What I've Done: May & June 2013

Highlights
  • Watching my little brother graduate from university - I'm so freaking proud of him! His graduation was wonderful and he's already started an awesome job in his field. What a superstar. 
  • Lots of people visiting: nights out with friends; talks over coffee; girly nights watching youtube videos and sitting in the sun.  
  • Doing my first blog design/photography for someone else, and hopefully managing to give one of my friend's the blogging bug too.
  • Summer! Good weather, ice cream, summer dresses, my parasol, cold ginger beer (yeah, I'm a walking cliche).
  • Short hair, it is such a big change, and I'm definitely still getting used to it but it is so much easier to deal with, it only takes a couple of minutes to dry/style, even if I am still working out the best ways to deal with it and not end up with mad scientist hair. 
  • Jon Snow, I don't think I will ever forget that crow. 
  • Fussy puppies, I'm pretty sure Scallywag associates Summer with the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks and she is getting herself panicked in advance. She hates leaving the house after dark at the moment. On the other side both dogs are being extra affectionate at the moment, which is lovely. Mania isn't usually the cuddly type so it is a nice change of pace.
  • A new job! I start tomorrow and I cannot wait. It's a bit of a change, but a wonderful one and I can't wait to jump straight in. Not that I 
  • Nights by the fire, who doesn't love being able to sit outside late into the night with a beer and some good friends? 
Lowlights
Getting really (really) into Game of Thrones, we ended up watching all three seasons and I'm currently psyching myself up to read Storm of Swords. Evening walks with the dogs, I'm really enjoying taking them out just as the sun sets and letting them have an extra run each day. Lots of luck finding second hand books that I can't wait to read. A massive smoothie kick. Nights in curled up on the couch with LF. Brightly coloured gel pens. Flowers everywhere. Sunsets. Trying to get more sleep and into a better routine, and failing. 

New (To Me) Blogs

Looking Forward To
Regular hours. More work on building a routine. Space to sort out my head. Being a bit more of an organised blogger, yeah, kind of let the ball drop there. Someone close to my heart coming home from a two month trip. A whole bunch more Summer to go. Work wear (and the shopping that goes with needing it). 

Monday Link List 049


Just in case you didn't know already, all bodies are welcome here. I love all the posts at The Love Yourself Challenge

Isn't this illustration from Ooh La La Designs absolutely lovely? It makes me want to run away from the city for a little while. 
I could look at pretty pictures of clothes all day long...

This cat pattern is amazing, I don't know why their grumpy faces make me so happy.

More awesome art, I wish living in a tree house was actually like this.

The colours in this outfit are just amazing, so bright and cheerful. I love the bow on that dress too.

On the subject of dresses, this Root Dress by Barb Hunt is amazing.

This illustration is lovely. It reminds me of cuddling large dogs and my teddy bears when I was little and how comforting I found it.

So true.

Wedding Tattoos: I'm not a big wearer of jewelry, so engagement/wedding rings have always worried me. I really like this idea as an alternative. The fact I could never lose it is an added bonus.

Customizing Older & Newer Post Links: Blogger makes a lot of customization really easy but the basic settings for older and newer posts are not the prettiest. Luckily it isn't too difficult to do it yourself with this tutorial.

What Happened When I Started A Feminist Society At School: I wish I had been this aware as a teenager, what an amazing bunch of teenagers, and absolutely shocking they aren't getting support from their school.

Narcissism As Self Love - Yet Another Fat Girl Narrative: Ragini talks about self portraits and how her self image has changed over time. I absolutely hated being photographed when I was a teenager too, and blogging has definitely forced me to accept me for what I am.

To My Daughter On Father's Day, Sorry I Used To Be Sexist: I love this letter from Mo Elleithee to his daughter, so sweet.

How To Make Ice Brewed Coffee: I cannot wait to try this on our next sunny Sunday, I would have done it this morning but it was raining and I wanted something to warm me up.

Things I'm Supposed To Do But Don't: Well I am glad I am not the only dog owner who cannot be bothered to hoover everyday, and, you know, pretty much everything else on this list. Although at the moment I am watching Deep Space Nine.

RSS Alternatives To Google Reader: So, unless you live under a rock, you probably already know that Google Reader will say its final goodbye a week from today. Here is a great list of alternatives if you haven't switched yet. 

Blackford Hill & A Crow Called Jon Snow

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Saturday was one of those kind of typical sunny/grey/rainy days that you get during a Scottish Summer, so a bunch of us went for a meander out to Blackford, one of the hills in the city. It's one of the dogs' favourite spots - there is all sorts of stuff to do and small. It's a favourite of mine too because there is something for whatever mood you are in - meadows, woodland, a quarry, a river, a duck pond and an observatory on top! We had loads of fun playing fetch with the dogs, watching them play in the river, and in my case taking photos of absolutely everything
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If you follow me on Twitter you will have already heard a little of this story. Close to the end of our walk we heard a commotion under a bridge so we went to explore, as we approached a bunch of crow (a murder of crows?) flew away and we spotted what looked like a dead bird half in the water. Originally we just planned to move it, mainly so the dogs didn't eat the poor thing, but when we got closer we realised it was still alive. After a quick discussion about whether we should just put the poor guy out of his misery we picked him up and had a look over him. He had a wound on his chest, and he was too young to fly, but other than that he seemed pretty alert so we decided to take him home with us.

