Month In Review: October 2014

Pretty Confused October in Review
Highlights

My new blog design! Yup, I'm still over the moon about it. It's so nice having a space I feel comfortable in again. 

Saying goodbye to two of my favourite people. I don't know if I should include this in my highlights, seeing as I was actually quite sad to say goodbye to both of them, one away for a year and the other three months, but it was a great excuse to get together as a group and have a night out. 

TV nights with friends. Autumn has been the perfect excuse for me to invite people over for dinner and catch up while binge watching telly. I've got another Twin Peaks night planned for this Sunday. 

Spending time with LF. Yup, his double shifts finally ended and we got a whole four days together this month! It was so amazing to actually just hang out the two of us, we stayed up too late, drank lots of coffee and went on long walks with the pups. It was fantastic.

My holiday. Need I say more? 

Lowlights
Book shopping and a lot of reading. New shoes. Decorating the whole flat with candles. The washing machine getting fixed (and then promptly breaking again, but at least I got few loads done). Adding to my tea collection and finding some new favourites. Playing in the leaves with the pups. Hiding inside on rainy days. Lots and lots of knitting hats. Crisp morning walks. 

New (To Me) Blogs

Looking Forward To
Halloween tonight. Starting my Christmas shopping. Getting the washing machine fixed, again. Another wee holiday at the end of November. Sparklers and maybe taking some long exposure photos. Wearing all my cosy clothes. Mania getting super fluffy. 

I've tried to go a little bit more traditional with my favourites this month so I'll be sharing them in a separate post next week. I had loads of fun writing it so I hope it might eventually become a regular feature. I think I may have said that before... Oh well.

 What has been your favourite thing about October? 

10 Last Minutes Halloween Ideas

If you are anything like me then you have a tendency to leave things until the last minute. I was so excited about our first proper excuse to decorate the flat for a holiday but totally spaced on the fact Halloween is on Friday until the start of this week. Luckily there are loads of resources out there for forgetful people like me so I thought I would share some of the best free printables, diys and recipes I've found perusing Pinterest. 
I'm all about candles at this time of year so I think this would be a really simple way of adding a little spookiness to the flat. The print is free and putting it around a glass is, well, putting it around a glass. How simple do you want it? From Mr Printables.
 This selection of shadow puppet printables is so cute! I particularly like the monster and the devil's moustache. Perfect if you want to do something Halloween inspired with kids, find the original files here.
 Every blogger and their mum decorates with fairy lights so I bet you have a spare set hanging around somewhere. This shapes are so simple but make amazing. How can a a bit of black card with ears and lights look so adorable? From My Cakies
 Not got a costume prepared yet? Go super simple with these masks or you could use them to decorate by putting them on your wall. Also from Mr Printables.
Turn your books into potion books! Bonus point because Christine used Harry Potter books as her base. From Little House On The Corner
A little more of a subtle decoration, these free prints would be perfect to add to a gallery wall as a little nod towards the season, by Kiki & Company
 Not necessarily Halloween themed but for a quick bit of Autumn decoration I love these glitter leaves, gorgeous but a bit more subtle than ghosts and ghouls. From 6th Street Design School
 And of course it isn't Halloween without some tasty treats, starting with these poison toffee apples. Don't they look fantastic?
 Or how about these frozen banana ghosts? They freeze in only 4 hours and they are ridiculously cute. 
For those with slightly more hand eye coordination you could try and make these skeleton ginger breadmen. I've been on such a ginger kick the last few weeks so these would be perfect for me to munch on all weekend.

What are your favourite Halloween treats? 

Holiday Snapshots

Pretty Confused Blog Edinburgh Castle in Autumn Pretty Confused Blog Husky Autumn  Well my little work holiday is over and, as I'm sure you guessed, I also gave myself a little blogging break. I had an absolutely amazing week of no responsibilities, which I think was exactly what I needed. I love my job and not taking any holidays this year hadn't really bothered me but having some time off it made me realise how much I had needed a break. I slept a wee bit too much, did some knitting (you can see my hats for this year's Big Knit a bit further down in this post) and found a charity shop that sells 4 books for £1 so I'm all stocked up with reading material for the next few months. I also discovered the most lovely flavoured coffee from Cuttea Sark on Victoria Street, which I would recommend it to anyone local, and spent lots of time walking the dogs followed by evenings finding inspiration on Pinterest. I've got far more photos of my week to show you from day trips, etc but these are just some little moments and a chance to catch up. 

