New (To Me) Blogs: Friday Favourites

Way, way back when I started blogging I used to include a feature called 'new (to me) blogs' in my Month in Review posts. I kind of lost track of it over time but I thought I might bring it back, at least for once, on this cold and windy Friday night (well, afternoon, but it is dark already). I've started following a lot a lot of blogs over the six months plus I did one of these so I'm not going to include all my new regular reads, but here's a quick look at ten of the ones that I am particularly enjoying.

Petite Panoply Jamie is the adorable blogger of Petite Panoply whose amazing red hair always draws my eye on my Bloglovin feed. Her style is a fantastic mix of modern and vintage that always inspires me to find new ways of wearing my own clothes and she also shares outfit inspiration from other bloggers and intersperses all her posts with little bits about her life and interests.

The Fox and Fern The Fox and Fern is the blog of the beautiful Jocelyn, you'll probably recognize her from more than a few of my Monday Link Lists. She's located in Calgary, Canada and I would honestly follow her blog just for the gorgeous locations she visits but she also wears the most perfect, put together outfits. She's just got that effortlessly cool thing going on that I wish I could emulate.

Chiaki Creates Chiaki of Chiaki Creates is another absolutely lovely blogger and talented crafter, she even has her own Etsy shop of gorgeous sixties and seventies inspired pieces. Originally from Scandinavia she is currently living in London and shares her thoughts on being an expat, her experiences of mental health issues and positive psychology, living a purposeful life and her amazing and perfectly defined style.

Polkadot Pink Donna of Polkadot Pink has been another huge style inspiration for me lately. Her outfits are always fun and whimsical but also completely wearable and she's a big advocate for shopping in charity shops - a lady after my own heart. Donna's background is in journalism, so she's an amazing writer and I always click through when I spot one of her posts.

In My Sunday Best In My Sunday Best is the life and style blog of Sade, a Londoner studying architecture in the Midlands. Not only does this lady have an amazing classically English style but she also has some of the most beautiful photos, her editing is always gorgeous and instantly recognizable. 

She and Life Ella runs She and Life a blog all about her life, family and beautiful photography. She's a 26 year old blogger living in South Wales and she's got a lovely writing style that makes me feel like I'm actually getting to know her through her blog, which I absolutely love. She also seems like a complete sweetheart and her honesty about the happy moments, and the trials, in life is inspiring. 

Tiny Painter Ok, I have a huge soft spot for anyone who tells me their Hogwarts house in their sideboard (Lena's a Hufflepuff, if you were interested) but Tiny Painter is also just a lovely blog to follow. Lena shares her personal style and inspiration, recipes, shares happy moments from her life and talks about what it is like to be a dog foster mum. She's another absolute sweetheart and popping over to her blog always makes me smile. 

Mo'Adore Morag is a Scottish based blogger who really inspired me with her posts about Scottish Independence back in September. Mo'Adore is where she shares her style, reviews of cruelty free beauty products, vegetarian food and music. She also shares one of my favourite link posts each Friday with information about loads of local and international activism, along with funny bits and opinion pieces. 

Colours and Carousels Colours and Carousels is run by Charlotte, another Scotland based blogger who is currently studying Fashion Management. She's got an amazing style and shares some fantastic reviews and 'how to' pieces related to blogging. She's funny, sweet and definitely worth a follow. 

Avant Blargh Is that really already 10 blogs? Is that all I'm allowed? Oh well, I'm saving one of the best for last. Avant Blargh is the blog of Bianca, another one of those bloggers who is just effortlessly cool. Her style is a kind of indescribable but I'm always particularly inspired by the slightly masculine touches she adds to her outfits. She's a gorgeous, inspiring, bombshell of a women who is also an amazing artists and has a fantastic funny, frank writing style. 

What are you favourite new blog finds? Let me know in the comments (and leave links to your own blogs too!)