I've got to admit, carrying him home was pretty scary. I think I stopped every couple of minutes to check he was still breathing, but eventually we made it back and managed to clean him up a bit. We even came up with a name for him, Jon Snow (because, obviously). He even took a little bit of water, and seemed perfectly happy to fall asleep in a shoe box on our kitchen table. I really wish we could have kept him, but with dogs and cats in our house it just didn't seem like a realistic idea, so we called the SSPCA and they came and picked him up. They weren't as positive about his chances, but they said they would take him and do what they could. Weirdly though, I haven't been able to get him out of my mind. It's silly how quickly you can become attached to an animal, and I really wish I knew if he was okay, but mainly I am just glad that he didn't die alone under that bridge. 

Have you guys ever taken an animal home with you? I can remember getting in lots of trouble when I was little for trying to bring a rat I found in the street home. I don't think I named him though. 
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Monday Link List: 048


This illustration from Carson Ellis' Wildwood Chronicles.
I've been eyeing up this brooch by Kate Rowland for weeks now. So cute.

This collection of wild flowers is not helping my desperate wish to have a backgarden, so pretty!

Turn your doodles into vector art, such a cool way of adding a personal touch to blog posts/design

I don't know why I love this so much, but this wolf is absolutely perfect, and seeing the process to make a piece of art always fascinates me.

Seeing these merit badges makes me miss being a Girl Guide leader, I wonder if I could make my own blogging badge :)

This photo is just perfect, so pretty.

This outfit from Annika is gorgeous - not a colour combination I'm usually drawn to but it looks amazing.

Would it be ridiculous if I dressed up as a cloud for Halloween? I don't think I would like anywhere near this cute though.

I wish I had a steadier hand so I could create lovely type like this, and I love the quote!

A simple but cute shoe makeover from Modern Girl Blitz.

Why Do I Blog?: We've all got our own reasons for getting into this weird blogging world, what are yours?

How To Fix Black Backgrounds In PNGs: This problem was driving me mad about a month ago - I am so glad I know how to fix it now.

What's Next?: It's graduation season (I'm attending my brothers later this week) so I imagine there are a lot of people trying to figure it all out right now - or if you are like me you are trying to figure it out all the time.

What Photographers Would Look Like If Google Glasses Took Over The World: I find people glued to their iPhones strange enough - but can you even imagine if this became the norm? Cool but strange.

What It Feels Like To Sell Your Wedding Dress: Alli talks about saying goodbye to her wedding dress (which was stunning, fyi) and moving on to bigger and better things.

Being Busy: Chantilly talks about being 'busy' and what it means. A great reminder to let stuff go a little bit, especially seeing as I will actually be busier, if not busy, starting in July.

Living Brave Life: Elizabeth shares some of her thoughts while driving , in particular the real differences between people and trying to be happy with what you are, rather than forcing yourself into a different person.

Why You Shouldn't Feel Bad You Can't Have A Dog: All of these are true, but especially the last one :)

Being A Woman In India: Ragini shares her thoughts on moving back to/being a woman in India. It's a fascinating read.

Nothing's Perfect: These posts are everywhere in the blogging world, but I really appreciated reading one from Elsie. I mean, c'mon, her life (& income from blogging) is pretty enviable.

Home Screen Printing: I was talking with a friend about screen printing a couple of weeks ago, so it seemed like fate when I spotted this tutorial. I can't wait to try it out.

A Love Letter To Edinburgh: I know everyone loves the city they call home, but Gillian really hit the nail on the head with this post about Edinburgh.

Seven Ways To Wear A Scarf (In Your Hair): Exactly what it says, I find it really difficult to style scarves, but this has inspired me to try again.

A Handmade Devotion: Bejuh talks about some of her favourite handmade jewelry makers and integrating handmade into your wardrobe.

That Time I Got The Grand Idea To Start Up My Own Business... & Failed: There are a lot of small business success stories among bloggers, so I was really interested

Trans Woman Forced To Leave Home After Being Branded A Witch: It really upsets me that prejudice like this still exists in modern Scotland, especially seeing as the culprits seem to be adults. Absolutely horrible.

And so we end on a slightly more positive note, is anyone else following @FeministTaylorSwift? Taylor Swift is one of my guilt pleasures anyway but I'm loving this play on her lyrics. Makes me smile each time I go on Twitter.

Life Lately

Hello again blog. I know, I know, there has been some serious neglect going on here lately. What can I say? Real life gets in the way. It's been worth it though (is is sacrilege for a blogger to say that?) I've gotten so much done and come up with so many possibilities for the future. I've got a new job starting in July (and I'm so excited!), I've done some photography and web design for an artist friend and had lots of unexpected visits from friends. I've not taken a lot of photos recently, but here are a couple from when I have actually remembered to take my camera out with me. 
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I miss having access to a back garden most of the time (it would make 7am walks with the dogs so much easier) but it is definitely worst in Summer. Luckily we've got a couple of good friends who live just round the corner who have a private garden and we've been using it whenever possible. There is nothing better on a Saturday afternoon than sitting down in the sun with a beer. 
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The other side of the coin is all this good weather is making dog runs during the day really difficult. No one wants my two beasts running through their picnic/frisbee game, so we have been going further afield for our walks. The dogs are actually beginning to prefer rainy days because it is the only chance they get to run in the park. 
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My basil and parsley are looking healthier and healthier every day, first time I have managed to grow something without killing it! The chives didn't work at all but two out of three ain't bad. 
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I've been pondering a serious haircut for a couple of months now, which means I have left it way too late getting my fringe cut. I've made an appointment for this week but I've still got no idea of what I want done. 

Check back tomorrow, after my unexpected break I have a super long Monday Link List that I have been compiling for you guys. I'm so excited to be back in the swing of things.