My Everyday Life 16/02/14, 23/02/14 Weeks Seven and Eight

Another two weeks squished together.  I caught some kind of horrible sickness bug from my Brownies, so I spent a lot of time in my bed over the last wee while!

week7.8 1
Why when you go for a bath do all the bubbles end up at the one end?
I got an email about skorts, surely they died out in the late 90s?
I thought I was being clever and sorting out my wardrobe, until I realised I couldn’t go to bed until it was done.
A hedgehog came to visit me in work, she was so cute!

week7.8 2
I donated blood, or rather I tried to.  My blood was flowing too slowly, so they had to stop :(
I’m ridiculously allergic to plasters, medical tape and now it would seem pressure bandages, so giving blood is always a bit of a drama and my poor hand ends up looking like this every single time.

week7.8 3
While I was unwell, my mum and sister came to visit which was terrible planning, but what can you do?
On their last night I was feeling well enough to go out, so we went to Frankie and Benny’s at my sister’s request and then stopped for bubble tea on the way home.  It was a nice change from nothing but water for the previous 4 days!

week7.8 4
A friend text me to say that she was knitting and watching Midsomer Murders, at which point I put down my knitting to take this picture to show I was doing the exact same thing.
I started knitting up a test pattern in this herringbone stitch, I don’t love it and definitely have the wrong needles and yarn combination.  The ball of yarn made me smile though as it looked like it had a face on it!
I finished up the cowl I was working on, it’s not perfect but it’ll be cosy and warm.

week 7.8 5
Things that made me smile included my Katy Perry tickets arriving.
These hearts on the pavement on Lothian Road were really cute.
Sleeping on the sofa meant I got to use my camp blanket.
My friend made me these hot chocolate lollipops for my birthday.

week7.8 6
The weather has been crazy, we had terrible wind and rain – which blew my cabbage plant out of its pot, so there’s no chance it’ll flower again this summer!
It snowed much to my displeasure, I’m ready for Spring now.
There was a clear icy day and I stopped to take a picture of the train track by my flat.  I know trains go this way, but I’ve never seen one while I’ve been walking past!

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As usual, a selection of the morning skies.  From bright and clear, to misty and wet, the weather really has been changeable!

Everyday life gone missing

I always said I’d never do a ‘sorry for not posting’ post. This is more of an update.

As those of you who follow me on twitter it Instagram may know I’m properly ill just now, had a horrible weekend where I just felt awful. Haven’t eaten since Friday afternoon and am struggling to even drink water.
The thought of sitting and editing photos and writing anything is beyond me right now.
So in short, my everyday life will appear, just a bit late!

Back to bed for me now…

Stash Organising

As anyone who has been knitting for more than a few months will tell you, stashes are a thing.  No, not moustaches (though a knitted one could be fun), but stashes of yarn.  Big piles of lovely, squishy yarn.  Big piles of lovely, squishy yarn that start to take over your house.

Imagine if you will, you’ve bought yarn for a project, but you don’t use it all, sometimes you have just a few meters left and you feel smug, but more often you’ll have half a ball here, or a quarter of a ball there left.

In the two years I’ve been knitting, my stash has got silly.  I had yarn in a basket in the livingroom, in carrier bags in my wardrobe, in a storage box in my bedroom… In short, it was everywhere.  I never knew what I had, or how much of it I had. As a still fairly new knitter, I couldn’t judge by eye how far a bit of yarn was going to go, so I would just buy more for a new project.

A few weeks ago, I offered to teach my Brownies to knit as part of the Big Brownie Birthday Challenge.  This, I decided would be the perfect way to get rid of some of the odds and ends in my stash, as the squares they were going to be knitting were small, so definitely wouldn’t take up much yarn.

I knitted up a sample square to work out a size. (I say square, I mean rectangle).

brownie blanket sqaure
From there, I started balling up the yarn I had lying around in the livingroom, into small balls that would comfortably knit this panel.
stash before and after
I soon realised that this wasn’t enough balls of yarn for 23 Brownies, so I would need to hunt through other bits of my stash.  Cue me then bringing all my yarn from all the different places down into the livingroom to work out what I could give to the Brownies.

stash mess
What resulted was an almighty mess, and me hoping my flatmate wouldn’t come home while I was in the middle of sorting it all!

As I was going through it, I realised that actually, my stash wasn’t as bad as I thought.  A lot of what was in there was half-finished abandoned projects, carrier bags, old ball bands, knitting needles everywhere, receipts for yarn, notebooks and old printed out and written all over patterns.  In short, just a lot of rubbish!  I made a big pile for the bin, and suddenly it didn’t seem so bad.

