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I'm grateful for




This morning I woke early - as is my speciality, sometimes out of choice, more often out of necessity - and stumbled upstairs (yes, I did say that right - we have a topsy turvy duplex), freshly showered but suspended between that not-asleep-any-more state and the nowhere-near-awake-yet one, craving tea and the opportunity to relax before I began the inevitable trek up essay mountain. 


Times like these - when days roll into one another, dominated by stress and little (proper) down time - calls for one to appreciate all those things that cause the corners of my mouth to lift - things like the morning sun lighting up memories framed on bookshelves, buying new music to let one's hair down to (quite literally, in my case - top knots prove problematic when headaches arrive)reading beautiful collaborations between inspirational women, learning more about one's craft and gratefully accepting tips given from those who have honed theirs, enjoying words that motivate, and dreaming of our next trip away in Eric.  

Smile creators. Happiness givers. Life lifters. 

What are yours? 





Often us folks who spend (a blummin' great big portion of our) time online refer to the space we share as our community. 

I think I like this definition of what community is the most from those I searched out - 'a unified body of individuals'. Nothing fancy, just does what it says on the tin; it's a space we all arrived at individually, but now share together as one.

That's what is so great about this world wide websiphere of ours - it unites us via the means by which we choose it to; be it our blogs, through social media, or via some other path of communication. And it shrinks our HUMONGOUS world down into manageable bites, allowing the dreams we had as children - to have pen pals across the world (anyone else ever that one?) - to come true, as well as offering us the opportunity to connect with others who share common interests, goals, wishes, thoughts......and puts smiles on our faces in doing so. 

Now, do tell me, what isn't wonderful about that?! 

For all

I must admit that I can sometimes forget - as someone who is active on social media - that it could feel as though the community I often so strive to create and be a part of across there may mean that there's a distinct lack-of such a feel over here. But trust me when I say, however, that I take your investment in me and my tales to be no less important than of that put in by those I may tweet hello each day. My words come to life via those who read them; I love writing, I love moulding and filling this space with my thoughts, but you - all of you - make it that extra bit special.

Boy - that's quite some talent you've got. 

To put it in terms of cake - because, why wouldn't you? - you're the buttercream icing (or frosting, whichever takes your linguistical-fancy) on top of my red velvet, and lets be jolly honest here, my tales just wouldn't be the same without that extra layer of good-ness on top. 

Thank you. 

Collaborations with friends 

I've come to realise (a little slowly, it seems!) that, for those of you who don't ever get to see my tweets (golly, are you missing out!), it's unlikely you're ever have the opportunity to hear about my collaborations with fellow bloggers, unless I share about them on this space. 

So, that's exactly what I'm doing today! 


Invest in those who invest in you

Trina - a fellow blogger, creative-extraordinaire, and one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend - and I are collaborating over on her beautiful space. I picked a quote to share - the beautifully put 'Invest in people who invest in you', from Alison of The Alison Show - and we're chatting about what those words mean to us on Trina's Of Trees and Hues.

Not only that, but we're inviting all of you to take part, as Trina has opened it up as a blog hop. So, please do head on over and share your thoughts on what we had to say.

We'd love for you to join us! 


How do you deal - with guilty pleasures

This month's post in Kate's 'How do you deal?' series is the third I've now collaborated with Clear The Way on - beside a bunch of luverly bloggers - and each new entry has offered an intriguing and thought-provoking topic to interact with.

Published in Kate's Feminist Fridays category, the question posed allows for us to discuss thoughts on ideas in relation to our feminism; before 'guilty pleasures' we spoke of disapproval, and - before that - leering, and each time I've received the email from Kate with her new question I've had a really fantastically brain-ticking-time putting together my answer to it.

The series is such a motivating one to be a part of, therefore I absolutely encourage you to become so; it certainly will get you thinking more about topics you may never have broached before, or get you thinking about those you have in a different way


Before I go

I know the internet can be daunting, so if you're struggling to find yourself a place in the community, or to wade through the great magnitude of voices in search of those that call to you, I'd love to help you do just that!

Tweet me, email me, or say hello via the comment section, and I'll introduce you to those friendly voices I chat to daily! 

Let's all invest in this community.

Catching up: With friends


From Ever Thine's photography exhibition 

Tea and cake, cake and tea

As I write I'm tucking into a chocolate cupcake balanced precariously on the edge of the sofa arm on my right (decorated with chocolate buttercream, sprinkles, and mini smarties - don't say I don't go all out when it comes to cupcake choices), a cup of tea - in a far more sturdy position - on my left (which I've been lifting slightly cack-handedly), and am being 'serenaded' by the sounds of pained screaming from the boy's laptop, upon which he is watching 2012 (I know, he's a little behind the times...). 