I can't write much today because I have a friend coming over for dinner and I'm going to try making burritos. It's a new recipe so I will let you know how it goes and I'll be back later this week with a Halloween related post. I cannot believe it is nearly the end of October already, where has the year gone? 
Pretty Confused Blog Bag of books Pretty Confused blog Cuttea Sark coffee Pretty Confused Blog Innocent Big Knit Hats Pretty Confused blog bowl of multicolour tomatoes Pretty Confused blog Water of Leith in Autumn

What I Wore: La Mer

Pretty Confused What I Wore Pretty Confused What I Wore
Why is it songs just sound better in French? Strike that, why does pretty much everything sounds better in French? Maybe it's just because I'm crazy in love with a French hippy but I really think it is the most romantic language. Unfortunately I wasn't in France for these photos - I just love the song that inspired this post title. These were taken a couple of weeks ago before the weather got so suddenly cold & I love this outfit. Pretty but practical for walking the pups. The blouse is a newly thrifted item and, what can I say, I think I might be becoming a hat person - this was has shown up a couple of times already this Autumn. I don't know if it comes across well in the photos but the lighting was absolutely crazy when we were taking these too. Stunning but so difficult to capture on the screen!

I really wanted to share these photos because this wee spot has turned up a couple of times in my blog posts in the past, in fact it was in two of my very first posts here and here. It's such a wonderful location although every time I take photos here I worry the pier won't take my weight. Visiting locations again is also the perfect excuse to go back and look at old blog posts, now that I've been doing it for a while. It's both nostalgic and cringe-worthy. 2011 seems so so long ago but it is nice to see how my writing style and photography has improved. I was so nervous about sharing stuff back then and now blogging just seems like a way of life. I'm so glad I got over my fear as well because there are so many little moments I might have forgotten otherwise. 
Pretty Confused What I Wore Pretty Confused What I Wore
I've got a very pleasant week coming up starting today. I've unintentionally been hoarding up my holiday time at work and we suddenly realised I had a couple of weeks to take before the end of the year. It definitely wasn't planned but I'm not due back until the 27th and I have no idea what I am going to do with my time. Obviously with the dogs holidaying is pretty difficult and LF will probably be doing his usual shifts so I won't be going away anywhere but I am looking forward to a little stay-cation. I'm going to try and write a bunch of blog posts, have a couple of crafty days and generally relax and pamper myself a bit. It feels like a ridiculously long span of time to not have anything planned for! I've picked up some wool and am hoping to DIY my own loom tonight so that should keep me busy for a little while. Other than that I don't really know. I'm looking forward to it though. Pretty Confused What I Wore Pretty Confused What I Wore

Monday Link List: 066

I've got a slightly weird Monday Link List for you today. I was cleaning out some draft posts I was never going to finish and stumbled across two partially written link lists from some time earlier this year. I figured the articles are still worth sharing so I've left them in along with a couple from the last week or so. I'll do the same thing with the other one next week and empty another couple of posts out of my drafts. I probably could've skipped this wee disclaimer but some of the posts are a little dated & I didn't want it to get confusing. 
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead
Anyway, on with the post. Starting with this gorgeous watercolour from Weewill. The colours are gorgeous and I want to know where to buy the polkadot dress! 
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead This mountain view from Chad Singly is just breathtaking.
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead I can't find a source for this wee guy but I love schnauzer's so much I just had to share it anyway
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead This page of vintage cocktails is absolutely fantastic.
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead I totally want to jump on the bandwagon and buy one of these 'It's OK' banners (I blame Estee) but they were all quite expensive. I love this tutorial from Wearing It On My Sleeve for making your own. 
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead Midge knows exactly how I feel about patriarchy. Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead I can't be the only person called Alice who has a bit of a love hate relationship with Alice in Wonderland. I do love this pink haired incarnation of the character from Grace Cho though. 
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead Every year I admire painted leaf art and every year I don't get around to making any. These examples from Hazel Terry are pretty amazing. 
Pretty Confused Link List - Please do not pin this image, click through to the original instead
This beautiful quote from Karma Voce

Chiaki is a stellar blogger and the loveliest person, my proof, her Little Acts Of Kindness project. I know from experience a tiny act, a kind word or a small token, can make a huge difference and I love projects like this that are simple but so effective.

