- Crunching through leaves
- Salted caramel candles
- Bright red lipstick
- Cwtches from #ChongCat
- Movie marathons at the cinema
See the whole list here
Thanks for constantly challenging me. Sometimes the first impression you give is that you’re a bit of a jerk, but the more I get to know you the more I like you. Thanks for encouraging me to give second chances.
Peris & Corr are a Welsh Etsy shop, which I like because I live in Wales (which means I’m definitely not going to have to pay through the nose for shipping, hurrah!). It’s also cute because it has a few Welsh language items, which I think is nice. You don’t see it that often on Etsy, but I think that’ll change as the language continues to grow. I actually bought Q one of the Welsh Ideas Notebooks since he’s trying to re-teach himself! :)
They’re known for their screen printing and textiles, and always have something new in stock whenever I check in. They’ve got all their Christmas items in at the moment, super cute!
Side note: if anyone wants to buy me one of those cushions, I wouldn’t say no.
As always, this isn’t a sponsored post – I just like the shop! :)
01. RR Philip Pullman – The Amber Spyglass [30 for 30]
02. RR Maggie O’Farrell – The Hand That First Held Mine [30 for 30]
03. NEW David Mitchell – Ghostwritten [30 for 30]
04. RR Stephen King – Duma Key [30 for 30]
05. NEW Zadie Smith – NW [book club]
06. NEW John Green – The Fault In Our Stars [30 for 30]
07. RR Joe Dunthorne – Submarine [30 for 30]
08. NEW Scarlett Thomas – Our Tragic Universe [30 for 30]
09. RR Arthur Golden – Memoirs of a Geisha [30 for 30]
Oof, October felt like a short month. I started a lot of books but didn’t finish them, oops. I’ve mostly been plugging away at my 30 for 30 books, and am pretty close to finishing my lists. I think I should have one of them done by Christmas, certainly by the end of January they’ll be done and dusted. I have 13 books left to read from the two lists combined, which is fun. I’ve read so much since my birthday!
This month was a bit of a mixed bag – the re-reads were, as always, enjoyable – I don’t think I’ve adjusted any of the ratings that I gave originally, which is nice. It’s comforting to know that the books that I loved continue to stand up against a second read.
Ghostwritten was a little odd but I liked it (altho I do think the very, very last chapter was perhaps a bit out of place, but hey, what do I know, I’ve never written a book). Our Tragic Universe was my least favourite of the Scarlett Thomas book’s I’ve read so far – the ‘storyless story’ perhaps a genre that I’m not destined to enjoy. NW was a book club pick but not a stand out one for me to be honest. A little bland, a little “what’s the point?”. I know people rave about Zadie but I’m not sure if I’ll ever love her books.
The stand out for me this month was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green which was beautiful, funny and so, so readable. I devoured it in a day and a half and was sad for it to be over – always the best kind of book in my opinion.
Want to see all the books I’ve read this year? I’m currently up to 99!
I downloaded a cute app recently, called Balanced (which is currently free, whoop!) that tries to help you keep track of the little things you keep meaning to do but…don’t. It’s fairly versatile, which I like. I have things like drink water once a day, write a blog post once a week and swim twice a month, but you can put anything you like at whatever frequency you want.
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and it’s definitely helping me to remember things, which is nice! For example: I know I should be drinking more water during the day but I always forget. Now Balanced pops up with a reminder to do it and marks you as late if you don’t – which I hate. Voila, I’m now drinking more water.
With that in mind, one of the things on my ‘balanced’ list is to “set goals” once a month, so I’m going to try setting some easy, sustainable goals to try and move myself more towards the intentional life I’d like to be living.
5 Goals for November
Yes, they might seem easy. That’s sort of the whole point. I want to be mindful, not a marathon runner. I know that I do little to no exercise at the moment, but I don’t think the way to change that is to pretend that I’m suddenly going to start going to the gym every day ;)
Instead I’m going to start small and hopefully build myself up to something bigger. Blah blah, yawn yawn. It’s nothing new but something is better than nothing – right?
Let’s see how I do!
If you want to know more about the app the website is here. I’m not sure if it’s available on Android, but it’s definitely available on iOS :)
Not a sponsored post – I just like the app a lot!
(Alternatively titled: Boom, I’m A Freelancer Now.)
I sort of fell into freelance work. Most of my adult working life was spent sitting in an office, typing things or making spreadsheets or re-arranging meetings for people earning more money than me. I was good at admin, but it didn’t exactly make my heart sing. I could only find temp jobs when I moved to Cardiff originally and the lack of a permanent, stable job did make the move into freelance easier, but it wasn’t a conscious decision until I’d actually already been doing it for about six months. Whoops.
I taught myself how to code when I was a teenager and I’ve loved the web ever since. A friend offered me a job in a small company (Hi, Rob) then someone else offered me some hours and a few more people came to me when they needed some web things doing. So now I work as a freelancer and split my time between a few awesome companies. I mostly write blog posts, noodle about on various social media outlets, market products, sometimes I review cameras and occasionally I’ll create some graphics for a site. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a pretty fun life. I am grateful, I promise.
The most fun bit of my job is the work I do for Cwtch the Bride – a Welsh wedding blog which was set up by our wedding photographer in February of this year. (You can see all the posts I wrote about our wedding here if you’re bothered.) I’ve written over 100 posts for Cwtch (which is kind of crazy when you think about it) so I thought I’d share some of my favourites in case any of you are getting married soon and need some advice :)
Also, it’s nice to be proud of your work and my freelance portfolio is still being created (in the same way they the photographer is never in the photos, the freelancer never writes posts for their own blog, it would seem).
In no particular order:
If nothing else, this should teach you that I like to use colons in blog post titles, apparently.
I’ve also recently written a couple of posts for Hayley (of #TeamMASH fame)’s new website for blogging beginners: Bonjour Blogger. If you’re new to blogging I urge you to check it out, there’s some good stuff there! :)
My god that’s a lot of links in one post, isn’t it. Go forth, click, be merry.
One of the items on my Life List is make at least one meal from 25 different cuisines. I’m currently up to 20, and I’m stuck. (That photo is our Laksa Lemak recipe – it’s delicious and has become a staple at Chez Chong over the years)
So far we’ve cooked:
Some of those cuisines we’ve embraced and now cook from regularly, which is fun. I have a list of cuisines I’d like to try, but I’m struggling to find traditional recipes for some of them, or recipes where I’d readily be able to access all the ingredients. Putting pineapple and coconut in something and calling it Carribean isn’t going to work here, I think.
These are the cuisines I’m considering but I’m happy to be given other options:
I suppose if I was being really lazy I could say that we already know how to cook English cuisine and probably something American but that feels like a bit of a cop out.
So! I’m turning to you. Do you have any tried and tested tasty recipes that I can borrow to help finish off my list? :)