Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • A fan on a hot day
  • Dreams of swimming pools
  • Disco balls
  • Writing letters
  • Cool showers

See the whole list here

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear summer,

Thank you for making such a  heartfelt appearance this year. I always feel better when the days are long, the nights are warm and we can have as many BBQs as we can squeeze in to our weeks (side note: that’s a lot of BBQs just so you know).

I’ll be sad to see you go this year, you’ve been a good one.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Booking holidays
  • Beautiful books about your hometown
  • Tissue paper pom poms
  • Solar lights
  • Growing something from scratch

See the whole list here

30 for 30: Rules of Civility

Posted by in 30 for 30, Books, Projects

This post is an update on my 30 for 30 goal: Re-read 30 of My Favourite Books.

1. Rules of Civility – Amor Towles

Rating: 5 stars

Mini synopsis: Loves young dream, not meant to be. Glittering high life comes crashing down, yet 1930s New York remains fabulous.

Read it because: It transports you to a world of gin martinis, jazz club dances and sneaking into all manner of soirees.

My favourite quotes:

“Old times, as my father used to say: if you’re not careful, they’ll gut you like a fish.”

“It’s a bit of a cliche to refer to someone as a chameleon: a person who can change his colours from environment to environment. In fact, not one in a million can do that. But there are tens of thousands of butterflies: men and women like Eve with two dramatically different colourings – one which serves to attract and the other which serves to camouflage – and which can be switched at the instant with a flit of the wings.”

“How little imagination and courage we show in our hatred. If we earn 50 cents an hour, we admire the rich and pity the poor, and we reserve the full force of our venom for those who make a penny more or  a penny less.”

“As a quick aside, let me observe that in moments of high emotion – whether they’re triggered by anger or envy, humiliation or resentment – if the next thing you’re going to say makes you feel better, then it’s probably the wrong thing to say. This is one of the finer maxims that I’ve discovered in life. And you can have it, since it’s been of no use to me.”

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

I inadvertently took a little break from my Grace in Small Things list – not because I stopped noticing them but because I stopped making the time to note them down – oops. Back now!

  • Nectarines for breakfast
  • Dipping your feet in a paddling pool on a hot day
  • BBQs with friends
  • BBQs in general, in fact
  • Our favourite wedding mementos on permanent display

See the whole list here

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear IKEA,

Thank you for a) having a Cardiff store and b) selling hammocks. Even tho I didn’t buy my hammock from Cardiff (you were out of stock so we had to go to Bristol, a cunning ploy) I like that you’re close enough for us to furnish our little home one Lack shelf at a time.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

June Book Update

Posted by in Books, Projects

01. NEW Stephen King – The Colorado Kid
02. RR Enid Blyton – Claudine at St Clare’s
03. RR Enid Blyton – Fifth Formers at St Clare’s
04. NEW Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects
05. NEW Janet Evanovich – Wicked Appetite
06. NEW Pamela Ribon – You Take it From Here [30 for 30]

July was a better month, book wise. I managed to read a couple of books on my to-read list (altho it’s still at a silly 141!) and I actually enjoyed all the books I read – a rarity these days! The Colorado Kid was a departure from Traditional King but a great one nonetheless and Sharp Objects was a much more satisfying read than Gone Girl so I’d definitely recommend that if you were disappointed by Gillian Flynn’s latest offering. I wasn’t sure what to expect from You Take It From Here but Pamela Ribon has written books I’ve loved before so I was hoping for good things. It was…only okay, if I’m honest. I really wanted to love it but the main character drove me crazy.

I’ve started my 30 for 30 list now and on it is read 30 books I’ve been meaning to read and re-read 30 of my favourite books. I’ve read a few from these lists already in July so expect to see a few more of them popping up over the next few months :)

I’m still working my way through my read 1000 new books for my Life List, I started tracking those in 2011 and I’m up to 185.

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Christmas,

Thanks for being six months after my birthday – it’s nice to have a symmetrical chuck of time between receiving presents plus it means I get to have my birthday in the sun (sometimes, at least). I always appreciate you more by the time you roll around again because of it :)



See other Friday Thanks here (or here) or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

The Big Three Oh

Posted by in 30 for 30, A Little Conversation, Projects

Q & I on my 29th birthday, riding the carousel in Cardiff Bay during our engagement shoot (shot by Maria Farrelly)

It’s my 30th birthday today – hurrah! 30 is a traditionally funny time and I know a lot of people are / were bothered by it, but I’ve decided to just be delighted instead because that’s way more fun.

