What I loved in September

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Hello, it’s me again!

To tell the complete and honest truth, I completely forgot that I had even started this blog. I came back to it earlier this week after almost a year and remembered that I do love to sit and write about this and that, and have therefore decided to apply no pressure to myself and dip my toe back into the WordPress pool, if you will.

It’s a new month (can you actually believe that it’s October, somebody stop the world I wanna get off) and I thought there was no better place to start than to wax lyrical about the things I loved throughout September.  Without further ado, here is “What I Loved in September”.

For most of my adult life I have been hunting for the kind of perfume that people recognise you by. You know when you catch a whiff of a certain scent and from that you can be sure that a certain person has been there? Well, in September I stopped being tight and bit the bullet after years of leaking droplets from a tiny sample vial and splashed out on a bottle of Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir. And I can tell you, I have zero regrets about this decision. At first I thought maybe it was a bit too grown up for me – too spicy, rich and dramatic for someone who is only one of those things (figure that one out for yourself) but it has really grown on me and is most definitely going to be my A/W scent of choice. It has staying power and settles well on my skin, and considering I don’t know anyone else who wears it, it could well become my signature scent.

I have been following Liv Purvis on Instagram for a few months, and this month she has cost me a bit of money by influencing me to buy new clothes. Props to you Liv, it’s is no easy task. Despite having a full wardrobe, I do try my hardest to not buy clothes unless I absolutely love and cannot live without them. That’s certainly the case for this star embroidered jumper from Mango. It’s the cosiest jumper and is so easy to chuck on and yet still look like you put thought into your outfit. I’ve been styling mine with dark blue skinny jeans and white Converse, as well as this gorgeous jacket that I just had to buy from M&S, seeing as we’re between seasons here in Cumbria. Another chuck on item (are you sensing a theme?) that I’ve truthfully worn every day since I bought it in the first week of September. I don’t wear a lot of grey but find that this is smart-casual perfection.

However, the main splurge this month has been on this console table/desk that I discovered in the clearance section in TK Maxx after deciding only 2 hours earlier that I desperately needed a desk. And dear reader, I couldn’t have wished for anything more perfect. I’m not really blessed with space and needed something that would be compact enough not to infringe on my bedroom and yet still wide enough to host my laptop and a few extras. My wish was well and truly granted for less than 50 quid. It’s so nice to have somewhere quiet to sit and be able to use my computer properly and feel productive, and I hope it might even encourage me to stick at this blogging malarkey (don’t hold your breath).

Why do you need to be productive if you aren’t planning on sticking at your blog, Isabelle? I’ve actually been teaching myself how to code this month. After 2 years of watching my boyfriend get himself a degree in typing gobbledegook/computer science, I’ve been bitten by the coding bug and was so thrilled a few weeks ago when I made a mock-up website homepage about cows (what can I say, I was in a cow mood) and it actually worked. I’ve been learning from an amazing resource called W3Schools and doing exercises and quizzes in an effort to upskill myself in the language of computers. It might not take me anywhere but in this digital age it can’t be a bad thing to have on your CV …

I’m still loving swimming a year later! In fact I’m currently taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim in which I need to swim 22 miles/1416 lengths in the space of 12 weeks. I won’t lie, it’s been a bit tough, I’m currently at the end of week 3 and have had to really push myself out of my comfort zone to hit the 120 lengths I need per week to hit my target on time. Saying that, I managed a mile, or 64 lengths, in 2 of my sessions and felt strong and fit afterwards. I’m definitely feeling myself getting stronger even if I am going through ibuprofen gel at an alarming rate. At the time of writing I’m on 5 and a half of my 22 miles with 9 more weeks to go! Touch wood I’ll stave off the bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment and get it finished on time.

Aspire is a charity that helps people suffering with spinal cord injury, and provides them with opportunity, independence and choice. If you’d like to find out more about Aspire then click here or if you’d like to sponsor me then please click here.

Well, almost 1000 words later and I think we’re caught up! Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully I’ll see you soon! But let’s not make this about me – what did you love in September? Leave me a comment and let me know. Speak soon!

Love, Isabelle X

 

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WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

Wonderful Wednesday

 

Hello, hello!