A frenzied week

This is the first night this week that the boy and I have had together (sign of the times when we're spending it on technology - I swear we're enjoying each other's company!), and the last we will have for the next couple. Though lacking routine, it seems that - even with barely-planned days - we're spending little time together. Of course, much of that is down to the ways of student life (as he is one who can spend hours in the library. Me, in Costa), but is also due to the boy packing a lot into his weekly calender (university, work, meeting with his public speaking group, Robin Hood Speakers, and a social life).

Ever Thine, on Tori's Tales

Spending time with friends

However, I can't really complain, because - whilst he's been popping in and out of his work uniform - I've been the lucky one, as a lot of my (abundance of) spare time has been spent doing nice things, like attending Lucy's (absolutely stunning) photography exhibition up in Sheffield (at the magical Moonko!), where I spent time admiring her beautiful work, meeting her super-lovely friends, and snacking on her homemade biscuits and cakes (which you can spy in the top image - she is nothing if not spectacular, that friend of mine!).

I also found myself meeting two other blog friends for the very first time, face-to-face, in the last week - on Saturday the super-sweet Georgia headed over to this town of mine, and accompanied me to Homemade, where we chatted over (huge chunks of) Victoria Sponge and cups of tea (I think you could say we put the world to rights), and on Wednesday I spent time with the gorgeous Annie over lunch (do you sense a theme? My days out always seem to feature food. Not that I'm complaining) at Broadway, nattering about this ever-glorious blogging world of ours, and the city we both share. 

Catching up: With friends, squirrel University Park campus, University of Nottingham


I've also found myself in the company of plenty'o uni friends of late - all who brighten my day quite substantially! - in lectures and seminars - of course - but also over coffee (it has to be said that we spend more time nursing cups of caffeine than we do anything else!), in the library, the Humanities building (aka the pain-in-the-ass-to-get-to-building), at the cinema (who has seen Gone Girl? What did you think?)....and every single moment spent with them has been pretty darn wonderful. The one thing that has got me through the past two years of my course is their company; they are among the best people I have ever met, and I am so grateful that I get to spend my days with them.

Philosophy gals (and Jon).....THANK YOU. You are all bloody fantastic! 

(oh, and in case you're wondering, this little squirrely looking fella - i.e. a squirrel - also kept me company this week, on University Park campus. Him and ALL his friends!)

And so, there we are - all caught up; me with friends, and you with me! 

What have you been up to lately? Who have you found yourself in the company of?

On routine, or not having one


There is something about having too much time that just doesn't work for me. 


Though I have a timetable - of sorts - to stick to, the fact that I have little outside of that timetable to 'restrict' my movements - even by the tiniest of motions - means that I often find myself unable to sit down and do anything - start anything - because I can convince myself into believing I can do said thing at any. other. time.

And so, a routine has yet to materialise, even though I'm now in the third week of my autumn semester. 

The other - rather funny, but also entirely frustrating - aspect of my current situation is that, without passion for what I am doing, I cannot seem to spark off a motivation within me to devise myself a routine, to make proper use of my abundance, even though I rather desperately need to. 

Thus, a battle within my mind ensues.

One between the voice that calmly states 'oh, you have plenty of time to get a move on', and the one that shrills 'what are you doing? Hurry up and get on with things'.

A routine would be key, I believe, for me to structure my day, but I have no idea how best to strike a balance

How do you go about arranging your day? 

For those of you without a 'traditional' working week, what works best for you?

Can you live without routine, or do you need to set boundaries? 

Let's talk - share your thoughts on routine below. 

Between Lenses - Mornings


Between Lenses, on Tori's Tales


This month's theme for Between Lenses - a beautiful photography-based collaboration between Of Trees and Hues and Tara Victoria - is 'Mornings'.

Make sure you head over to Trina and Tara's pages to see what they captured. Take time to explore the minute detailing that Trina has so delicately photographed, and sit a while with the message Tara shares - her words on how we start our day are well worth focusing on. 

For me, mornings have always meant routine (of sorts), but because I haven't settled into one as of yet - a new university timetable, that's a little all over the place, will do that to a gal - I don't have a typical morning of mine to share with you. 

Which is why I'm sharing an atypical one.  

Between Lenses, Mornings, Bamburgh beach, on Tori's Tales

Sun, sand, and the north east 

Last weekend, we (that'll be the boy, Eric, and I) took a trip up north (one I'll be sharing more of, soon).

I snapped this shot early(ish) Sunday morning - on Bamburgh beach - when the tide was out, the sun was just beginning to gain strength, and the only other people around were chilly-looking owners (bundled up, as we were, in wellies and scarves) of merrily-bounding dogs. 

In that moment

Our feet danced to the sound of the waves softly washing up on the sand. 

Our eyes tickled their crests on the shoreline. 

Our hands clasped as we welly-walked (my most favourite thing to do, EVER) along the golden grains

Mornings were made for moments like those. 

Share what 'Mornings' means to you, and join the Between Lenses blog hop