Day Trip: Visiting Aberdour

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Day trips seem to be becoming a fairly regular occurrence for my parents now that my Dad has retired. When they mentioned they were off on another one about 2 weeks ago LF and I begged to tag along again and they were happy to oblige. We headed off across the Forth Road Bridge taking a couple of different turns than last time and ended up in Aberdour, another cute wee coastal town. We parked next to the beach and, after letting the dogs go crazy in the water for a while, started walking into town.  As you can see from the top photo there are some pretty impressive cliffs - including obligatory teenage couple making-out at the top of them. The walk was absolutely beautiful and made me determined, once again, that at some point in my life I would love to live by the sea. 

It seems me and my family are not the only big fans of Fife at the moment - it is a very popular spot with film crews at the moment because we actually bumped into a production team as we were doing this walk. Once again I don't know what they were filming but we missed out on seeing Aberdour Castle because it had been taken over by the shoot, which was a little disappointing. The castle started as a simple hall in the 13th century and the current semi-ruin is one of the oldest surviving stone castles in Scotland. It's also right next door to a lovely medieval church where my cousin got married that I had been hoping to see again. Ah well, I'm hoping to go back some time soon anyway, there is a train station in Aberdour so it is lovely and easy to get to from Edinburgh. 
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I think the best part of the walk was the fact we timed it perfectly, completely unintentionally, with the first of the blackberries turning ripe. We spent quite a while stopping every couple of steps to select the best ones We managed not to eat them all as we were walking so I had some to take home and bake with, which was all the more satisfying having picked them ourselves. I keep telling myself that I am going to learn a little bit about foraging but each Autumn I realise that I haven't gotten around to it. I'm really happy I managed to do it at least once this year. It also gave me the push to write my first recipe post, which I'll be sharing next week.

Speaking of other posts - sorry for the lack of a Monday Link List today. I really wanted to get this set of photos in before and end of the month. For the first time in my life I have a whole bunch of posts in my draft folder but haven't gotten around to posting them yet. Monday Link List will return next week after I've caught up with my latest set of Fife photos. 
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My Week In Photos

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I've not got a lot of words tonight; it's late, I'm sleepy and all I want to do is make myself a cup of tea and cuddle up in bed. This week has been busy and productive, despite the lack of evidence around here. I figured I could quickly slip this post in before the week ends. Here's some little moments from the week.
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Some bits and pieces I picked up over the week and a perfectly timed trip to Sainsbury's - LF and I ate an entire pack of raspberries that night and we froze the rest. 
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Some threads and things that were kindly given to me by a friend - I can't wait to start working with them. And my big excitement of the week - below is our brand new (second-hand) sideboard. I've been on the hunt for a mid-century sideboard since we moved in to our own place 9 months ago and I finally found one! It's a little beat up and needs some tlc but for £20 it seemed like fate. I love how much more homely it has made our house. I still haven't finished decorating but this has given me the push to get going again. 
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I'll catch you up on this week and the rest of the stuff that has happened off the blog this month on Wednesday when I do my Month In Review post. Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!

Monday Link List: 064

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The start of another week and I've got a Monday Link List for you! First off this lovely embroidered photo. I've seen this done before with vintage photos but I love the effect on modern ones too, especially the fact the thread mirrors the colour and aesthetic of the blanket it.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I found an image from Mangomini's What I Wore series on Pinterest and fell in love with this way of sharing daily outfits. Her illustrations are gorgeous.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This is exactly why I have never done a 'what's in my bag post' I literally have no idea what could be in there! This illustration from Gemma Correll is so cute, the fact it has obvious stratigraphy is just fantastic.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Another Pinterest find, this image eventually led me to MadisonSteward's Instagram and it is filled with so many adorable things! Her style is absolutely adorable.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Another adorable Instagram account, this time from surprisingly, the Icelandic police. I love how human and accessible this makes the police feel, more forces should consider doing this.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
These brownie-mallow bars look absolutely delicious!
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It is getting towards cold and flu season, in fact I've already been brought down for a day once this month. Hot toddies are my absolute favourite thing when I feel like I am starting to come down with something and it's even better when you can find a local pub that will make them (although you might need a friend to help you home - it does knock you out). If your local doesn't you can always check out Lena's post for the (very simple) recipe.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I am always on the look out for really simple tutorials for updating a piece of clothing, Love From Lisa has a great one this week for adding lace to a collar.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
More clothing illustrations, I love this one by Daniela Dahf Henriquez; floral, polkadot and brogues - what could be better?
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And a slightly different type of art - Takahiro Iwasaki does the most amazingly detailed work including this cityscape carved into packaging tape. Look at that detail!
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
And the last of the images - these are great words to live by. Considering how often my mind wanders towards either social issues or blogging I think I'm doing the right things for me at the moment. 