It’s Wednesday again, hasn’t that just come around so quickly? I’m typing this on Tuesday evening, layered up in soft blankets and with my fleece zipped up to the top so that half of my face and my neck are protected from the draught – it’s flipping freezing here this afternoon. Here’s what’s been making me smile this week …

  1. My lovely other half has a new job – wahoo! We went out for tea on Monday night to celebrate, and had gorgeous pennette Bolognese at Pizza Express. I know, I know, why get pasta at a pizza place? Well, my ultimate favourite Italian has been closed since the floods last December and hasn’t reopened yet, so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I live for pasta, and this is made with the richest tomato sauce and the most beautiful steak. It’s really delicious, and even though sometimes I think I could probably get away with being vegetarian, there’s something about eating steak that helps me to have a good night’s sleep! Is that a common thing? Or am I probably slightly iron deficient? If you know, leave me a comment, as I’d love to know why it happens!
  2. Another food post, but really, I’ve made the most delicious lunch the past few days and it would be cruel for me to not share it with you. 6 or 7 mushrooms, sliced and fried in a tiny smidgen of oil until brown, then softened with a spoonful of garlic butter and served on a toasted English muffin. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and maybe a tiny bit of cheese if you fancy it. Oh my goodness. Are you dribbling a little bit at the sound of that, because I am. So quick and easy, and so filling!
  3. I’ve got a bit of a reputation in my house for naps in my house, I just never seem to have had enough sleep, no matter how long a nap I’ve had or how well I slept the night before. Well, I must have been in dire need of sleep this weekend, as i had a full night’s sleep on Sunday night, slept for two hours on Monday afternoon, and then proceeded to sleep for 11 hours last night. I did feel fresh this morning for the first time in a long time, and it was lovely to wake up in clean sheets with nothing on my agenda. I wonder if it’s the change in the seasons? Then again – maybe it was the steak…
  4. When I was at secondary school, we had to memorise a speech about our hometown in French. “J’habite à Carlisle, une ville historique et touristique”. Well, more like pre-historique, as Primark opened in our city this week and it has been crazy. It’s been great for the high street this weekend, but I just had to laugh when I went for my lunch break on Saturday and the queues were out of the door. I have strategically popped in a few times when I thought it would be quiet and picked up a few nice bits and pieces. A bumblebee patterned shirt and some dungarees have been the highlights so far, and I’ve got my eye on a cute pair of slippers for when the draught in our house gets too much to bear!
  5. On Sunday I went to Judy’s Affordable Vintage fair at Rheged and had a lovely time! As much as it’s exciting to have a Primark, there’s more satisfaction to be gained from finding something that nobody else will have! I managed to score a vintage cashmere jumper for £15(!!) that will be gorgeous over the festive period. It’s amazing how well a lot of the pieces have kept over time, and I only wish there was an occasion where it would be appropriate for me to wear a Diana Ross-esque sparkly maxi dress with a massive split up the thigh. Maybe it’s best for all involved that such a occasion doesn’t exist. Hopefully I’ll have a blog post about it soon, I managed to get a few snaps!

Thanks to the creator of Wonderful Wednesday herself , it’s great to share the best bits of my week and read about everyone else’s! Have a #wonderfulwednesday!

Love, Isabelle  X

MY WEEK IN PHOTOS 02-08/10/16

My Life in Photos

Hello, hello!

Well, I did it! I made it a whole week without losing focus! And I’ve gained a few lovely followers in the process (hello to you especially)!

It’s that time of the week where I look back on photos I’ve taken throughout the week and compile a little collage of my favourites. Some from Instagram (you can follow me by clicking here) and some from my camera roll that I forgot I’d taken! Let’s have a gander shall we?

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  1. Look at that little face! On Wednesday, my lovely boyfriend and I went on a very short train ride to a little village on the outskirts of my hometown. It’s really very picturesque, there’s lots of grand old houses and a lovely walk by the river. I took my camera to take a few snaps of the trees on the bank – I was hoping they would have changed colour by now, so so impatient! We were heading back to the train and couldn’t resist a little play with this little dude, he was so friendly! I managed to get a few good shots of him but this was my favourite by far, king of the castle or what? If you live in Wetheral, Cumbria, and this is your cat – he’s very photogenic!
  2. My talented auntie makes home accessories from slates, I just had to buy this heart shaped one from her this week. The quote is from the back of Simple Things magazine and is a lovely reminder that you can do anything if you persevere! I’ve been swimming 3 times this week and managed to get back up to 3km, so I’m feeling very proud and strong. Just have to keep it up now! I’m not a fitness freak by any means, but I’m definitely finding that it’s easier to maintain your fitness than it is to start from scratch after a few lazy weeks!
  3. I feel like every week my photography skills are improving as I’m learning, and this week I’ve really been into still life photography and the idea that a photograph can tell a story. This cup of Earl Grey with a bunch of dried lavender is just home to me. We grow lavender in the allotment and have had no tea but Earl Grey in the house for as long as I can remember. I’d love any tips on still life composition if anyone has any?
  4. This was taken on my phone on a jaunt into town with my mam, the beautiful blue sky and the abundance of fruit made me so happy, I just wished I could have shaken them all off and taken them home! We’ve had some deliciously bright days this week, and I’m hoping it will be the same next week for my week off work! I wonder what I’ll capture with all of that time off?I hope you’ve enjoyed my week in photos! I’m on twitter now, so come and say hello here once you’ve had a read! See you tomorrow!

    Love, Isabelle  X