2012: Favourite Moments

2012 has been an odd year for me, in some aspects my life has changed very much over the past twelve months, I've had a variety of experiences, all of which have changed me in their own way. On the other hand for much of 2012 I have felt stagnant. Perhaps it has been turning 25, and the expectation that I should know what I want to do with my life by now, but I've never felt less sure of my future than I have this year. In many ways I am glad for it to be over, but there are also so many memories that I am going to cherish from this year. 

Rather than split the year month by month I thought I might just share a some of my favourite moments/photos of the last year with you. 
Although we started dating in late 2011 I will always remember 2012 as the year me and my fantastic boyfriend started growing our relationships. There have been ups and downs but I love how our relationship has grown over the past year, and I'm looking forward to building our relationship for many years to come. He isn't keen on me sharing information about him online, but I did manage to convince him to take this photo for when I told a brief version of our love story. 
I've had so many amazing moments with the dogs this year it was difficult not to make this entire post dedicated to them (don't worry, there are still more than enough) but playing in the leaves with them this Autumn has definitely been one of my favourite memories. I can't believe how much the two of them have changed over the year.
I've felt so thankful for my wonderful friends this year, and all the wonderful food we have shared! It's been strange staying in the same city for the past few years, watching lots of people move away for university and then later for work, but I'm really glad I have managed to close contact with so many people that I love. 

I've moved more times in the past year than any other time in my life, and I've actually really enjoyed it. I've met loads of new people, made some new friends, and am ending the year living with people I really like, in a flat that I adore. I'm also pretty damned determined to make 2013 my last year of flat sharing though. 
Another shot of Mania and Scallywag, the dogs have definitely made my life interesting this year, but I wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. They make me smile every single day. 
I couldn't say goodbye to 2012 without saying a final goodbye to Bertie. He was truly the best pet a girl could hope for, and before him I never knew the depth of love you could have for an animal. I still think of him everyday. This photo is from about 2 weeks before he died, you probably recognize it from my sidebar, but for some reason I cannot bring myself to post the outfit post this is part of. It isn't my last photo of the two of us, but it is one of my favourites. 

Well, I suppose it is time to say goodbye to 2012. It's definitely been an odd one. Happy Hogmanay everyone, I'll see you next year.

Snapshots: Christmas Day

Wow, I cannot believe that the madness of Christmas is over for another year. I hope you all had an absolutely amazing day. I had an fantastic time sharing Christmas with my family and boyfriend for the first time. We managed to keep up with our favourite family traditions, reading The Night Before Christmas and opening stockings in my parent's bed, while (hopefully) not making the French feel too out of place. I feel so lucky that I got to spend the day with the people I love the most. 

I must have taken over a hundred photos, but I'm only going to share a couple. It's such a special time of year that I don't want to cheapen it by giving too much away. I will tell you we had a wonderful meal (including the obligatory paper crowns), that the dogs really enjoyed playing with wrapping paper, that stockings are still amazing and that I now have enough Lush stuff to last me till next Christmas. 
I hope you are all getting to enjoy some time off, I'm certainly using the lull between Christmas and New Year to spend some quality time catching up on cleaning, eating lots of leftover food and generally being a little bit lazy. I couldn't be happier. 

Season's Greetings

No Monday Link List today, I'm busy wrapping up some presents and enjoying the company of friends and family. Tonight I will head to my parent's house with the dogs and my lovely partner, hang my stocking and curl up to read The Night Before Christmas. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, sleeping in, taking the dogs on a long walk with my family, spending several hours sitting round the dinner table and, of course, opening the presents that have been sitting under the tree tempting me. Whether you are spending the day with family, friends or enjoying your own company, and whatever it is that you are choosing to celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic day! Happy Holidays!

Snapshots: A Scottish Thanksgiving

Just a few quick photos of our Thanksgiving dinner from back at the start of the month. I had never attempted to cook for a large group of people like this before (I think the final count was around 20) so I was incredibly proud of myself for managing to make enough food for everyone. There was even enough left over for lunch the next day. It was an absolutely fantastic experience having so many people I loved eating together, and I would definitely do it again, although not for a little while. 
I'm still actually away on holiday, but I|will be back this evening, so if you have sent me an important email or anything I will get back to asap. 

What I Wore: Puppy Print

If you follow me on Instagram you will already have had a glimpse of this new dress. I was meant to be out Christmas shopping on Sunday and ended up coming back with 2 dresses (£5 each, thank you Primark), some new coloured tights and other random tat. This is one of the dresses, I just couldn't resist the puppy print! It's not the best quality, and could have definitely done with lining, but seeing as one of my new year's resolutions is cutting back on my fast fashion I figured I would let myself get a last fix (that is if I can stop myself when the sales start...)