I can't remember if I mentioned the crochet hook I picked up last week but in a lovely moment of serendipity A Beautiful Mess started a series of posts as an introduction to the crocheting. So far they have an introduction post up about equipment and reading patterns and a second one about starting off and your foundation chain. So far I have just been practicing the first stage so hopefully I'll be pretty competent by the time their next post comes out. Or if you want something a little bit more advanced check out Allison's cable crochet stitch tutorial

We all know that blogs are frequently white-washed, idealized versions of bloggers lives and, for the most part, I'm totally okay with that. That's why it is so refreshing when bloggers are brutally honest about themselves and their lives. I loved reading Becky's post about her flaws, not only can it be difficult to do internally but putting it out into the world is just awesome.

Sarah has come up with most lovely way of making her Facebook feed a happier place

I totally cracked up at some of the things on this list of struggles all vintage shoppers have. Luckily most of my local charity shops are pretty clean but I've definitely bought a couple of items that had these problems. 

If you are in the mood for some feel good cuteness check out Katherine's post of photos of her dogs over the time she has had her blog.

Zoe shared some really interesting thoughts on the nature of internet, especially, youtube celebrity

Diana shared 2 amazing posts this week, one talking about copyright and blogging and the other about supporting people who have lost children. Both are well worth a read. 


Jenny's post about turning thirty and growing old versus growing up is a lovely read.

I am so, so disappointed that a shop I love has managed to do something so stupid, but here's the lowdown if you haven't hard already. Joy shared an incredibly tasteless card on their Twitter account  making a joke about bipolar disorder and were rightfully called out on it. Unfortunately rather than admit it was tasteless they made it 100x worse by responding in the most childish way possible. It's all kinds of 'urgh' and has definitely make me re-think giving them any of my custom. See the whole sorry tale here

And finally, if you are in the mood for some Autumn inspiration you should definitely check out Anna's photo post.

Week In Photos


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The end of another week and Autumn is definitely one it's way. It's been a bit of a crazy one as well, the referendum along with all my real life bits and pieces have kept me pretty busy. I've had a lovely relaxed weekend not stressing about anything and generally being quite lazy which has been the perfect way of wrapping up all the craziness. I'm looking forward to my world calming down a bit and getting back to usual. 
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Trying out a new eye highlighter. Unfortunately I'm not a big fan of the effect but I am super impressed with how long it lasts. 
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More of my favourite thing - sitting around taking photos and reading while the dogs play. 
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Voting!
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Very late night snacks, these blueberries were gorgeous.
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I popped out to the flea market that was part of StockFest yesterday but I wasn't too impressed with anything that was on offer. It did inspire me to pop into some of the local charity shops though and I got this vintage dress for £4 and a blouse for £3 - the colour and crochet collar are gorgeous. 
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My original plan for today was coffee and starting Gormenghast, life got in the way unfortunately but I'm still planning on reading this soon. I might switch it about a bit and try something else for this week though, in honour of banned books week

What I Wore: By The River


I don't have a lot of words for you today, a combination of exhaustion from staying up until 4am and I'll admit it, a little bit of disappointment at the world I woke up to this morning have left me a little bit brain-dead. Disappointment isn't even the right word, I'm not disappointed, 85% of the electorate voted yesterday and that is absolutely incredible. No matter what is being said today my focus is on that; the people who voted for the first time yesterday, the increased awareness of the issues and the incredible involvement at a grassroots level. The next few months and years will be exciting for all of the UK. 

This outfit is actually from last week - I had completely forgotten that I was using this bag from Primark. It's a nice bit of coincidence really, I do love Scotland, just like I love the rest of the UK, Europe and the whole world. Today I'm particularly proud of my little corner of it though. I'm also, as I mentioned earlier, absolutely exhausted. Luckily I was off work today so I've been able to just bum around the house with the pups and try and avoid the news. We got our washing machine repaired yesterday so I've been working my way through a ton of dirty clothes and clearing up the mess I created last night making myself a midnight snack. I might even have a bath later. I don't think I'm the only one who is worn out. A lot of my friends had been planning parties and gatherings tonight but it seems that people on both sides aren't really in a celebratory mood, after everything that has happened I think we're all looking forward to a little timeout. Tomorrow I can worry about the future and working towards a better United Kingdom - today I am taking off. 
Outfit Details- Dress: Primark (Thrifted), Bag, Hat. Shoes: Primark

Coffee Talk: Thoughts On The Scottish Referendum

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In case you didn't know already, although you would probably have to be living in a cave on the moon not to, tomorrow the people of Scotland vote on whether we want to become an independent country. This would mean leaving the United Kingdom, which we have been part of for 300 years.

I umm-ed and ah-ed a lot about whether I wanted to post about it, but in the end I thought it would be really sad if I didn't talk about it here. This is one of the biggest decisions the people of Scotland will have to make pretty much ever and no matter what the results we have the chance to make huge changes to the way our country is ruled, to get truly involved in politics. 

