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31 December 2012

goodbye 2012

All around the blogosphere this evening I've been seeing posts about 2013, but I just want to take a few moments to reflect on the year that was 2012. I'm so grateful to this blog when I'm looking back over the year - its amazing to view a whole year in pictures and thoughts. One thing I've really noticed is how much more personal my writing here has become over the last few months - I feel like I'm getting so much more out of blogging when I'm putting more 'me' into it.

In January I read about the "One Little Word" project & chose 'fearless' as my word for 2012. It was so appropriate for the entire year & it had a bigger impact on my life than I ever could have imagined. For anyone thinking about jumping on this bandwagon (or anyone who isn't, for that matter) I wholeheartedly recommend it. Its empowering. So many decisions this year wouldn't have been made if I hadn't made that commitment to myself - to be fearless and to go after what I want. Its good stuff people, really good stuff. I also saw the European Figure Skating Championships (breathtaking) and sat my first lot of second year exams.

In February I went through a weird editing phase, I tried to get my thoughts on self portraits straight  and we decided that writing our shopping lists on the kitchen window with board markers probably wasn't the best way to do things.

In March R invented a cocktail that consisted of vodka, orange juice, ginger ale, soy sauce, hendersons relish and lime cordial. I can't remember what we called it, but I remember it being good. I wrote about blogging for International Womens day & went on a day trip into the Peaks which ended as an evening in the pub. The weather was uncharacteristically warm & we 'christened' our back yard with our first BBQ.



In April I was home for 2 weeks of my Easter break before disappearing off  to Ireland for a week long field trip that was one of the most rewarding and exhausting things I've ever done.


In May FV turned one (yay!), Hannah and I booked a completely impromptu weekend break to Spain and I spent a good deal of my life revising.


In June I didn't blog much, I did however buy a new lens, go to my first ever barn dance, finish my second year of Uni, work on preparations for Mum's wedding, go to the county farmers fair and eat the best cheese I've ever tasted & spend a weekend in Spain. So June was pretty awesome.


In July I didn't blog much either... I'm not really a fan of computers in the summer, especially laptops - they're too warm and I'd much rather be outside! I got creative with Mum & Kev's wedding rings (and never shared the shots here, oops!). I celebrated Mum's impending wedding with her & her best friends in London for her hen day, cried when I watched my brother walk her down the aisle and gave a reading as part of the ceremony.

In August I spent a lot of time with myself & continued to plug away at all the craft project I vowed to finish. I was obsessed with the Olympics & started work on my very first minibook. I spent time catching up with friends

In September I made a big announcement about my trip next summer. I took a lot of pictures and finished my minibook.  I went back to Uni to start my third (and maybe final? who knows!) year in a house that was occupied by slugs & had a bit of a problem with damp. R and I found an awesome walk on our back door step and I got back into the routine of studying again.


In October I spent a lot of time in a greenhouse, turned 21 and received an amazingly thoughtful gift from my Mum.  I also upgraded my camera, spent 3/4 weekends at home, helped with pumpkin carving at a charity firewalk and spent an evening at a friends new flat drinking wine out of a mug. Busy! 

In November I got accidently drunk with R watching fireworks over the city, walked dogs at the shelter with Holly, R and H, celebrated R's 21st  and spent countless hours in the lab & library. 

In December I figured out a life/study balance that kind of worked & became absolutely obsessed with 'The Walking Dead'. I fell in love with winter, had a perfect Christmas and spent a couple of days having a serious clearout. 



In 2012 I learnt how to trust myself more, how to let go of 'the plan' and to just go with the flow and that sometimes the smallest moments can be the most definitive. 2012 was a year of personal development, and that friends, makes it a success.

Wishing all of you an absolutely amazing start to 2013 - Vic xo  

30 December 2012

New year, new look

Those of you who don't read in a reader may have noticed that things look a little different around here. I've worked so hard on it and I'm really pleased with how its all turned out. If you are reading in a reader then please, hop on over and take a look! I was aiming for something that was simple and clean, but not boring. I'm a huge fan of black, grey and white (especially grey, its my current favourite) & I knew I wanted to base it around those colours so I just went from there. Whenever I'm designing anything the finished product always ends up nothing like the idea I had in my head when I started. I'm never sure whether this is a good thing or not, but I guess as long as I'm happy with the finished product then it doesn't really matter!

