A new blogging home

Greetings readers, how are you on this marvellous Thursday afternoon? Fingers crossed you’re all doing swimmingly! I just wanted to pop on over and remind you that I’ve moved from this little blogging world, to the brand new and GREEN theadventuresoffi.com, so why not pop on over and say hi? As you’ll see there’s still the same brand of inane chatter over there as there was here and my latest post includes Christmas markets and Christmas lights, basically I’I’m just all about Christmas at the moment over there! I do hope you approve!

Things you might have missed if you’ve not yet visited my new blogging abode are posts where I reminisce about 4th July celebrations in Chicago, why it’s bad to plan to make presents when you’re as disorganised as me and my recent stationery obsessions. Oh and you can also join in with my new weekly link up of Smiley Happy Things!

Hopefully see you over there soon and why not also follow me on Bloglovin’? Come on you know you want to! xxx

Christmas is coming (and here’s the proof)!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things festive and Christmas-y. It’s my all-time favourite time of the year and I love making the most of it, after all we’re only allowed to celebrate this joyous festive occasion for a short period of time. So it seems crazy to me that we don’t start the celebrations until October at the earliest – madness I tell you! Anyway less ranting from me and let’s get back to this post! As a fan of this amazing event you can imagine that I would be massively excited about any sign that it’s time to get celebrating Christmas and so far I’ve spotted the following signs that Christmas is on its way. Hip hip hooray!

Costa have launched their Christmas cups (they’ve never done that before, have they?) and they are absolutely awesome – look at them! So far I’ve only tried the Snowman and gingerbread man cup but I’m pretty sure the other options of an elf and Santa himself will be just as awesome when I finally do. And of course the Starbucks red cups are back too, they basically epitomise Christmas don’t they? Also have you seen Starbucks’ new biscuits, red and white candy canes that taste scrumptious. I can’t recommend them enough!

The Christmas adverts have started to launch. Now I don’t know when it became a sign of Christmas, but over the last few years, particularly thanks to John Lewis there has most definitely been a week where Christmas ads are heralded like new signings for Manchester United. The build up and buzz they create is almost epic, and I admit I quite like it. We all know John Lewis have done some awesome ones over the years, (my favourite was this little boys excitement at giving a gift), but their Bear and Hare one for this year isn’t my favourite. Don’t get me wrong it’s cute and it’s definitely an improvement on last years awful snowman one, but it’s not quite festive enough for me I’m afraid. I think my favourite of all on the round-up here, is the Boots one (below). Isn’t it a lovely one? Not only is there snow and presents, there’s a lovely sentiment there and I like how it turns stereotypes on there head, unlike some of the big supermarkets last year with their stressed out Mum focussed ads last year.

Although it also feels remiss for me not to mention Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, which is actually a 50 minute film. How awesome is that! They’ve essentially asked people to film their Christmas and then spliced bits together. I’ve only seen the first trailer for it so far, but it’s absolutely brilliant. It captures the spirit of Christmas brilliantly and the end brought a tear to my eye.

So yet another sign that Christmas is coming? The fact that the Christmas sandwiches are here, hooray to that! I’ve not yet treated myself to one, but I know it’s only going to be a matter of time. After all Christmas sandwiches are epic as it’s like having a Christmas dinner in one bit – genius!

Finally the Spirit of Christmas happened last week and it was full of festive cheer. Not only did I have hours (literally) of fun looking for gift ideas, but there was also a load of yummy treats to try and finally lots of super-duper decorations to buy – I may have got a little carried away on one particular stall, oops!

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Have you spotted any other signs that tell you Christmas is imminent? What have I missed?

Also one other thing, this will be the very last post on this here blog. Sad I know but I’ve been contemplating changing the design of this bloglet for a while and that’s just not possible using WordPress without an awful lot of faffing. So after much consideration I’ve decided to take the leap over to Blogger and from now on you can find me at The Adventures of Fi. So when you need your fix of nattering about coffee, brownies, Christmas (of course), clothes and my inability to run, I will look forward to seeing you over there! See you soon, you lovely peeps – it’s been ace nattering with you over here. xxx

Dealing with a thirty item to-do list

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Source: Diaries of an Essex Girl

A few weeks back Kate at Diaries of an Essex Girl wrote a post about tackling your blogging schedule and included the above inspirational image about stress. This image really struck a chord with me, not about blogging per se but just generally how I react to having too much to do, whether at work or in my personal life. My initial reaction when things are getting too much is to have an internal freak out and panic which means I’m unable to do anything productive for ages. Then I’m left with only one option – to do everything at the last-minute after making myself feel stupidly sick with worry. This is such a ridiculous reaction and most importantly an unproductive one! Especially when I’m inevitably freaking out because I have far too much to do. So I’ve decided that I need to remember this quote and maybe even print it out and carry it with me so that when I next have a freak out I’ll stop and think. After all stress is most definitely not a good idea when I need my brain to work and get something done, be it a creative idea or just one of the two hundred things on my current to-do list.