In the spirit of transparency I should let you all know that I will be voting yes tomorrow. This isn't a light decision. If you had asked me even six months ago I would have said that I would vote no. Scottish independence and the SNP have always been on the periphery of my political consciousness but I always dismissed it, and them, as unnecessary. The Scottish Parliament opened in 1999 when I was just starting High School. I can only barely remember, and definitely didn't care, about politics prior to that.

When the SNP came into power in 2011 I think my reaction was surprise and bemusement. Their policies all-in-all aren't too bad - some even made sense to me but I wasn't particularly happy being ruled by any party with the word 'national' in the title. Since getting into power they have actually done quite well, in my opinion at least, but as I said, even at the start of this year I thought a referendum was a waste of time. I wanted more powers for the Scottish Parliament definitely, but Independence just seemed so radical I never even considered it. If devo-max was on the ballot I wouldn't have even had to think about how to vote, but it's not.  

The Scottish Parliament has done some amazing things since it's creation - banning smoking in public places, legalizing gay marriage, getting rid of tuition fees for students and banning fox hunting. All these are things I feel strongly about and in many cases, we were the first part of the UK to introduce them. They aren't SNP policies in general, they are policies that the people of Scotland felt strongly about. Our parliament has shown itself to be forward thinking, to care just a little bit more than even the last Labour government did - not to mention the shocking treatment of the poor and vulnerable by the Conservatives in the last few years. I want this forward thinking to expand across the whole political spectrum, for the Scottish Parliament to have full powers over taxation, to break away from the Department of Work & Pensions, to be able to protect the NHS and keep it staffed by permanent employees.

But at the core of the issue, for me, is that I want to live in a country where I feel like I am well represented and I don't feel that way with the UK government. It doesn't particularly matter to me who is in power, I may not like the Conservative party's policies in general, but whether it is them or Labour who comes in next time makes no difference. I feel like I am better represented by the Scottish Parliament for one huge reason - our voting system. The Westminster Government is still made up with the antiquated first past the post system. This means very simply that whoever has the most votes in each constituency gets a seat, whether they have 1 or 1000 more votes than the opposition. Scotland's voting system isn't perfect - 73 seats in our parliament are still chosen by a first past the post system. But our remaining 56 MSPs are made up using a completely different system - proportional representation. These list MSPs, 7 from each of the 8 'regions' in Scotland, are chosen by the proportion of votes they get. This means that every person in Scotland has 8 MSPs who have the responsibility to represent their interests. It also means that smaller parties such as the Scottish Green Party and people who run independently have a higher chance of being elected. This system isn't fantastic but it is damn more fair than Westminster Elections and most importantly it represents me, and every person in Scotland, better. 

Gaining independence from the UK isn't a cure-all, in fact there is a good chance the Scotland will face a very difficult couple of years as we negotiate our way out the Union, develop our own government infrastructure and adjust to being a country with a population of 5 million instead of 63 million. That doesn't even cover the EU, NATO, Oil Revenues, the deficit or any of the other buzzwords politicians seem to be throwing around at the moment. Of course it is dangerous and scary, but so is life. I've let fear control me before, my anxiety getting so bad that I couldn't walk up the street to buy myself something to eat. I won't let myself be paralysed by fear now. Breaking out and learning how to cope is something I've managed before - I'm confident that with time we can do it as a country. 

This post has been very personal, and a lot longer than I had planned. I never thought I would change any minds by posting about this and I would definitely rather that the comments section didn't turn into a free-for-all. I know that this is an issue both sides feel incredibly strongly about and I have so much respect for the ordinary people involved in both sides of the campaign. I'll be going along to vote tomorrow with friends I know are voting the opposite way from me - and that's ok. The most exciting part about all of this for me is the participation. In the last Scottish election just under 2 million of the 4 million people registered to vote did, this time around 97% of the eligible population are registered, the highest it has ever been. So whichever way you want to go - if you are in Scotland, take that chance, make your voice heard! The polls are open from 7am until 10pm so really, there is no excuse. Oh, and remember, don't accidentally ruin your ballot! As much as you may want to write on it and make a statement it doesn't count if there is anything outside that little box. Put your x down and then go get yourself a wee dram of whiskey, I think we all deserve it after the media circus of the last few weeks. 

