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December Daily - my first attempt

December Daily is always one of those things I've thought 'that looks like fun' about but never actually attempted. Often with these things, I'm not sure my life is exciting enough, and I never plan ahead and I'm pretty rubbish at keeping the momentum with things! 

This year however I am going to do it. I am. I'm prepared. I'm amped up to do it. I'm going to record my December and I am going to enjoy it! And after the year that 2014 has thrown at me it seems fitting to record the end of it with some celebration! 

Here are just a few of the bits I'll be starting with.

I bought this cute little sketch book from a local art supplies shop. It's the perfect small size and after I had ripped off the binder and replaced it with book binder rings I think it'll be perfect for adding stuff in to. Washi tape. Obvz. Smashbook pen - this has a lovely pen at one end and a glue stick at the other. Genius. And essential for on the go crafting. Random reindeer bunting. Christmas tags. Christmas embellishments. Random, but Christmassy bits of paper - some from my supplies, but others scavenged from the Project Life kits I've bought and then never used. (I'm a big fan of starting and not finishing a project!) I know as I start more stuff will appear in the kit but this is what I am starting with.
I'm planning on using the paper in the book and also adding things in by hole-punching them and adding them to the book. I'm trying to let my brain know that getting through this as a month project, rather than having it perfect is the goal. Although the amount of beyond perfect December Daily books I've pinned might be going against that mantra.

And I'm also going to be trying to keep up with Susanna Conway's December Daily - probably in the book, but maybe on Instagram too! The prompts are here and you can read more here!

Will you be recording December or are you sensible and letting this crazy month go without adding to the mess of stuff you need to do?


A book about Jugs*

*No, not those sort of Jugs - don't be silly. The dog kind.......

In the summer I got a very random email from a man who'd found photos of Flash on my (embarrassingly neglected) Flickr account. He said he was writing a book on Jug dogs and was struggling to find pictures to use. He asked if he could use some picture of Flash and, well, of course I said yes. So here we have Flash's first appearance in a published book, one you can buy on Amazon.....He has seven photos included in the book that span from the day he came home to us to now, at 2 1/2 years old (there also might be a few words on Jug ownership from Jim and I too!).
There are also loads of cute pictures of other Jugs too but most importantly our little pup is kind of famous - only problem is, it's gone to his head and he doesn't get out of bed for less than at least one bacon strip these days! 

A trip to Home Is and a mooch around the Northern Quarter

Last Saturday I spent my afternoon giving a little tour of my neighbourhood to Toni from Lemon Freckles and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was lovely to see the area through someone news eyes. I've written about where I live before so didn't end up posting any of the pictures but she wrote a lovely post here. We've decided to make it a sort of regular thing - getting together and having a mooch about with our cameras. We're even planning on getting our pooches involved soon too! 

Anyway that afternoon made me realise that I want to do more with my weekends rather than catching up on housework and stuff so last Saturday I hopped on the train and headed to the wrong side of the Pennines for a look round the Home Is event - a gorgeous interiors market. I missed the one earlier this year and felt I just couldn't miss out again!

We actually spend a lot of time in Manchester. We have lots friends over there, and it's where Jim grew up and his family still live there but it's not somewhere I've spent time alone. Every time we go there are plans and places to be and no time to just wander about so my plan was to head to the Home Is event in Ancoats then take a bit of time walking round the Northern Quarter without an aim or purpose! And you know what it was a lovely day.
The Home Is event had some beautiful exhibitors and I may have made a couple of small purchases, although i did really want one of these tweed throws but no matter how beautiful they were, £370ish is a bit more than I will ever have in the 'throws' budget (Does anyone actually have a 'throws budget'? Is this something I should have?)
And then my wander around the Northern Quarter was great.  No purpose, no need to be anywhere, no set times for anything - just me. I arrived home and demanded to Jim that we take more random trips to places for a few hours just because it was fun. 

What did you get upto with your weekend?

WIN a top and a bag from Brakeburn!

When were were on holiday in Cornwall earlier this year, one of the shops at the harbour had started stocking a new brand that I absolutely fell in love with. It's a new brand I'd never heard of, Brakeburn, and given that my size was out of stock in all the bits in the shop, and the manager said he'd only had it in a few weeks and was having to re-order way sooner than thought, it was popular with the other people in Mylor too.
When we got back I started looking on their website and found even more things that I really loved. So I got in touch with the guys at Brakeburn and asked them if they'd like to do a giveaway for you guys, and as they are so lovely they agreed to it. They were also kind enough to send me a couple of pieces from their new collection too.