These tights are also new, I bought a couple of really brightly coloured ones last year and just couldn't wear them. They made my curvy legs look huge and I could never get an outfit where they looked just right. I decided to try again though and got these burgandy ones and a pair of dark orange ones too. I'm looking forward to trying them out.
As this is published (fingers crossed scheduling the post works) I'll be up in Fife enjoying some time in the countryside with my family. Each year, since I was 2 years old, we have travelled up to stay in the same hotel for a couple of days before Christmas. It's a great excuse to get together as a family and unplug from the world. It is something I look forward to every year. My aunt and uncle will also be up there this year, it is a proper wee family reunion. Hope you are all having wonderful weeks. 

Monday Link List: 030

I'm a sucker for anything with a schnauzer on it, but this print by Tiny Confessions is just stunning!
A collection of really useful hints and tips for making sewing that little bit easier from Made By Rae
I spent a lot of time last night looking through Bethany's bows, but I think this burgandy one is my favourite
I love learning about antique books, and these harlequinade ones are absolutely beautiful, you can learn a little more about them on Jenna's blog Kitty Cat Stevens
I would pay for this scarf, the fact that I can make it just makes everything better. How ridiculously cute? Check out the instructions on Prudent Baby
I've never wanted to visit Portland more! Best advertising ever, I just wish I knew who to credit. So awesome.
My Worst Christmas: You get a lot of sugary, overly positive Christmas posts, when we all know reality isn't quite like that. I really enjoyed Becky's post on her worst Christmas.

Sock Puppet Theatre: Internet drama acted out by sock puppets. Absolutely hilarious.

DIY Indoor Photography Lighting: Chantilly's instructional posts about taking outfit photos inside is really useful for those of us living in colder climates at the moment.

Christmas Fairs in Edinburgh & Glasgow: Just what it says, a list of upcoming (and past, now) Christmas fairs around the central belt.

You Are Not a Photographer: Oh so funny. I consider myself a bad amateur photographer at best, but I think even I could manage better than these. I spent ages going through past posts laughing.

Some Thoughts on Feedback: Beca talks about the Etsy commenting system, and how it can mean the death of a small business. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it is good to remember there is a huge different between a small business and a mammoth like Amazon, and your feedback should reflect that fact.

The 25 Pieces That Should Be Required Reading For Women: The Huffington Post collected some of the best articles of 2012, I've got to admit I am only part way through the list but it is definitely an interesting read if you have the time.

Rainy Days: Elizabeth talks about the fact that sometimes (and especially at this time of year) it is ok to get a little bit behind. Blogging can definitely take over your life, and it is good to remember that a few late posts aren't the end of the world, especially if you are spending time with people you love instead.

DIY Half & Half Cardigan: Katherine posted an awesome cardigan DIY, I actually had to stop myself buying a couple of Primark cardies, today and trying it out myself (after Christmas when I have more time though, definitely)

Share the Love - Dog Rescue: It's horrible, but Christmas is still the worst time of year for people abandoning animals, if you are thinking of getting someone an animal for Christmas please check that they are 100% committed to caring for it, and as always, rescue, don't use breeders.

What I Wore: Tie A Bow On It

I wasn't actually planning on posting this today. I've been meaning to post some photos of our Thanksgiving meal and even had the post scheduled, but when this bow appeared in the mail yesterday I just couldn't wait to show it off. I won it from the beautiful Lauren of Old Red Boots during my lucky streak earlier this month. It's handmade by Bethany of Those Bow Times, and it's absolutely beautiful. I never want to take it off. 

Sorry I can't write much, we've got a friend staying for the weekend again, and I've still need to write tomorrow's post. Hope you have had lovely, lazy weekends.  

What I've Done: November 2012

  • Thanksgiving, I guess I should technically count this as happening in December, but we did so much of the planning and cooking before the 1st I think I can include it here as well. It was definitely a challenge cooking for so many people, but one I would happily do again. I think we all had an amazing time. 
  • Being very lucky. Sometimes luck just seems to come your way. To be honest I could have probably used it more in other areas of my life, but having some lovely goodies arrive in the post does make the world seem a little brighter. 
  • Early nights. I'm trying really hard not to complain about the lack of daylight at the moment, so instead I'll focus on the positives. I get loads more done during the day at the moment, all my errands are done in the morning while the sun is (sometimes) out, which is great productivity wise. I'm also really appreciating being able to come home, stick the kettle on and cuddle up with the dogs at the moment. Those two are better than radiators.
  • Two pairs of socks weather - I actually quite like the cold weather in the morning that we've had recently. The frost, seeing your breath, holding your mug of coffee extra tight, it's definitely invigorating. 
Trying to get back into reading and failing, I'm now part way through three different books. Flat movie nights, including popcorn. Having my parent's dog Tups staying with us for a few days. Getting amped up for Christmas and getting my advent calender. Imaginary Christmas shopping - if only I had infinite funds, I know what I would get everyone I know.

Looking Forward To
Everything! The Christmas markets, lots of sparkly lights, my family's traditional pre-Christmas holiday to Crieff, my first Christmas with my family and my boyfriend, the possibility of a new camera and lots of friends visiting over the next few weeks.

