Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Cineworld Unlimited Card,

Thank you for making it so easy for us to indulge our love of film. It’s a fun challenge trying to make the most of our subscriptions, and the escape into a different world for an hour or two is always a welcome distraction.



See the full list here.

31 for 31: Donate to 31 Charities

Posted by in 31 for 31, Projects

Done! :) This was a fun one to tick off, actually. I didn’t necessarily donate a lot to each one, but that wasn’t really the point of the exercise, more that I wanted to be mindful of opportunities to donate to charity and try and spread the love a bit further! I don’t know how to write this without sounding a bit preachy so let me preface with an excellent quote from the wonderful Amy Poehler:

Which essentially means: I’m happy that worked for you, but I don’t want to do it. We’re not all the same and what I do isn’t necessarily something that I think all people should do. You do you, kids. End of disclaimer!

I’m a fortunate, privileged person, something I am becoming more aware of. I have a roof over my head, I can pay my bills and most months I have money left over at the end to do what I want with. I live in a country with running water, electricity and free healthcare, I can vote without fear and I have a great deal of autonomy when it comes to my life. I am so privileged, in fact, that I am able to forget my privileges often. They’re not things I have to think about – because I have them.

The world is a funny old place and the more I read and hear about the rest of it the more I realise that I should be doing more to help, for the simple reason that I’m in a position to. Part of this realisation has come from the books I’ve been reading lately. Currently it’s Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and recently it was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please – both food for thought type books. I’d recommend them! :)

So. I feel like giving to charity is a happy way for me to be able to share my fortune with others who are struggling or who don’t have the same privileges that I do. I added this goal to my 31 for 31 this year and you know what? It made me feel good, so I’m going to carry on doing it. So that’s nice too.

31 Charities

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Bluestone Foundation
  3. Oxfam
  4. Plan UK
  5. Tenovus
  6. Woodgreen
  7. Wateraid
  8. Cancer Research UK
  9. Trinity Hospice
  10. Royal Marsden Hospital
  11. Kidney Cancer UK
  12. Child’s i
  13. Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
  14. Sense
  15. Unicef
  16. Ferguson Municipal Public Library District
  17. Age UK
  18. NSPCC
  19. Kiva
  20. Wikipedia
  21. Marie Curie via Swimathon
  22. Comic Relief
  23. The Big Issue
  24. Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital
  25. RSPB
  26. The Research Institute for the Care of Older People
  27. IKEA Woodland Trust
  28. National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
  29. Macmillan
  30. Save the Children
  31. Huggard Centre

Things I learnt:

  • If you let me donate via Paypal on your website I’m 100% more likely to do it. I never seem to have my debit card near me and it was an extra step of faff to donate that way.
  • Places like eBay, IKEA, Bluestone and TK Maxx asked if I wanted to donate to charities while I made my purchases – this was a great way for me donate that took zero time and effort. More of this please.
  • People tend to fundraise for the same big charities. Great news for them, but I did also try to seek out some of the smaller ones that might not be getting as much attention.
  • If a friend specifically asks me to donate, I probably will. Take note, chums ;)

Pay it Forward: She Cooks, She Eats

Posted by in Paying it Forward

Pay it Forward is a blog series where I pay forward the love to one of my favourite blogs. So far, we’ve featured Maggie, Daniel, DianneAmber and Allie! This week, it’s the turn of Amy from She Cooks, She Eats.

Who: Amy!

eric likes to wave :D

Here’s me, Amy and Eric in Birmingham in 2011. Panda!


Where: www.shecookssheeats.co.uk

Why: Amy’s enthusiasm for cooking is infectious. I mean, if you like food, you will like her blog – it’s just a given. There’s a real lack of pretension with SCSE and I enjoy that. I don’t need to buy 17 different spices before attempting one of Amy’s recipes or learn how to debone a quail. I mean, I love cooking but mostly because I love eating, so anything that gets the food to my mouth faster with less fuss is fine by me ;)

I’ve known Amy for a long time. We met on Flickr eons ago and have remained internet pals ever since. When our orbits align we meet in person and she’s just as charming, witty and lovely as she is on her blog. She also got married this weekend and I’m so pleased for her and her new husband Garry – I can’t imagine a finer match for each other. Congrats, you guys! :)

My favourite recipes:

Cheesy leek toasts

“Leeks are probably my favourite vegetable — I think it’s because I’m Welsh. I’ve got to like them, it’s patriotic.”

Welsh Cakes

“This is my Mam’s recipe, by the way. I’ve not shared it with you for so long because I feel almost like it’s a secret to take with me to the grave, but it’s time. It’s time.”

Daim Bar Tarts

“These are intensely sugar and delicious and calorie laden, I’m afraid. But they’re also moreish and comforting and creamy and buttery, so I’ll let them off.”