I chose the Bella crew, well, because I just love a good striped top and this was one of the tops that I saw in Mylor and fell in love with. 99% of the striped tops I own (and there are a LOT of them) are navy and white, so adding a shot of red into the mix makes me super happy. It fits like a dream, even after I've stopped eating Paleo (but these pictures make me think I need to start again....ooops)
And then we have the Stag shopper. I chose it because of the awesome print. When it arrived I fell in love with it even more than I thought I would. The colour is beautiful, I adore the little stags, and it's super roomy! I've been using it for taking all my stuff to WI meetings, popping to town and not needing carrier bags, going to work and dog walking - now if you don't own a dog you might not realise how much stuff they require - poo bags and water bottles, treats and balls and if we're staying out late maybe a jumper or something! Everything fits - easily!
So, if you'd like to win both these items, worth £60, in your size (well the top - the bag is a fixed size!) all you have to do is enter the competition below through rafflecopter. To enter you'll need to pop over to the Brakeburn site and leave me a comment below with your favourite thing from the website. You can get a couple of extra entries through Rafflecopter too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Sorry about the awkward poses - I'm really not a fashion blogger!!!!! Thanks to Gemma for the pictures too!)

Living with regret (or not as the case may be)

I'm not normally one for falling apart in public so I apologise for this post, but it's been eating away at me and at some point if you don't let things out I'm sure I might implode!

One of the things I have learnt this year is that I don't deal with regret that well. Not the sort of regret that comes from not buying those boots you just HAD to have and realising they are sold out, or the regret you feel what you realise you drank far too much last night and did something stupid, but the sort or regret that completely envelopes your life and makes it hard to think straight. The sort I am trying to move past at the moment. 

My word for 2014 was MOVE. And whilst I've embodied the word in a physically 'we've moved house' and a 'I'm walking further to and from work' kind of way, mentally my frame of mind hasn't moved past things that have happened.

For 6 months now I've been struggling to deal with this regret and feeling of loss and it's starting to eat into my day to day life. I feel like it's consuming me and I can't find a way to win. I knew Jim being in India would be tough as there would be a lot more nights alone in the house, but I don't think I had quite prepared myself for what that would do to my brain. I'll be washing up and thoughts that I just can't shake will hit me and then it ends up with Flash looking at me like a crazy woman as I'm crying washing glasses and spoons (when it's just me there's always an abundance of glasses and spoons to wash!)

So far my saving graces have been keeping busy as much as I can - filling every spare minute with something and when I don't have the time filled I've been going swimming. The gym down the road is open until 10 so when the regret starts to build and I catch it in time, I've popped down for a swim. My brain still works in the same way but I am too focused on breathing and the pain in my knees to give them too much time - the plus side is no-one can see the tears if you're in the pool.

But I can't carry on this way. I hate the way I feel and need to figure out how to get back to the old me. I need to move past the heartbreak and I need to get on with my life and it can't be a life that includes these episodes, but I can't quite figure out how to do it right now. Does any one have any tips for getting past the thoughts that just won't go away? (And yes I have been to the Drs but they aren't very helpful!)

An October Round-up and some November goals

October was one of those months where we were super busy and also super chilled all at the same time. Sometime weeks were so busy Jim and I barely saw each other whilst others were filled with nights on the sofa watching movies and making lovely food. We managed some time to enjoy the new living room, I bought loads of stuff on ebay - including a few hundred felt balls! I conned my brother and my dad into some DIY for me, We went to see Death from Above (which was awesome) Jim went to India, just for 3 weeks this time - not nearly enough time for me to do something silly to the house! We had a great WI planning meeting over burritos and have some awesome things planned for 2015 - plus, we're swishing this Friday if anyone fancies it? 

One of the things I had planned to do in October was make Flash a Halloween costume and well, I managed it and thought I'd share my little zombie dog with you too. Isn't he the cutest member of the walking dead you've ever seen? 

So, now on to November's goals

I know the 'C' word is mentioned a few times here but it's November and it has to be done and with Jim away I need something to occupy my brain until he is back - once he is though, we have a busy few weeks so it needs to be kind of thought about before he returns!
What have you got planned for the month?