Brownie yarn
I balled up even more odds and ends, and knit up a smaller square to see how I could fit them together.  All of this yarn, sample squares, and lots of knitting needles that I had inherited got packed up ready to take to the Brownies.

I then spent time organising what was left, putting all my needles together, creating a sewing kit to keep all my sewing needles and thread together and easy to find.  Then I tackled the remainder of the yarn.  I ended up getting all my yarn to fit into one basket, which now lives in the livingroom, in a nice organised fashion.  It really is a miracle!

final stash
I can now see what yarn I have, I’ve been reminded of yarn I bought with certain projects in mind and of-course it’s much less clutter.  I feel I’ve got my love of knitting back again after a month long hiatus (or perhaps that was recovering from Christmas knitting) and I’m ready to get started on new projects!

My Everyday Life 02/02/14, 09/02/14 Weeks Five and Six

Due to my trip to Dubai, which will get its own post in good time, I decided to combine my everyday life post from last week and this week, as most of last week will be shared in the Dubai post!

week5.6 1
I spent some time sorting out my technology before I left, I did think this picture was ridiculous, camera, iPad, laptop and taken on an iPhone!
The plane food was surprisingly good, smoked salmon salad and then a chicken dish.  Only complaint was the timing of the meal, by the time I arrived in Dubai I was starving and it was after midnight so way too late to get food anywhere.
We were given extra wine, for some reason when they came round they said ‘we’ll just give you two bottles, save us coming back!’, no idea why, but we weren’t complaining – nor the second time they did the same.
I watched Austenland on the plane, such a fun film.  Completely ridiculous, but if you’ve seen the trailer that’s to be expected.

week5.6 2
Juice was a big deal in Dubai, freshly squeezed was available everywhere.  I bought this (not freshly squeezed) in the supermarket and loved it!  This could come to the UK.
I’ve recently started watching the West Wing for the first time and am absolutely loving it.  When I saw this tea for sale it amused me no ends.  It was stupidly expensive or it would have been coming home with me.
Speaking of stupidly expensive, I had real problems trying to work out the currency conversion in Dubai, so put this note on my phone to try help me to remember.
I spotted a cat.  For some reason when I’m away anywhere and see a cat, I always take a picture.

week5.6 3
My last night in Dubai was sleep deprived to say the least!  I had to get up at 4am to get checked out of the hotel and picked up for the airport.
I got very, very sick with the cold while I was away, I blame the air-conditioning everywhere for spreading germs around.  Some Tesco throat sweeties were the only medicine I had with me, so my plane journey home was utterly miserable.
I found somewhere in Edinburgh that sells bubble tea!  I was delighted, I’d tried it on my trip to London and loved it, and had been on the lookout for it.  I had a cold coconut tea with tapioca pearls, so yummy.  I’ll be back to Frisky Froyo for more soon, a shopping trip treat I think!

week5.6 4
It was Burns Night in January, so better late than never I had haggis, neeps and tatties (note, that’s a mix of neeps and tatties in the picture).  You can’t go wrong with some yummy haggis! – Also note the accidental tartan pyjamas in the picture, ha.
Edinburgh Castle looked imposing on a cold crisp afternoon.
I made the mistake of trying to organise my stash of wool, my livingroom looked like an absolute bombsite for a while as I was tidying it out.  Not a task for the faint-hearted! 
I had a very wet journey home from work in the pouring rain.  There’s something about car lights through a rainy window that I really like.

week5.6 5
I never wear earrings other than for special occasions, but was given these ones for my birthday so tried them out.  I was very aware of them all day!
My birthday plans fell through and I was really sad that none of my friends could celebrate with me.  So one of my friends dropped these flowers into me to cheer me up.
There was a crisp, dry day and I enjoyed my outfit.  Polka dots are my favourite, I’d have them on everything if I could.
I’ve just finished reading Anne of Windy Poplars by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I read some on my birthday and I was entertained no end that the letter I read that day was dated the 28th January!

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Thursdays are funny food days for me.  I go to Brownies straight from work, so eat at funny times.  I have an early lunch, something dinner-esque at about 4:30pm and then a snack when I get home about 8:30pm.  This was my evening snack – with the unusual addition of beer.  Teaching Brownies to knit is stressful!
I attempted to write a knitting pattern, I couldn’t visualise it, so had to write it out stitch by stitch.
I had a training session at Strathclyde Student Association, and the coffee they had was Starbucks, made a nice change from the terrible coffee we have at training sessions at my work.
I found my bebo archive online, so saved some photos and uploaded them to facebook, lots of long forgotten memories in there!