The last month I've had a bit of an unintentional break from the internet and blogging but I've got a ton of predictable new year posts planned & I'm really looking forward to catching up with all of my favourite blogs. Talking of which, I'd love it if you left me some links to your favourites - I'm always on the hunt for something new to read!

This post is all over the place (and it doesn't have any pictures, what?), but as an end note... I know I've been horrible at replying to comments lately & I'm really sorry for that. I appreciate it so much when people take the time to add a little note at the end of the post & I'd hate to think that anyone felt like their thoughts aren't valued. Over the next few days I'll be going through my inbox so expect to hear from me soon!

'till next time - Vic x


26 December 2012

'twas the day after Christmas...

Roast dinners are my favourite - especially when pigs in blankets are involved!
Our tree on Christmas morning - it looked amazing! 
Roast gammon is my favourite kind of roast - and cold gammon sandwiches? Yes please. 
We had crackers with W&S on Christmas Eve so Mum had the idea of doing table presents instead - we all approved & its set to become a new Christmas tradition. 



Can you get much more adorable? He loves opening presents but never touches them until we tell him its okay. So cute.


Here's hoping that every single one of you had an amazing Christmas :) 

Things were quiet around here, which was absolutely perfect. We had two Christmas dinners - one on Christmas Eve with W & S (they spent 'proper' Christmas day with their Mum) and one on Christmas day. Two turkeys would have been a bit much so we had turkey on Christmas Eve and roast gammon (my favourite) on Christmas day. Christmas itself was such a great, chilled out day - just the four of us. We opened stocking presents in bed, cooked eggs for breakfast and visited Nan in the morning, then spent the rest of the day at home opening gifts, snacking on chocolate & cheese and watching the Fellowship of the Ring. It was so nice to just hang out as a family without having a load of things that needed to get done. Unfortunately for Zak the weather was absolutely awful, so he didn't get the long stroll along the beach that we promised him - but he adores running around with wrapping paper and snuggling on the sofa so he was pretty happy all day! In some ways, the terrible weather was lovely - it was dark all day and it made everything feel super cosy. 

I made a real effort to take more pictures this year and I'm already so glad I did. Sometimes I feel a bit crazy running around taking pictures of everything, but its always worth it to be able to look back over them & remember all the little things. 

How was your Christmas? Were you shutter happy? Where did you spend it? 







19 December 2012

tree day

I feel like I'm a week or two behind with this post, but this past Sunday was tree day. One of my favourite days - I absolutely love decorating the house for Christmas. The past 3 years that I've been at Uni, Mum has always waited until I got back before putting the decs up - we always do it together. Its such a lovely way to get into 'holiday mode' & I never feel that Christmassy until its done! Even though we don't live in the same house as I grew up in, getting all the boxes out and sorting through everything brings back a ton of happy memories.

If you caught the post I wrote over on Elizabeth's blog then you'll know that this year I'm determined to take more pictures of Christmas, as its sadly something that our photo albums have lacked over the past couple of years! One of the things I definitely wanted to record was the house all ready for Christmas...


We always have two trees - one in the lounge and one in the kitchen. The kitchen tree is smaller & we hang all the old & random decorations that we've accumulated over the years on it. The lounge tree always has a colour theme - last year it was purple and green, this year its red and gold. We're tinsel haters not big fans of tinsel in this house (definitely got that from Mum...) so we use beads instead. I love that we have a mix of a 'traditional' tree & a more put together, coordinated tree...


Do you have Christmas decorating 'traditions'? Do you theme everything or do you just have a random assortment of things? If you've taken pictures I'd LOVE to see them - leave me a link! xo


12 December 2012

i love winter

I love the warmth of summer, the long days & constant sunshine.

But I was walking home from the library last night. It was just before 9 & bitterly cold. There was such a heavy frost that everything was sparkling - like the whole city had been covered in glitter. When I got to the top of the hill, I crossed the road to look down into the valley and it was all I could see. Sparkling, glittery frost lit up by streetlights. It was so cold that the air was frosty. So simple, but absolutely breathtaking. Summer may be warm, but winter is full of magic & that's just as good in my opinion.