This mindset shift partly came about after my beautiful friend Lisa died in March this year at the heart-wrenching age of 33. I promised myself that I’d never again berate getting older, or moan about my birthday – instead I will celebrate this wonderful life I have and the endless opportunities for more joy. More! All of it, please. What else is there to life, really, when you think about it?

With that in mind (and because it’s what I do best) I wrote a list. A lot of people write ’30 before 30′ lists but last year was a busy one and by the time I got myself ready to think about it I only had 5 months of being 29 left. So instead I have decided to do a ’30 for 30′ list – 30 things to celebrate being 30 years old :) Here it is!

30 for 30

  1. Buy a hammock (I have wanted one for so long! Now we finally have a garden there’s nothing stopping me)
  2. Have a picnic in two Cardiff parks we’ve not visited before
  3. Learn how to make truffles
  4. Visit two new UK cities
  5. Play laser quest (I’ve never played and it looks like fun!)
  6. See a West End musical
  7. Leave 30 lovely notes for strangers
  8. Read 30 books I’ve always wanted to read
  9. Crochet a blanket for Arthur
  10. Give blood (twice if I can but at least once)
  11. Take a pole dancing lesson
  12. Throw a Life List party (Admit it, you want to come to this, right?)
  13. Re-read 30 of my favourite books
  14. Buy a set of personalised stationery
  15. Make an extra donation to Kiva
  16. Donate £100 to charity
  17. See two comedy shows
  18. Have another portrait shoot with Q
  19. See 30 films at the cinema
  20. Sponsor a child in a third world country
  21. Pay off one of my credit cards
  22. Pick 30 recipes for our family cookbook
  23. Learn how to replicate my favourite M&S salad (It has lentils and goat’s cheese and this wonderful mint dressing and I’d like to make it every day, please)
  24. Write 30 letters (hands up if you want one! :) )
  25. Buy prints from 10 of my favourite photographers
  26. Take my mum and sister for a spa day
  27. Shoot 12 rolls of 35mm film
  28. Upload a solo ukulele cover
  29. Go swimming 30 times (because I love it, not because I think I should!)
  30. Design and build my freelance portfolio website

Ta da! There’s quite a nice mix on there I think. Things for me, things for others, things to help improve myself and things to do for fun :) I’m looking forward to spending the year really focusing on the joy.

I’ll keep it updated over the course of the year – fingers crossed by this time next year they’ll be a big cross through all of them! :)

30 for 30: Read 30 Books I’ve Always Wanted To

Posted by in 30 for 30, Projects

I’m planning a 30 for 30 list (more on that later) and as part of it I’m going to try and read 30 books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to.

This list doesn’t include a lot of classics, even tho I haven’t read many of them, because I don’t really like the books traditionally labelled as classics. So fuck it, I’m going to read books mostly written in the last 10 years and I’m going to enjoy them (I hope) ;)

1. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
2. A Fraction of the Whole – Steve Toltz (recommended by Amy)
3. The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling
4. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
5. The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits – Emma Donoghue
6. Random Acts of Kindness – Danny Wallace
7. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
8. Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger
9. 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami


10. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
11. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith (recommended by Ellie)
12. The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes
13. Before I Die by Jenny Downham (recommended by Giles)
14. Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later – Francine Pascal
15. Our Tragic Universe – Scarlett Thomas
16. Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan – Bruce Feiler
17. Death: A Life – George Pendle
18. Ghostwritten – David Mitchell

19. Anne of Avonlea – L.M. Montgomery
20. Anne of the Island – L.M. Montgomery
21. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
22. The Radleys – Matt Haig
23. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) – Jenny Lawson
24. You Take it From Here – Pamela Ribon
25. Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell
26. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
27. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didon

28. ‘Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
29. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed
30. The Machine – James Smythe

If you’ve read any of them do let me know! :) I might swap some out of I find it really difficult to get hold of them, but I’m really hoping that by doing this I’ll be able to make a big dent in my ‘to read’ pile on Goodreads which is currently at a ridiculous 145. Oops.