My 2018 Goals

I really swithered this year about whether I was going to come up with a list of goals or do another word of the year. I had actually decided on my word before I realised it was three weeks into January and I had done nothing with it. Instead, I'm using the end of January as inspiration to actually get some (achievable) goals down on paper, or screen, as the case may be.

Start blogging again. Ok, this one hasn't gone great so far but as I posted 3 times last year, and only once the year before, 2 posts in a month definitely feels like an improvement.

Spend more time with people I care about. This winter has been long, and cold, and dark. I really want to start seeing friends more regularly again. I've always been a bit of a hermit but recently it has been getting ridiculous.

Figure out my productivity schedule. I heard this term recently and it has really stuck with me - I definitely have different times when I am different types of productive. For example, I'm always more productive at work if I get in early, I'm absolutely useless just after work and my most creative times tend to come between 11 pm and 2 am. Knowing all of this doesn't necessarily mean that I know how to take advantage of it though - this year I am going to try and take advantage of my productivity peaks, and try not to force myself in my lulls.

Actually donate all those old clothes. I am great at organising my wardrobe and getting rid of items I don't wear anymore, unfortunately, I'm not great at the actually getting rid of them bit. I currently have 3 or 4 bin bags of clothes waiting to go to the charity shop, but I just can't bring myself to take that final step. This year that ends.

Don't pigeonhole myself. This was initially just related to blogging but I think it could be beneficial across more areas of my life. I don't want to limit myself based on other peoples expectations, whether that is online or in real life.

Buy a new DSLR. I got my Canon about 5 years ago and it has been reading a fault since 4.5 years ago. I've taken it to camera repair shops but they can't identify the fault, I've replaced all the bits on it that I can do easily but nothing has worked. I pulled it out at Christmas and it won't even focus anymore. This year I bite the bullet and buy myself a new one.

Go on more adventures with Scallywag. I've already mentioned my hermit tendencies but it isn't just me who is affected if I stay in all evening - my dog definitely deserves more fun and this year I want to increase the length of our walks as well as varying where we go more.

Use my bullet journal. I first tried bullet journaling last year and gave up pretty quickly. This year I really want to try and utilise it in a way that works for me. I've spent January trying out different layouts and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. Now I just need to actually stick with it.

 What are your goals for 2018 and how are they going so far? How do you keep yourself accountable? 

Monday Link List: 071

  These mushrooms make me surprisingly happy from Julie Collings  I'm all about hot drinks at this time of year, but I definitely need to cut back on my coffee. This is making me want to go on a tea shopping trip    Feminism and Harry Potter, how could I not share it?
  This Twin Peaks embroidery is so fantastic
  I'm attempting to bullet journal this year but I could never hope to create anything this beautiful
 This amazing engraved skull from Tibet is just insanely intricate and beautiful
  Female activists throughout history ❤

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,


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