Another brain wave I’ve had recently is to sit down and calmly with a cup of coffee and write a to do list when I’m having a mini meltdown. By breaking a big scary task into a load of smaller tasks it’s far more manageable plus ticking each bit off one – no matter how small the task is really does help. I feel like I’ve instantly achieved something and I can achieve things much faster. Clearly something to do with actually getting my brain together and back to the task at hand! What about you what do you do to calm your crazy brain down when things get a bit too overwhelming?

Willpower schmillpower

I’ve been thinking a lot about willpower recently as at the moment  I seem unable to say no to Starbucks every morning, yes to running more than 3km every weekend or no to bright coloured nail varnish. So whilst there are many many stories that I could tell you that would prove to you just how rubbish my willpower is at the moment I thought I’d focus on just the one story. After all a post about all incidences of my rubbish willpower would take about ten hours for you to read, let alone me to write! So here’s an example of my inability to say no to new books!

Recently I reorganised all the books on my shelves and got rid of those I no longer wanted, etc, whilst I was doing this I realised that I have a lot of books on my shelf that I still haven’t got round to reading. When I say a lot what I actually mean is 64 books (plus a good 20 on my kindle), um yeah I seem to have gotten carried away there. These are books I’ve accumulated over the last few years so it’s not like I bought them all in the last month and also a lot of these are charity shop purchases and not brand new ones. But still that’s a fair amount of books to be getting on with. You’d think, that seeing as I have this many books still to read, that I wouldn’t need to buy anymore at least for a few months, until say the pile is only about 40 tall. Right?

Um well no, you see this is where my lack of willpower comes in. As since I last counted I’ve gained the following books:

  • On Kindle: Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Gifted: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • For my bookshelf: Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades, Rick Riordan and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Yes so another seven books, plus the eleven I was sent by my new boss to read up on before I start my new job. And that’s in the last three weeks alone – what is actually wrong with me. I mean that’s obscene isn’t it? If I don’t stop this book buying obsessive route I appear to be on right this second then I’m going to have well over a hundred books to read really soon. And that’s going to take a hell of a long time to get through – I meant I probably average one book a week so that’s over two years. So yes as you can see my willpower is officially kaput, any suggestions on how I can kick my willpower back in to place? All and any suggestions welcome, I really need to get my willpower to start working again as my bookcases really can’t take it!

Ponderings on perception

I’ve been thinking a lot about perception recently, either your perception of someone/thing but also how we perceive ourselves or think others perceive us. It amazes me how often we get the wrong idea or realise that our perception has been distorted for whatever reason. Perception really is a fascinating subject, I mean how does it even work and how does our perception of the world differ to that of the rest of the world? Imagine if in actual fact we are all see things totally differently. Maybe the way I perceive colours or shapes is totally different to everyone else, who knows! Whilst pondering perception I came across the below quote by Louise C. K., which I 100% agree with.

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Such a good point that perception changes all the time. There are a number of reasons why this topic sprung into my head, so I’ll share two such reasons with you. The first one stems from a picture my sister found of the two of us from a couple of years ago before the much written about (at least by me on this here bloglet) lose of three stone of me (and of her too). Now I remember exactly when the photo was taken and I can honestly say that I would have sworn black and blue that I looked nothing like this at the time. Even when I looked at that picture back then it did not look like it now does to me. I look like a totally different person to how I imagined I did. In fact if asked to I would have drawn you a picture of a much thinner person, which clearly was not the reality. How is it that at that time I didn’t see myself as I really was and what is it that has since changed the perception I have of myself? As now I can clearly see what I was like then but I wasn’t able to before.  Also do I now imagine I look totally different now to how I actually do? Talk about mind-boggling. How do I ensure I am really seeing what I actually look like, do I simply trust that what I’m now seeing is correct or do I just always assume that my perception of myself still screwy?

Now to the second thing that got me thinking about perception; It was realising that the perception I have of two people was right for one of them and not for the other one. I won’t go into too many details as who knows if those people read this blog but it got me to thinking why our perception can be so wrong, especially when it comes to others. Is it something in us that sees their actions in an odd way or is this due to something that the individual does to make us look at them incorrectly? Do my feelings towards people (liking them or not) impact on how I see what they do? Do I give more compassion and understanding to those that I like and do the opposite, see the negative, with the people I don’t like? And if I do allow my feelings towards people to impact on my perceptions of them and their actions how do I ensure that I stop doing this or is it too heavily ingrained in our personalities that we can’t amend it?