1000 Days

Pretty Confused 1000 Day Challenge
In 1000 days I will turn 30. That seems like a ridiculously long time but also a pretty damn soon. I lament here constantly about how fast life is moving so I figured I better get on it and think seriously about what I want to achieve in my life. It was a long list. Some of the things were small, easy, others were big, too big to achieve in the next few years. It was a great exercise though and I did manage to pull together what I think it a somewhat reasonable (but still big) list of things I want to do before I hit my next major milestone though. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 Yeah, I'm not starting off easy. I've always found other languages incredibly difficult. I even have a Standard Grade in French but all I did was memorise the phrases I needed, having a conversation was not something I was capable of doing then and ten years later I can just remember how to say 'hello, I'm Alice and I'm 13 years old', not exactly helpful. Not too long after this 1000 days runs out I'll probably be thinking about having children though and as LF is French it only makes sense that we teach them that alongside English. I really don't want to be a parent who cannot understand their children so this is a really big one for me. At the moment I am using Duolingo to learn the basics, after that we're thinking of banning English at home so I can practice my conversation skills with LF. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 The obvious next step after learning French is obviously to move to France and be fully immersed in the language. Plus I would get to live in France. We've been discussing this idea pretty much since we got together so it is definitely on the cards, we just can't figure out when! I don't want to leave it until too late so adding it to this list gives us a nice incentive to get on with it. We're not sure how long we would go for, or even where in France, but three or six months there sounds just about perfect to me. And I think LF would like to be back home for a little while. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 I have not done nearly enough travelling in my twenties. It's a fact. The travelling I have done has all been amazing, Sweden, Italy, Romania, but there are still so many places I want to see. Unfortunately with the dogs travelling has to be planned pretty well in advance, I'd really like to sneak in at least a couple of long weekends away over the next few years though and see somewhere new. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 This has been on my resolutions list every year since I turned 19. I've still not managed, in fact running for more than 3 or 4 minutes gets me totally our of breath. It's going to get harder and harder the longer I leave it though so hopefully this will give me the push to get it done, finally. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 Apparently getting my licence wasn't enough of a challenge for me, I decided to throw in buying a car. This is also one that I have been working towards already, I've mentioned it a couple of times on Twitter but I'm doing weekly 2 hour lessons at the moment and I feel like they are going really well. I'm going to write a longer post on what it is like learning in your late twenties but there is one thing I will say now. If you are putting off learning because you are afraid of being in charge of a massive piece of metal that could easily kill someone, it's really not as scary as I thought it would be. My driving instructor is incredibly nice (if your local and interested in learning I can give you his details) and most importantly, I always feel safe when I'm in the car with him. I'm hoping to do my test in Summer next year (I'm taking it slow) and hopefully by then I'll have some savings to get a car of my own. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 I love sewing, but my skills are basic at best. I'd really like to learn as much as I can and then translate that into sewing a dress for myself. Not only is it a useful skill but I would also be able to get exactly the dress I wanted, rather than wandering around the shops in a daze each time I need something for a specific event. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 This goal has been really inspired by all the amazing, business savvy, blogging ladies there are out there. I'd never even thought of turning one of my hobbies into a way of making a little bit of extra money until I joined this community. I don't particularly want to be 100% self-employed, I really enjoy my line of work, but I think running my own business would be an amazing experience, would teach me lots of useful skills and, you know, a little bit of extra cash would be nice. I've not worked out which of my hobbies I (i) would want to dedicate that much time to and (ii) would be financially viable but making those kind of decisions is also an exciting part of the process. Hopefully I'll be telling you all about my wares sometime next year. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 I love writing whether it is on here, for work, fictional bits and pieces or even fanfiction. I'm pretty terrible for not finishing things that I have started though. Short stories, fine, anything coming close to a novel though and I get about a third of the way through and then get bored. I really want to either finish something I have already started or begin anew and actually get it done this time. I've no illusions that anyone else will want to read it, but it'd be nice to do it for myself. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30 This kind of goes hand in hand with my running goal but I really want to take a little bit better care of myself and think more about the things I put into my body. Doing this now will put me in good stead for the future and is one of those things I should be doing, but I'm not. I won't say I'll never eat junk food or forget my breakfast again, but I will try and get a bit better with it. 

Pretty Confused - A thousand days until 30
And a big super serious note to end on. This is kind of a necessity rather than a desire though. A lot of my goals are going to involve some financing so it only makes sense to start saving for some specific things and other just general life bits and bobs. I'm not expecting to put a lot aside but every little counts, right? 

I'll be trying to do seasonal updates, maybe ever 100 days or so, both to keep you updated on my progress and give me regular check ups as I go. I'll still be doing resolutions at New Year but I'm going to keep them small for the next couple of years and try and focus on this list in the long run. I'm really excited and a little bit anxious about all of them so it'll be fun to see where I am on my next check in day on March 6th next year.

Are you working towards any big goals at the moment? Or are you still wrapping up your resolutions for 2014? I'd love to get some inspiration from you guys!  

Oh, and if you wanted to know, I will turn 30 on the 23rd of August 2017. 

