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

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bluevaserose.jpgHello hello,

Welcome back! I’m on my third blog post of the week if you can blooming well believe that?

#wonderfulwednesday was started by fellow Carlisle blogger Sally and I’m excited to post my first! Here’s what’s made my week utterly splendiferous so far…

  1. I was featured this week on Lizzie Woodman’s lovely Instagram and blog! I’ve been really upping my social media game (or trying, at least) so it was a lovely surprise to see that she had featured one of my photos for the second month in a row! You can follow her @lizzie_woodman,She’s got a seriously beautiful feed and is the creator of the #oneperfectthing community. Don’t be shy now, go and say hello!
  2. Working in a department store means that the C word is just around the corner, and we’ve all been busy little elves preparing for the Christmas gift shop to launch! It’s been tiring but it gives me such satisfaction to have a really full, productive day! I feel like I’m crossing everything off my ever-growing list, and things are really starting to take shape. This time next week it will all be ready, and I can’t ait to see what beautiful cards and trinkets we have on offer this year.
  3. I’ve reignited my love for swimming this week, and I’m feeling the benefits already! Back in June I was swimming 3-4km a week and felt amazing, but somehow I gradually went down to just going once a week and not even doing half a km. Never mind, I’m back in the game and embracing that full body ache, it only means you’re getting stronger, after all. No matter how stressed or worried or bogged down your mind is, when you plop yourself down into that water, all you can think about is staying afloat – I often find that I leave the pool with no recollection of why I had a busy mind in the first place!
  4. A bunch of eucalyptus purchased for pence from the market is adding a fragrance to my room that flowers alone can’t seem to manage – what is it about herbs and foliage that just make you feel so refreshed? I’m loving Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardener’s hand cream for this reason, it’s so earthy and woody and just makes you pine (badum-tshh) for the outdoors.
  5. National Treasure on Channel 4 – everyone I’ve spoken to isn’t watching this for some bizarre reason. It’s a sensitive topic but the cinematography and plot is just so gripping, I’m a bit gutted that tonight’s episode is 3 of 4, but I’m sure there’s going to be some kind of twist soon, maybe with his old mate? Channel 4, Tuesdays, 9pm. You’ll see what I’m on about.
  6. Now that the nights are closing in, I’m finding that my winter rituals are creeping their way back into my routine too. Bath around 7pm with my gorgeous soap form Keswick, PJs on, and a hot chocolate. I’m not really a coffee drinker, it just makes me too antsy, and I find tea after 6pm keeps me up a lot later than I’d like to be. Hot chocolate in my big Cath Kidston mug with a couple of hobnobs is a little end of the day treat, and one I’m happy to continue as the nights draw ever closer.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever #wonderfulwednesday, I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it!

Love, Isabelle  X

MY WEEK IN PHOTOS

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Hello hello,

I’m back after giving myself a bit of a kick up the backside and reminding myself that I actually spent ages moaning about wanting to start a blog, and now I have one set up I’ve only posted twice. But I’m back! And October is the month that I enter a blogging routine of twice a week minimum! I’m changing my ways you see, and what better place to start that on a Sunday with a round up of my week in pictures?

1.& 2. These photos were taken with my Canon EOS 1000D after a short shower at the Chinese Gardens near the town centre. It’s a funny time of year really, I’d love to be capturing shots of amber trees and morning mist, but alas, it isn’t quite the time yet. I suppose I shouldn’t really wish away the greenery as we’re a long time without it, and I do miss it when it goes. (We did actually have mist this morning but I was too lazy to get out of bed and capture it – tut tut!).

The rose was hidden in plain sight on the footpath, yet to unfurl its delicate petals and wake up into October. The warm light was fleeting and I just managed to catch the warmth in this shot through a break in the clouds. I’ll never cease to be spellbound by the sheer elegance of a rose. They’re just timeless!

The web shot was taken just seconds after the shower, the light was still slightly cold which makes the raindrops look especially clear. Getting the hand of this depth of field lark! Not a bad shot considering I didn’t take a tripod. I’ve added my usual handful of hashtags to this photo on Instagram, and a few of the hashtag owners? moderators? (what do you call them?) liked it themselves, so I’d be pleased as punch if this is featured on one of their pages!

3. Another rose shot – forgive me. This is the last of my mam’s gorgeous David Austen Shropshire Lad and was taken before we cut it to pop in a vase and protect from the scary wind and rain that was forecast for the night! It’s been lovely to clip flowers from the garden this year and I’m begrudging having to pay for flowers for the next few months – but they really do brighten a room and bring positive energy to a space. I’ve actually just bought two pot plants that I’m determined not to kill this time! It’s becoming a bit of a running joke that I can’t keep anything alive, but I promise to try my best this time.

4. Another garden photo, this time an acer. I was drawn to the colours and just wish all the trees looked like this! So impatient! Hoping we’re due to have some bright and crisp autumn days rather than typical Cumbrian soggy ones so I can go on Operation Tree-Hunt!

5. Raspberries in the allotment! There just seems to be rasps by the bucket-load at the moment, they’re totally thriving on the wet weather we’ve had, but unfortunately a lot of the birds and beasties must be loving it too, as many of the raspberries are either nibbled through or playing house to families of spiders or woodlice! I entered this photo (along with a few others) into an Instagram competition and am hoping I’ll find out soon who the winner is! They’ll have their winning image feature on the @igerscumbria page, which has a following of over 2000 people. Wish me luck!

6. Taken this very morning, a cuppa and a pain au chocolate to accompany my Blogosphere magazine. This is the second edition I’ve had and I’m really inspired by the layout and structure of the magazine – it’s also great to see bloggers in another format! It’s given me a bit of inspiration to keep it up with this little blog of mine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings, you can see my Instagram posts on my sidebar, or you can come and say hello at @isabelleclapperton !

Love, Isabelle X