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I got a surprise parcel at work.  Birthday presents from my friend who is currently teaching in Thailand.  It made my week, was so thoughtful and contained lots of notes and references to in-jokes we had.  I was so touched by her thoughtfulness!
Working on a knitted cowl, I hate cable stitch, so made up a cable pattern to force myself to do it.
My iTunes had a total meltdown and I had to uninstall it and then reinstall it.  It took a few hours and was really not what I wanted to be doing.
I got all my Dubai Fountain pictures off my camera and started deleting the blurry ones and uploading the nice ones.

 

week5.6 8 week5.6 9
As always, a selection of morning shots.
The pink sky was a pretty spot, I don’t normally see the sunrise from my flat, so this was an excellent capture!
My hotel room view was pretty in its own way, the haze in Dubai was something I hadn’t anticipated though.  
As you can see, my last morning in Dubai could barely be described as morning, it was pitch dark and still the middle of the night!

Abigails and Lucy

The internet really is a wonderful thing for shopping, and blogs are definitely a part of that.  I first started reading fashion blogs 3 or 4 years ago, and one of the first I found was A Million Dresses.  I was fairly soon hooked, and often found myself ordering dresses after Sarah had posted them!

Last year there was a brand that Sarah mentioned often, Emily and Fin  I absolutely loved the dresses, except they were a bit out of my everyday dress price range :(  Then the most exciting thing happened, and Sarah had a competition on her blog to win an Emily and Fin dress from Aspire Style, and you guessed it, I was lucky enough to win!  I immediately knew which dress I wanted, the navy blue and white polka dot Abigail.

The dress arrived and was everything I wanted it to be, I ended up wearing it to my best friend’s Hen Weekend to the lovely Stobo Castle and got so many compliments on it, and it was also my dress for Christmas Day.  I’ve worn it loads of times and really love it.
navy spot abigail

When I saw that Aspire Style had a sale on at Christmas time I jumped at the chance to buy some more Emily and Fin dresses!  I went for the purple and mustard spot Lucy dress, and a purple floral Abigail, both of which were half price!

I wore the Lucy dress on New Year’s Eve, sadly I don’t have any proper pictures, but here is the skirt of it matching perfectly with my tights!
purple mustard lucy

My purple floral Abigail got its first outing when I went out for dinner with my friends.  The light was terrible that day, it was so miserable and rainy I didn’t think I’d get a picture of the outfit, so I laid it out on my bed!  I’d bought some new boots from New Look which I thought would go excellently with the dress. I was fairly delighted to realise that New Look’s wide-fit range meant that a size 3 would fit my calves! (other people have this problem too right?)
floral abigail boots

I did manage to get a picture of the outfit while I was out, my friend obliged and took this for me.  I really loved this oufit as a whole, it was one of those times where I felt well put together!
floral abigail style
*Dress Aspire Style
*Cardigan Primark (old)
*Boots New Look
*Tights New Look
*Pearls Unknown gift

I am now a complete and utter Emily and Fin fan and will be keeping an eye out for the new season patterns when they arrive!

 

Yeni

I have a group of friends that I meet up with every few months and we go out for dinner.  Reently we met up for a belated Christmas and early Birthday dinner.  We try to go somewhere different each time and split our meals between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This time it was Edinburgh’s time, and some suggested we go to Yeni on Hanover Street.  I’m a big fan of Turkish style food and a fan of tapas/meze so I was more than happy to give it a try.

When I arrived I realised I had been there before when the restaurant was Nargile, the menu was fairly similar so I wonder if it’s just had a name change?

yeni
The menu was excellent, a wide selection and a great number of vegetarian options.  I’m not a vegetarian but fairly often when I go out I order a vegetarian meal, something a bit different from what I would cook at home.  I think between the 5 of us we probably had 15 plates of food, covering meat, fish, potato and vegetable options.
yeni food
The absolute highlight was the Arancini, tomato and basil risotto balls, filled with mozarella cheese and then deep fried in breadcrumbs.  We were a bit disappointed that we had only ordered one plate of them as we could definitely have had more of them!

yeni wine
We all had some wine, I was really amused by the fact it came in these cute little tumblers rather than standard wine glasses. It’s the simple things in life.

yeni baklava
I finished my meal with some amazing chocolate baklava.  It was really flaky, sticky and the chocolate was so rich.  Despite there only being three pieces I really struggled to finish it, it was so good though.

I think in total for our dinner, drinks and desserts it cost us £20 each which was amazing for a night of freshly cooked, good quality food.  I’ll definitely be back!