Photography: Autumn Colours

Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn ColoursIt's been a horrible, wet day here in Edinburgh today so I thought I might share some photos of a slightly nicer Autumn day. These were taken on my holiday at the end of October out in Cammo. It's an estate on the outskirts of the city with a beautiful ramshackle old house on it and a perfect spot for dog walking. I figured it was a great excuse to practice my photography so I wandered around the entire time with my camera at my face trying to capture all the beautiful colours of Autumn. Here's my results, I definitely need to take my camera out so often, it was great practice. Oh, and sorry for the (very) photo heavy post guys. 
Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours Pretty Confused blog // Autumn Colours

Monday Link List: 068

Pretty Confused Monday Link List
The start of another week already, the end of the year is just getting closer and closer, isn't it? Well, let's start it off nice and easy with all the pretty and interesting things I've found recently. Starting off with the gorgeous shabby chic apartment
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I love this hat and the print on Jess' dress.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
How gorgeous and green is this wall arrangement? From Smile and Wave
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Tieka's outfit looks super cosy
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
When I finally get a desk suitable for working at I'm definitely going to make this mouse pad
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This dress revamp from Kitty Cat Stevens is amazing. 
Pretty Confused Monday Link List I love this pink bob, such a subtle wee hint of colour. 
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This recipe has been the find of our week, I made some on Wednesday and then more again for dinner last night. So tasty! 
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I love how Sade styled this playsuit, I've got a similar one but haven't quite figured out how to wear it yet. 

Sophie shared some of the ways she and her family have been trying to Live Consciously.

Rebecca shared some photos from her recent trip around the UK and Ireland and they are absolutely stunning. She is such a fantastic photographer.

This is such a great comic explaining why Net Neutrality is so important.

Ella shared a really great post about not selling yourself short as a blogger or small business owner which also includes some tips on working out how much to charge for your services. I think when you really love something it can be difficult to view it as work, even when it is.

This story My Grandma The Poisoner is captivating and terrifying.

Crissy shared her top 5 apps for photography and I actually hadn't heard of some of them. Definitely going to check them out as soon as I upgrade my phone.

I loved this post on why Morticia Addams is a Feminist Queen.

I feel like I sometimes have to make more of an effort to stay happy during Winter, it comes with the ridiculously short days we Northerners are exposed to. I loved these tips for curing the Winter blues, I'm definitely going to try a few. If the lack of light is affecting you really badly you should always consult a Doctor though.

These kits for the homeless are such a beautiful idea. And if you are interested in supporting homeless people in Scotland you should check of this GoFundMe to build velovan bicycle campers for people living on the streets in Glasgow. It's such an awesome idea and I really hope they hit their goal.

Happy Monday Folks!

Gratuitous Dog Photos

Pretty Confused Flying Dogs Pretty Confused Flying Dogs
I know, I know, a whole post dedicated to the dogs is absolutely ridiculous and I feel kind of silly posting it but I just had to share these photos, I just think they are absolutely perfect. These were actually taken much earlier this year and I had completely forgotten about them until now. I found them already in a blog post right at the bottom of my drafts and I really wanted to share them. so here they are. Photographing the pups in action can be pretty difficult but the results are always worth it. I know I'm biased but I think the two of them are beautiful. We had so much fun by the river this Summer, I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. 
Pretty Confused Flying Dogs Pretty Confused Flying Dogs Pretty Confused Flying Dogs Pretty Confused Flying Dogs Pretty Confused Flying Dogs
Ok, well they can't always be beautiful. These 2 photos do make me laugh though. For being a really beautiful husky Mania surprisingly difficult to take a good photo of. 
Pretty Confused Flying Dogs
Have a great weekend everyone. 

What I've Read This Summer

Pretty Confused blog // What I've Read This Summer
I'm a big reader but I very rarely share that love with you all. I decided to remedy that and thought I might share some of the books I read over the Summer and what I thought of them with you. I love reading reviews of novels and knowing what other people are reading for inspiration for my own to read list. I hope this post gives you some ideas for things you might want to read in the future.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I don't usually read a lot of contemporary romance but I really enjoyed this funny, feel good novel about the socially awkward but somewhat charming Professor Don Tillman and his unconventional courtship with the wild Rosie Jarman. I picked this up to get me through a long bus journey and I was really surprised how much I enjoyed. If you are looking for a light, romantic read I would definitely recommend this.

Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen 
I've got a soft spot for American crime novels and TV shows and Tess Gerritsen hit the nail on the head with her series about Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles. I'm almost embarrassed to admit how many of them I devoured in only a few weeks. Compulsive, enjoyable and with 2 female protagonists to boot I've really enjoyed both the books and the tv series.  

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
I can't believe how long it took me to pick up the first in this Private Detective series by one of the authors who taught me to love the written word. I guess I was worried I would be disappointed but I powered through this in only a few days. The story was excellent, the characters engaging and I loved seeing Rowling's writing style adapted for an adult audience. I've been desperately looking in charity shops for the second one (my preferred method of purchasing books). 