Monday Link List: 063

I know I said earlier in the year that I was going to take a break with Monday Link Lists but, despite the ridiculous amount of time they take to get together, I really missed posting them. I'm not promising them every week but I'll be bringing them back sporadically. Here's a mix of things from the last few weeks, along with some older ones, that have caught my eye. Just a small warning - it's a long one but I have tried to break up all the photos by theme to make it a little easier for you all.
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I recently cleared all our junk out of our spare room, we've got a friend staying for a little while but eventually I want to try and turn it into an office. I think this might be the perfect first thing to make to decorate it. From Little Things Blogged.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Still on my dream office - these origami birds from Wimke would make adorable companions on my desk.
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This DIY-ed white mannequin head from Now That's Pretty is perfectly kooky and weird, I'd love to make a couple without the flowers to store my hats.
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Liana mixes more masculine tailored shapes with feminine colours and prints and I love it. 
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I've spoken before about trying to make my style more mature while still keeping my style me, Cynthia totally hits the nail on the head with this outfit mixing an adorable vintage print with a demure modern fit dress. 
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Ok, I know, I talked about making my style more mature and then share Megan's Little Mermaid cosplay but c'mon, I can be grown up and still want to dress like a Disney princess occasionally - right? 
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I heard a reference in a movie to the language of the birds in a movie recently. As it turns out it is a mythological, divine language but I did stumble upon this illustration by Rebecca Jones on my search and fell in love.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I love the moody style of Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi, it's just so sad but lovely at the same time.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I just discovered the art of Harriet Mellor and I am absolutely in love with all of her work, it's got the lovely magical quality, but this is my favourite.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This print, Curious Cacti from PetitReve, is absolutely adorable.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I've been getting the itch to have coloured hair again, I don't think my work will let me get away with anything crazier than red but that doesn't mean I can't look wishful at photos of women with awesome hair colours. Both the purple above and green below would be perfect shades for Autumn.
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I don't talk about my love for history and archaeology as much as I would like around here but I wanted to share this photo of foot steps preserved in the village of Nola after the Avellino eruption at Vesuvius. Like the famous eruption of Vesuvius that preserved Pompei and Herculaneum this eruption in the 2nd millennium BC preserved much of Nola including these imprints.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
The weather is getting colder and although I am very excited about Autumn and all that comes with it part of me is wishing for another few weeks of sun and maybe even a holiday. This photo of Khao Sok National Park in Thailand is not helping. It's absolutely beautiful. From Immi and Greg.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
A different kind of dreamy - these photos of Poznan in Poland from Seventy Nine Ideas are beautiful. What a fairytale place!
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Last in my little list of wanderlust is a little bit closer to home. I've been wanting to visit The Kelpies by Andy Scott in Falkirk. Sorcha from Bright Field Notes visited them recently and took some amazing photos.
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
On to the food - we picked a whole bunch of blackberries on one of our recent day trips and I've been looking for recipes to use them for. I've already made some muffins (post coming soon) but I've also got my eyes on the oatmeal blackberry muffins above and the lavender blackberry crumble below.
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Or if blackberry isn't your thing there are these cakes from What Olivia Did look not only adorable but absolutely delicious! I so badly want that cake tin!

I'm a big fan of self-care. It took me a long time to realise that putting myself and my needs first is not only better for me but makes me a better person for everyone around me, so it made me really sad when a close friend said she honestly didn't understand what I meant when I used the phrase. I shared Kyla's post on it with her and wanted to share it with you all too.  It's about time I went back and re-jigged my list too, so finding this post again was a nice reminder for me to take care of myself too. 

I'm not a performer at all, in fact I have horrible memories of being in first year at high school and standing up to do a book report and just not being able to say anything. I had nightmares about it for years! Maybe that's why Chantilly's post about the experience of performing absolutely fascinated me.

Becky shared some photos of her Harry Potter wedding in Florida and it looks like it was amazing!

Internships aren't quite as big a thing in the UK as they are in the USA but Zie's advice about surviving a stressful internship can also translate to surviving a any stressful job, even if it just until you manage to find a new one.

Dear Creatures Autumn collection is spot on as always, I love their Harper Dress!

How Not To Say The Wrong Thing explains absolutely perfectly how we can support the people around us without dumping on the wrong person, even if it is unintentional.

Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky used her blog to start a discussion among bloggers about the way the media has affected their body image, not only are there a wealth of posts from some wonderful bloggers linked in but there are Elizabeth also shared her story of how she discovered blogging. Her description of her excitement discovering blogs for the first time echoes the first time I found blogs (which actually happened to be Elizabeth's). 

Coming from the other angle isn't it amazing how people's perception of us is changed by our image? Having gone through various styles, hair colours and make up preferences I (and I'm sure most of you) have experienced this to at least some extent but seeing it cut apart so well in this post is absolutely fascinating. 

You guys all know that I absolutely love charity shops, spending a day trawling my local ones for gems is pretty much my perfect afternoon. That said, I'm not always particularly good at it, more than once I've come home with something that has never been worn and just lives at the back of my closet. Donna's tips for finding pieces you will really love are fantastic, I definitely sometimes suffer from what she calls 'Primark Syndrome'.

Wow, that was even longer than I expected. And I thought I was being restrained! What have been your favourite blog posts over the last week? I'd love it if you shared them in the comments!