Lightfalls
here

07 December 2012

inspired photography: Angus Clyne

Lately I've been missing the sea a whole lot. I grew up next to the sea & living in this city in the middle of the country is sometimes a little odd. Can't wait to be home this time next week & wrap up warm for a walk along the prom. Simple things.

I searched for seascapes on Flickr this evening - out of curiosity more than anything else. Sometimes I really love Flickr, and other times I get frustrated with the amount of rubbish that comes up when you search for something. Anyway, I digress... I was searching for seascapes when I came across Angus Clyne's photostream. Talk about blown away - I've included a couple of my favourites here but I seriously recommend you having a look at the rest of his work. Its stunning.

Staffin Bay Ray Loch Gairloch Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Rainclouds @ Sunset Scurdie Ness Saltlakes Sunrise Babbet Ness Roome Rocks - Crail

I love coming across photographers that remind me how beautiful photography can be, how much I still have to learn about light, composition and vision. Pictures that inspire me to be better, to learn more about the theory behind photography and to push myself to find the beauty that's all around me.

Do you have a favourite photographer or flickr stream? Please share it - I'm always on the hunt for new photographers to check out!! 

06 December 2012

frankly: on friendship

This is a deep one folks, so if you're looking for something light then I'm afraid this isn't really for you. I don't usually blog about the negative side of life, but this is something that's been heavy on my mind these past couple of weeks & its made me think a lot. I like to write when I'm thinking a lot, it helps get all my thoughts organised & I can work out how I really feel about something. So...

"People come into your life for a season, a reason or to stay" 
                                                                                                                                 
This is one of the best pieces of advice my Mum has ever given me. It might sound a bit weird at first - but if you spend a bit of time thinking it over then it actually makes a lot of sense. It's one of those uncomfortable truths that we don't like to think about. We don't like to admit that we 'use' people. We don't like to admit that we know that we're not planning on sticking around in someones life forever. For some reason we don't like to recognise that not every relationship we form with people will be permanent. We don't like to recognise the transient nature of some friendships.

I think its because we don't like to think that we play that role in other peoples lives. We like to think that we mean something to the people we spend time with. That our friendship means as much to them as it does to us. It doesn't always work that way. Its hard, but sometimes you realise that friendship just doesn't mean the same to some people as it does to you. That a friendship that you thought went both ways in fact only goes one. That you're the only one putting in any effort. When you stop putting in the effort? You very quickly realise that is was all entirely one-sided.

Without sounding too selfish (I hope) I like to think of friendship as a two way street. It's a give and take thing. You take care of each other, you support each other, you listen when its needed & you drink wine, laugh at nothing & share your dreams. It shouldn't be about forcing opinions on each other & making it your mission to prove the other person wrong wherever possible. It shouldn't be about criticising someone whenever you get the chance & redirecting every conversation back to your own achievements. Friendships that work like this are toxic - they damage your mind & affect your happiness.

Friendship should be good for you. For both of you. A friendship that isn't good for both of you isn't really friendship at all & it's okay to let go of it. I'm not saying that we should 'give up' on friends - more that we should learn to recognise who our friends really are instead of investing ourselves in someone who really doesn't appreciate us. We should value ourselves enough to do that. Think highly enough of ourselves that we don't let people walk all over us. Focus our energies on the people that really mater & nurture the relationships that truly add meaning to our lives. Cut the crap & lose the drama.

here
What do you think about this? Should friendship be about sticking by someone regardless of how they treat you? Or does there come a point where you draw a line and say you've had enough? How do you deal with friendships that are 'toxic'? 

04 December 2012

come & say hi!

Hi guys!

I'm over at Rosalilium today talking about festive photography as part of her Christmas Cheer week.
Why don't you head over and check it out?

Hope you're having a great week! 