New (To Me) Blogs

What I Wore: Frosty

I'm back, not that I was really away, but real life and generally feeling a little bit crap, kind of got in the way of blogging the past few weeks. I'm getting back into it now though, I've got a couple of posts planned and I'm dedicating this evening to editing some photos and actually doing some writing. It's been a crazy couple of weeks; a trip to A&E with a suspected case of gall stones, a fire in the flat below us (don't leave your stove on and leave the house guys) and planning and executing a Thanksgiving/early Christmas dinner. I'm definitely looking forward to everything calming down a little bit before the 25th. 
I've been finding it quite difficult to put together outfits that are 'blog worthy' lately. All the layers I've been wearing to keep warm are making me feel a little bit puffy, add to that my usual Winter weight gain and there have been more than a few days where I have tried on several outfits before giving up, throwing everything back into my cupboard and angrily pulling on my jeans. I nearly did the same thing with this dress, it fits perfectly, but add thermals underneath and I was feeling a little bit tight across my chest. Sigh. I know I shouldn't let silly things like a slightly tight dress stress me out, but I can't help it. I'm going to make an extra effort to wear 'pretty' things over the next few days and see if that cheers me up. At least it is only 2 weeks until Christmas, the thought of spending the day with my family, boyfriend and all the dogs is definitely perking me up. 
Dress: Thrifted (Gap) // Boots: Thrifted .. Coat: Clothes Swap // Scarf: Clothes Swap // Fingerless Gloves: Primark

Monday Link List: 029

This umbrella print by Gabrielle Rose is absolutely beautiful. 
I love Daisy's new hair colour!
These greeting cards by Jahnavashti are absolutely beautiful.
This sign is absolutely beautiful, love the quote and the distressed effect. 
Best ugly Christmas jumper ever! I can't wait to watch Home Alone later this month. 
This watercolour fox by RiverLuna gorgeous, or maybe I am just a sucker for everything foxy. 

iPet Companion: This might be the most adorable thing ever, play with cats in adoption centres online. Seriously! You can control a toy and help entertain a lonely cat. Possibly my favourite thing on the internet ever.

April Anson's 120 Foot Square Home: This beautiful and tiny home just shows how a small space can be utilized to its absolute best, and there is even room for a book case.

How To Find Your Writing Voice (& Not Sound Like A Robot): I'm natural awkward and I frequently worry that my blog sounds that way too. Sarah's advice to combat it was absolutely great, and I'm looking forward to incorporating her advice into my posts.

How To Blog When You Work Full Time: Poor Charlotte, I cannot even imagine how difficult it is to work a 40 how week and still find time to blog (and then there are the people with small businesses as well, how do you find the time?). I've got to admit her post did make me laugh though.

My 40 Year Old Face: Catherine did some experimenting with Photoshop and came to the radical conclusion that she prefers her face as it is.

Customized DIY Calender: I survived this year barely, jotting things down in notebooks, and it didn't work very well. Unfortunately I'm also incredibly fussy, so making my own seems like an amazing plan. Even better you can design your own layout, so I can include a section for blogging! (Btw, Chantilly is hosting another Totally Awesome Blog Hop, it's a great way to find some lovely new bloggers)

24 Merry Days: 24 lovely bloggers are hosting a giveaway for advent, check out where and when on their official site. Who knows, maybe I'll have passed some of my luck on to all of you.

It has been a crazy,crazy week here so I've been kind of MIA - A&E visits, a fire and an amazing weekend out of town. Luckily everything is absolutely fine, and I'll give you guys the full run down tomorrow. Hope you have all had wonderful weekends. 

Monday Link List: 028

This lovely print is available for free download from Avalon Rose Design
This watercolour and pencil illustration, 'Their Ancestors Were Wolves' by Lukaluka is absolutely beautiful.
Another beautiful print, this one by Bianca Green
These qualities for a beautiful life are perfect, from Christine Rose Elle
This illustration from Jill Tytherleigh is making me crave a cup of tea and a biscuit
The Lovely Closet: Erin and Stephanie have taken their business online, I could spend forever looking through all those beautiful clothes. 

Hi Friend: Definitely the cutest post all week, Charlene has a pet hedgehog who finally made an appearance on her blog. He's so adorable!

Thrifting 101: Kailey passes on her best tips for finding thrift store goodies. The only thing I would add is wear something comfy that you can try things on over the top, a lot of places don't have fitting rooms and it's pretty frustrating taking something home, washing it and realising it doesn't fit. 

How We Judge Others: Sarah talks about how her attitude towards people has changed, and her efforts to be more compassionate towards strangers. 

New Chapter For Mystery Book Sculptures: I spoke about the mystery book sculptor last year, and she is back! Six new sculptures have been hidden around Scotland, with the first being found in Glasgow yesterday. What a perfect way to celebrate Book Week. 

Get Off The Guilt Train: I live in guilt, I'm always thinking I can do more, fit everything in. Obviously I can't, or this would have been published yesterday, when it was actually Monday. It must have been fate though, because I think I really needed to read Chantilly's post about banishing unnecessary guilt from her life.