body. I've checked everything for dust but if my next set of photos come out the same way it might be time to get it sent off and fixed. What a pain. If anyone has any advice or can recommend a good camera repair place  in Edinburgh please let me know! 
Pretty Confused: An Ode To A Coat Pretty Confused: An Ode To A Coat Pretty Confused: An Ode To A Coat

Hello 2015!

Pretty Confused: Hello 2015 Happy New Year guys! Holy heck, how on earth did we get to 2015 already? December with all of its craziness kind of got away from me... and then the start of January got away from me too. 2015 has started on a bit of a low note, it's been a tough time both for myself and lots of people I care deeply about. Blogging definitely fell to the bottom of my to do list for a little while. I'm not leaving you all though, I still love this place too much, but sometimes you just need to step back and focus on the real world and pulling yourself back up. 

2014 was an amazing year for me. It was my first year living with just LF, my first full year at my current job and one filled with memories of triumphs and losses, of learning new skills, of fun with friends and of lots of changes, and yet I am also so glad it is over. I'm more than ready for the metaphorical new start that the new year gives you. It is a chance to reconnect with people, to forgive yourself for the previous years mistakes, to try new things and to measure where you are and where you want to be. I definitely think that is something I need right now!

I posted not that long ago with my goals for before I turn 30, so I'm not going to come up with a huge list of resolutions for this year, you guys probably wouldn't want to read another post on them anyway. Instead I'm going to follow Sarah's lead and instead have a word that I will focus on for the year. Sarah's word last year was comfort, which I think I unintentionally also took as my own. I definitely didn't mean to but I feel like I went easy on myself in some ways last year. I stretched myself professionally and managed to teach myself some awesome new skills (learning the knit and weave was definitely one of the  best things I have done in a long time) but when it came to blogging, socialising and self-improvement I feel like I focussed a lot on taking care of myself, learning my boundaries and self-care rather than pushing myself to go beyond my comfort zone. Those thoughts stuck in my mind as I searched for the right word to describe what I want 2015 to mean for me.

Eventually it happened though, the word hit me. This year the word I want to focus on is tenacious.

This year I want to push myself, when I say yes I want to mean it and the same when I say no. I want to take risks and push myself. I don't want to let the banality of life takeover, which it sometimes does. I want to work hard towards what I want and, if I need to, say 'screw it' to everything else. This year I'm gonna be a little bit selfish, but for all the right reasons.

What are you hoping for during 2015? 

Photography: Visiting Cramond

Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond And it's December! I can't believe we are in the final stretch of the year, it's all gone so fast. I've had a super busy day of work and friends and a driving lesson so I'm not going to write much today, in fact I should probably already be in bed. Instead I thought I would share some of the photos I took last time we were at Cramond Island. See you later in the week for my monthly review!
Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond Pretty Confused blog // Visiting Cramond