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 
A beautiful but haunting novel centering around Jack and Mabel, a childless couple in the 1920's who have recently moved to build a new life in Alaska. The novel starts with a painful look into a relationship that is crumbling, but a moment of frivolity playing in the snow leads to an unexpected visitor - a young girl who appears to live in the thick forest. The intermingling of beautiful scenery with the hardness of life and a little bit of magic made this novel incredibly enjoyable. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I don't know if I should include this one, as it was actually a re-read but seeing as I would recommend this book to everyone (especially fans of The Hunger Games and other dystopian novels). Margaret Atwood is another of my favourite authors and this tale of a woman living in an ultra-Religious society where women are no longer allowed to read and her only currency is her potential to have children. The writing style of this can take a little while to get used to but I definitely think it is worth the effort. 

The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The first in a series that tells the story of Kvothe, a gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard the world has ever seen. Rothfuss has created an intricate fantasy world seen through Kvothe's eyes starting with the loss of his family at a young age and following him as he tries to join the greatest wizarding school in the world. This 'coming of age' first book of the series was absolutely wonderful and I'm looking forward to visiting this universe again when I'm in the fantasy mood. 

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 
This story is told from the point of view of 31 year old Kathy remembering her childhood at the idyllic school of Hailsham. It focuses on the relationships we develops with two other students and the slow discovery of a dark secret behind the school's facade. I'd seen trailers for the film based on this book but had never seen it so this was a wonderful and surprisingly read, I'd recommend if you want to try out some science fiction but are a bit intimidated by the classics of the genre.

Paper Towns by John Green
John Green novels have been really in the public eye this year with the release of the movie The Fault In Our Stars but I thought I would try something less depressing to jump into one of my favourite YouTubers books. Quentin has admired his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar for years so when we asks for his help on an adventure one night he is more than happy to oblige. When Margo doesn't appear at school the following day Quentin follows a series of clues to find out where she has gone. A lovely easy and cute read, perfect for Summer, even if Margo is a little bit too pixie dream girl for my liking.

Add me on GoodReads to keep up with what I'm reading and let me know in the comments what you have been reading lately

What I Wore: Cramond Island

Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore When I first started blogging all I wanted to post about what personal style - how things change. I think this is actually my first outfit post in about a month and the photos are from a few weeks ago now when I was on my holiday. I'm really pleased with how these photos turned out though, LF is getting better and better at photography and I do miss documenting my outfits. The amazing background helps a little as well of course. These were taken on the path out to Cramond Island,  which is in the Forth. Access is tidal so you have to be careful - the path is only accessible during low tide. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to get all the way over there and back this time but it was a fun wee walk nonetheless. It was just lucky timing that we got to go on it at all. 

I kind of can't believe that these were taken only a few weeks ago and yet there I was outside without a coat! I think this was probably one of the final days it was warm enough to go without. I absolutely love this outfit so it was a good choice for that day, I think it's gotta a little bit of a 90's feel about it with the dress, cardigan and my big Winter boots. I actually got this dress on sale at Primark (in fact I think this whole outfit is from Primark at various times) and I really love it. The collar is absolutely adorable and for once I managed to get a dress that actually hits just above my knee making it perfect for work and play. I've also been wearing this hat loads recently, although of course the best accessory is Scallywag. 
Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore Speaking of Ms Wagtail (Scally-wag-tail, get it?) she's sporting her new Halti in these photos, which way be the greatest invention ever. If you haven't heard of a Halti before it is meant to stop dogs from pulling, we got one each for the pups for when they are staying with my parents. My mum absolutely loves the dogs and offers to look after them all the time but they are just a wee bit too big for her to handle together so this was the perfect solution. Despite what they look like they are most definitely not muzzles, the dogs still have full movement of their head and their jaw. The way it works is you attach it to the dogs head and their collar and then clip the lead into the ring between the two. This means if the dogs try to pull away their heads are pulled ever so slightly down or to the side, basically it stops them in their tracks. I've been finding it really useful for walking through town when I want to keep the two of them as close as possible. You can get them to fit all sizes of dogs and we picked ours up at Pets At Home for about £15 each. 

I swear I say this in nearly every post but wow, where has the year gone? We didn't get up to much for Halloween or the 5th of November this year, mainly because all the loud noises freak Scallywag out, but it's crazy to think that the next major holiday for us in the UK is Christmas. I couldn't believe it when I walked through the city centre to work this morning that they were already putting up Santa's village in St Andrew's Square. I've just started making up my lists of people to get/make presents for and that has definitely fired me up to get some ready, particularly those getting sent away to other countries. Luckily there are loads of ideas on Pinterest so I've created a secret board to store away my ideas for everyone. So many ideas, so little time! Have you started your Christmas shopping or crafting yet? 
Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore Pretty Confused blog // What I Wore
Outfit details: Dress, Cardigan, Bag & Boots - Primark. Hat - second hand (passed down by a lovely friend).