I don’t really have any answers, in fact writing my jumbled thoughts has raised more questions than I had already about perception. But it is certainly one of those fascinating subjects, what about you have you similar thoughts on perception or similar stories as to when your perceptions were proven wrong or confused? I’d love to hear them!

Hooray for Friday!

It’s Friday and I’m very glad this week of crazy is over, what about you how have you fared this week? To top of my not so wonderful week I got given the wrong drink at Starbucks today – total disaster as I didn’t realise until it was too late. Nightmare scenario I think we can all agree?! Today’s post is going to be a collection of rambles and links, just to warn you if you’re expecting something sophisticated or in-depth – that’s just not happening today. My brain just can’t handle it!

First up there’s this trailer for Glee’s Finn memorial episode, which I made the mistake of watching on the bus this morning. Talk about rookie mistake as I got very teary and over emotional. It looks like they’ve made a lovely episode and I can’t wait to see it (with tissues in hand obvs). Although I do wonder how they were able to make the episode, it must have been incredibly difficult and hard for all of them to get through.

On a different note, I saw the below quote from Harold Pinter this week which I really liked. I definitely agree with this and often wonder how I would cope without so much wonderful writing out there, be it blogs, newspaper articles or books.

“Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.”

Other things I’ve loved this week are Jennifer Lawrence and this jumper and bag from Joy. My love for Jennifer Lawrence is well documented on this blog but I just had to share this article about her response to being told to lose weight – how amazingly brilliant is she. I really do think we could be very good friends, in a non stalker way obviously! As for the jumper, it’s snuggly and has a deer on, how could I not love it?! And isn’t the colour, shape and clasp of that bag simply divine. The only question is cam I justify £45 for a bag – I’m not really sure I can to be honest.

https://i1.wp.com/www.joythestore.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/690x1030/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/a/babianne_1.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/www.joythestore.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/690x1030/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/p/a/pasadena_1.jpg

Is anyone else a massive fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, or is that just me? I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy to be out later this month and I was fascinated by this interview with the writer. How did I not know she was so young when she wrote it – what exactly have I done with my life, apparently I’ve achieved nothing in my 28 years compared to her!

On that high note I best get down to some of this Friday madness – hope you all have fantabulous days of wonderment and enjoy the weekend. xxx

Recent loves in the blogging world

I’ve had a fairly chilled out Sunday which has been lovely as it’s meant I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of lovely blog posts that I’ve seen during the week but not had the brain power to focus on. As I’ve spent a lot of this weekend reading some of these posts I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you so that you could enjoy them too. I don’t know about you but I love discovering new blogs so hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the below posts. Also if you have any suggestions for brilliant must-read posts please do let me know as I’m always on the lookout for awesome blogs to read.

First up there’s been a whole host of scrumptious sounding and delicious looking foodie posts this week which I can hardly wait to get making over on Cook, Bake and Eat. How Sweet It Is always has yummy looking stuff, and this Honey Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Gouda Penne Bake is not exception, talk about the foodification of heaven. Yes I may have just made up a word – deal with it. Another thing from her blog, this Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup, it’s definitely turned to soup weather this is a must make for me. I’m a big fan of Averie Cooks and I always want to eat everything she blogs about, but this weeks Soft and Chewy Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies sound unreal and I NEED to make them asap. I think it’s almost a matter of life and death. Back on a savoury note, I keep meaning to make my own beans and when I do finally get round to it I think I’ll go for these ones from Domestic Sluttery. Delicious you say!

On a more serious blogging note, and something that doesn’t involve melted cheese or sugar, I was really impressed that Kate over at Diaries of an Essex Girl shared her story about the downside of losing weight, aka what happens when you go to far. That’s a very brave thing to do, so good on her for putting her experience out there. I also enjoyed reading Belinda’s post about being a blogging black sheep and then The Musing Blonde’s take on it here and I 100% agree with the sentiment of both. Also as The Musing Blonde says in her post being the black sheep is what makes us, us and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I also like the idea of making resolutions, so I might have to follow in Lau’s footsteps and make some of my own resolutions and be positive about them.

In terms of crafty stuff, I’m basically begging for the opportunity to make these chalkboard tile place names from In My Own Style, but I just can’t justify it at the moment as I can’t think when I’d use them. Suggestions on a postcard please! I also want to have a white chalk wall somewhere in my flat (just like the team at A Beautiful Mess). Don’t you think it looks so much more interesting than a traditional black one – so cool! One final thing to leave you with I’ve decided I now want to own a bright pink sofa thanks to this post from  Bright Bazaar, I honestly think it will make my life and outlook immeasurably better.