02 December 2012

happening here #10

It's a beautiful city on a cold, sunny day
Another crazy-busy-awesome week. Lots of time in the library & a new favourite place to work. Spending money on 'work snacks' & deciding that I need to learn to drink coffee. Finishing all my labwork & getting half of my first draft finished (yay!). Homemade vegetable soup - new favourite thing to eat. Evenings with R watching Walking Dead - we started this week & I'm absolutely hooked. So, so, so, so good. Yelling at the T.V happens - its that good. Watch it if you haven't already - I highly recommend it! Being visited by a new cat & overloading on chocolate. Starting 'Breaking Bad' with H & R - we love it. Figuring out a studying/life routine that actually works & not feeling stressed as a result. Christmas shopping on Saturday with H & lunch at Yates that left us both in a food coma for the rest of the day. Saturday night outings to locate cheap amaretto because we ran out & staying up till past midnight writing lists of all the films we want to watch. Sunday morning gym sessions & shopping for Christmas presents online.  

Hope you all had a great weekend!! 


29 November 2012

5 favourites - Pinterest

Lets talk about Pinterest! Now, if you're anything like me then you'll love finding people who have similar taste to you. It might be one of my favourite internet things. Ever. I also really enjoy writing lists, so I thought I'd share 5 of my current favourite boards...


1. This Christmas board by Jasmine. I get the feeling that this girl is slightly excited about not being in Australia for Christmas. Such a gorgeous collection of snowy, cozy Christmas pictures.


2. This board of winter pictures by Rosie . I think knitwear is one of the things that make winter bearable. 


3. This board full of travel quotes & pictures


4. This board full of wild places & pictures that make me want to live my life from a backpack.


5) This board full of stunning photographs that capture amazing light. So inspiring.

I can be found here if you're interested! 

Do you use Pinterest? What are your favourite boards? Leave me links people!!


28 November 2012

another friendly visitor



It's really odd for me to shoot a whole series of pictures in portrait - for some reason I just prefer shooting in landscape. R & I were followed home by yet another cat (not sure what they love so much about our house!) who proceeded to invite himself in and make himself at home. Making himself at home involved some weird clawing at our rug whilst spinning around in circles on his back, not really sure what that was all about. I kicked him out a couple of hours later - we didn't really want to leave him in the house on his own & I was having major chocolate cravings after spending another whole day in the library. So Co-Op it was, for what turned out to be a bargain chocolate fix - gotta love the reduced section! Combined with chocolate milk it was definitely chocolate overload, but so, so good. 

Do you have over-friendly neighbourhood animals? 


27 November 2012

R's vegetable soup


Remember how I was craving 'winter food'? Turns out R had the same idea, so when he suggested making vegetable soup for dinner tonight I was 200% on board. We popped into the veg shop on our way home - we'd never been before and were completely blown away by how inexpensive everything was. All the ingredients for this soup cost us just over £2!! So, so good. We'll definitely be making that a part of our routine! It's nice to support independent local businesses as well, especially when they help us save money on our food bill!

R served it with cheese on toast - I've never eaten soup with cheese on toast before, but it was absolutely gorgeous. A new favourite combination. We'll probably we eating it for the next few days - but I really, really don't mind. Soup is definitely going to be made a bit more often in this house!

For those of you who are interested - R just chopped all the veg & put it in a saucepan with the stock. He left it on for about 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour & then blended it. We would have added herbs... but we didn't have any!

Ingredients

3 parsnips
4 carrots
3 cloves of garlic
2 potatoes
1 leek
3 stock cubes
Cornflour
Salt & pepper to taste

Do you have a favourite soup recipe? I'd LOVE to try it out, please share!! 

25 November 2012

happening here #9


I've come to treasure my weekends these past few weeks. Slow mornings when getting out of bed isn't a priority, where breakfast isn't a rushed affair on my way out of the door. Afternoons where I can read blogs rather than research papers & busy my hands with craft projects rather than note-taking.

I spent Saturday catching up on some TV, Christmas shopping (online), sorting my room & crossing some things off my to-to list. Saturday evening was spent in the pub, catching up with friends, listening to live music & shooting tequila. This morning the weather was terrible, so I camped out in bed for a couple of hours before venturing downstairs to find some breakfast. Boiled eggs & chocolate milk are definitely the way forward. R and I were craving 'winter food' this evening so I cooked up a sausage casserole & it was exactly what I needed. There's nothing quite like 'proper' food when its dark outside & freezing.

How was your weekend? Any recipes you turn to when you want 'winter' food? I'd love to try them!
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