Another one from Midge, I'm absolutely in love with her Twin Peaks Shrine. Is anyone else as ridiculously excited about them bringing it back in 2016 as I am? 

The first obviously dated link, but I think it's a great idea part way through year to take time and see if it is going the way you planned. Being kinder to myself was definitely one of my resolutions so this post Five Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself In 2014 is still pretty relevant to me but it's a good message for everyone all year round.

I loved Angie's post on Blogger Lingo, so useful - especially if you are just starting out. 

This post on Growing Up Unvaccinated is such a difficult read. I'm usually all for parent's being able to make the choice that is right for their kids but there are such huge issues with not vaccinating. This women's experience sounds awful and I feel so much for the parents in A Pox On You

Amelia's post on why Everyone Needs A Hat is absolutely perfect. I definitely want to try and find some cute ones for Winter. 

Having been unemployed for over a year until I started at my current work place it really upsets me when people suggest you can just get a job anyway, trust me, I tried anywhere and they just weren't hiring. Even worse is a minister saying that so I loved this response to a comment from Esther McVey Get A Job At Costa? If Only It Was That Simple


Another one that might have been better suited to the start of the year but is still fantastically useful 10 Tips For A Productive Life has me pinpoint some ways I can make better use of my time. And on that note, I hope you all have a happy, productive week. 

Week In Photos: Pups, Pumpkins & Purple Hair

Pretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogAnother week gone by and it as been another fantastic one. I had an extra busy one again including representing my work at an event at Edinburgh University which was very exciting as well as another wee trip up to Fife, an amazing meal with friends at 52 Canoes on Melville Place and a rather emotional goodbye to one of my best friends who is heading off to Australia for a year. My life is feeling incredibly full right now and although I'm pretty tired I'm also incredibly happy and satisfied. Gosh I'm a sap, aren't I? Anyway, on with the photos. This is a bit of a strange mix but includes some from our day trip, my newly dyed hair and some Autumn comforts. Hope you all have had a wonderful week. Pretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused BlogPretty Confused Blog 

Recipe: Foraged Blackberry Muffins

Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe
Way back in September I did some foraging on one of our day trips and came home with an incredible number of blackberries. After 2 solid days of eating them everytime I got hungry I realised that, unless I baked with them, some of them would end up in our food recycling. I hate throwing away food at the best of times but no way was I throwing away food I had picked myself! After five minutes on Pinterest I knew I wanted to make some muffins (supposedly for my breakfasts that week but lets be honest, LF and I ate them all that night). 

I ended up switching the recipe around a bit but I based it off one I found on AllRecipes but with a couple of really small changes, including the blackberries obviously! I'm glad I wrote it down because I definitely want to make some more with the rest of the blackberries that stored in my freezer. Anyway, without further ado, here it is! 

Prep-time - 20 minutes, Cooking time 20-25 minutes.

Ingredient
2 dozen blackberries
125 grams of plain flour
125 grams of wholemeal flour
100 grams of caster sugar
25 grams of brown sugar
 3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
175 milliliters of milk
75 milliliters of coconut oil (you might need to heat it up a bit first)
1 egg
1/2 lemon squeezed

Method
Preheat your oven to 200 C / Gas 6 and line or grease your baking tray.
In a large bowl mix your flours, caster sugar and baking powder.
In a second smaller bowl mix your wet ingredients (milk, coconut oil, egg and lemon juice) and blend well.
Quickly (so the lemon juice doesn't curdle the milk) pour your wet ingredients into your in to your large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are moist, it should still be a little lumpy.
Fold your blackberries into your mixture and then spoon your mixture into your baking tray so that each muffin hole is 3/4 full.
Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar on the top of each muffin.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 1 minute before removing from tray.

Enjoy them while they are warm!
Pretty Confused Blackberry Muffin Recipe