Wise Words #1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Greetings chumlets, how are you all today? I wanted to share this lovely image (humble aren’t I!) that I created using the wondrous site that is PicMonkey. Can I just say this site is totally revolutionising my life right now. I’m having such fun using it! Check out my first image over on the latest ‘Smiley Happy Things’ post, as you can tell I was inspired by a school chalkboard! Anyway whilst playing around I created the above image using one of my photos from a recent Portugal trip. I’m quite proud of it to be honest!

Anyway back to the actual sentiment behind the above image. I stumbled across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote last weekend and it really made sense to me and captured exactly what I’ve been trying to channel recently. I like the idea of putting the past behind you at the end of the day and just focusing on the positives before starting the new day with optimism and enthusiasm. After all optimism and a positive outlook never killed anyone and looking on the bright side of things can’t hurt anyone. This quote also reminds me a little of the sentiments in The Silver Linings Playbook, which is about there always being a positive side to things, no matter how small. So really I just wanted to share this image with you as a reminder that we should take each day as it comes, face it with enthusiasm, give our all and then at the end of the day put the bad bits behind us and learn not to dwell on things.

Phew, that’s a lot of waffle for one day, especially for a Friday! Go forth and enjoy your last day of this work week and have an epic two-day weekend, huzzah!

Comfort to me is…

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I love that today’s Blogtember prompt is to react to the term comfort as it seems quite apt to where my head is currently at right now.

Ever since I returned from Portugal last week I’ve been feeling the autumn love due to the summer having seemingly disappeared for another year and the appearance of autumn essentials in the shops – I’m talking about you Mr. Unicorn jumper. Autumn is possibly one of my favourite seasons and it definitely beats the sunshine in the summer. My love affair for autumn is most definitely due to the obscene amount of comfort I find during that stage of the year. I’m talking snuggly knits, patchwork quilts on the sofa, mittens, hot chocolate with marshmallows, 100 denier black tights, meaty casseroles, walks in the country in many many layers, crispy autumnal leaves of glorious oranges, reds and browns, warming soups, film nights, darker evenings, woolly scarves, lit fires, Starbucks red cups, bonfires and fireworks and so, so much more. Ah Autumn how I’ve missed you, I’m glad you’ve finally made an appearance.

The interweb stuff I’ve been enjoying recently

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Ignore the above picture it’s got nothing to do with this post, I just like it so I thought I’d share it here! Anyway how are you lovely lot, happy Saturday! I hope you have some wonderful things planned. I am hoping for a lazy day as I’m back to work after a lovely Portugal trip on Monday so I clearly need to treat myself before that happens, yes?!

It’s been a while since I shared some of my random waffles so I thought why not share one this week? I thought you lovely lot might like to hear about some of my favourite blogging things from the last few weeks, they’ve kept me engaged and I’ve enjoyed them all, so I hope you’ll enjoy them too. So here follows a few of the things I’ve been enjoying on the interwebby thing recently! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but every time a new recipe appears on Raspberri Cupcakes, I fall instantly in love. It’s due to the amazing way Steph seems to combine flavours and push a simple idea to genius with the addition of extra decorations or one ingredient that’s a little unexpected. Plus she has an amazing creative eye with the pictures she takes. Currently I’m lusting over her Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing, I mean have you ever seen anything more delicious? I love the sound of the flavour combination and the addition of the caramelised banana slices on the top? Pure genius. Other favourites of mine include the Pretzel and m&m’s Cheesecake, Mocha Marble Cake and the Lemon Oreo Cheesecake Slices. One day I’ll give them all a whirl I really will! Talking of food I’m also dying, yes dying, to make these white bean and stuffed peppers, um scrumptious looking you say? And this mushroom lasagna from Where are my Knees?, I fear this is a meal I could eat every day for the rest of my life!

I also want to make these map covered boxes from In my own Style – gorgeous and so practical. In other news I’m jealous I don’t own a desk like this, I swear I’d keep it as beautifully organised and pretty as this one if I did! Also talking of organisation I want one of these guest carts. But sadly with no guest room I think it might be a tab unnecessary, yes? Oh yes and I want to own all of these Penguin books, beautiful yes? Thanks for sharing Domestic Sluttery.

Advice wise, I really enjoyed the 10 not-so-obvious blogging tips that Bonnie shared over on Story of My Life. Such great points and they’ve got me pondering some changes of my own, when I have time that is… Also I loved Lau’s post about customer service, so very true and we should all start to shout about good customer service and not just the bad. In other news is anyone else looking forward to the start of Treasure Tromp’s new series Balance and Organisation at Work? I love the sound of this and can’t wait to learn lots and maybe join in. Finally if I ever get married, [come on Prince Charming, where are you?!] I will definitely take inspiration from this post from Erica as the Brighton wedding she recently attended looks so wonderful. It looks as though it was so beautiful and there are so many lovely little touches. Stunning.

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