Chorizo Cheesy Beans on Toast

“I wish I was a better cook. I wish I was a cook steered by taste and texture and delicacies and thought processes and due care and attention. I’m not. I’m driven by greed and the recipes I create are thought up when I’m idly wondering what to have for tea on the tube home.”

Ham & Asparagus Toad in the Hole

“This is a ham and asparagus toad in the hole. If you like, a grown up version of toad in the hole. One you could serve when you’ve got people you want to impress coming over.”

You can also follow Amy on Twitter, if that’s your thing.

If you’ve got suggestions of people that you think I’ll love please let me know, I’m always looking for new blogs to follow! :)

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Cracking your knuckles
  • Bookmarks
  • Sports bras
  • Heart shaped stickers
  • Flip-flops

See some more of my favourite Grace in Small Things

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear knitting,

Thank you for being something that I can pick up again after 5 years of inactivity and still know roughly what I’m doing. It’s nice to know that not all skills lapse completely if you take a break.



See the full list here.

Pay it Forward: Be Up & Doing

Posted by in Paying it Forward

Pay it Forward is a blog series where I pay forward the love to one of my favourite blogs. So far, we’ve featured Maggie, Daniel, Dianne and Amber! This week, it’s the turn of Allie from Be Up & Doing.

Who: Allie!

Where: blog.allisonlehman.com

Why: Allie’s blog is beautiful. It’s actually one of the few sites that I click through when I read my Feedly list, because her site is just so damned good looking. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a designer, of course. She’s also an experimenter, a thinker and a do-er, my favourite combo! I love her blog, it’s full of practical advice and tips while also serving up a side of wanderlust and inspiration.

If you like sassy, in-charge women then Allie is the girl for you. She’s ace.

My favourite posts:

How I simplified my wardrobe

“I’ve been referencing my wardrobe simplification for a couple months and I’m excited to finally share how I approached the whole process! While I’m still not 100% there yet – I’ve made huge changes and am proud of myself for getting rid of so much JUNK.”

On making yourself better

“Busy shouldn’t be glorified. 80-100 hour work weeks is embarrassing. Being unorganized + chaotic steps from a deeper issue.”

You can get ahold of me…

” “Oh wow, I’m so popular,” I’ll think to myself. But seriously I’ll pause whatever I was sketching or writing to tend to these messages. After fifteen minutes, I’ll have handled everything. I look back up and they’ve all replenished (because, go figure, people respond) and I’ll cry a little on the inside. Because I’m so distracted, I’ll get on Twitter or start online shipping.


Early mornings

A lot of times we’re constantly told that we need to wake up, meditate without falling asleep and then BECOME PRODUCTIVE ASAP!

For those of you who know me at all, you know that I’m a night owl. For about a decade I’ve been staying up until 2-3am and then allowing myself a semi/decent night’s sleep. If you’re at all living in the professional world, you know that waking up at 10 or 11am doesn’t really cut it. By then, the entire world has been chugging along for quite some time. You wake up to an ungodly amount of emails, you feel behind and you begin your day feeling rushed.

A heart full of sun

I’ve discovered that I hate shivering when I get out of the shower and I don’t particularly love the drafts coming through the cracks in my door when it’s -8 degrees. I never want to leave the house and I just eat french fries to ease the pain. I

You can also follow Allie on Twitter & Instagram, if that’s your thing.

If you’ve got suggestions of people that you think I’ll love please let me know, I’m always looking for new blogs to follow! :)

Life List: Win a Game of Chess

Posted by in My Life In Lists, Projects

Check! (Little chess pun for you there. Ba-dom-cha.)

Q & I playing chess, on our bed, using a laptop as a tray. #classy

Technically neither of us noticed Q’s king sitting all exposed and in danger, so I did kind of swoop in and win without putting him in check first. We looked up the rules (he insisted ;) ) and it turns out saying check is a courtesy but not a requirement, so I’m going to class this one as complete! Ha.

It’d be nice to win a game that wasn’t a total fluke, of course. I’ll keep trying. Anyone want to play?

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Pens that write in different colours
  • Flat pack furniture
  • Learning new skills
  • Old photo albums
  • Gentle comedy

See the whole list here

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear bookclub,

Thank you for encouraging me to read books I would never ordinarily pick up, and for giving me a platform to air my opinion when they are bad. Not every book can be great, but you can usually have a great discussion anyway, right? ;)



See the full list here.

Pay it Forward: Manhattan Nest

Posted by in Paying it Forward

Who: Daniel!

Where: manhattan-nest.com

Why: Daniel is a badass. His writing is the right blend of funny but also informative and no matter what he’s talking about (pantries! sinks! baths people died in!) he’s never dull. He doesn’t shy away from the realities of making over a new house, or how difficult and heartbreaking it can be at times, and yet his posts are still chock full of humour and valuable information – it’s impressive and it makes me want to move to America so we can be chums.

Also, his dogs are adorable, his taste is impeccable and I enjoy living vicariously through his DIY since I’m never likely to try most of this stuff in my own house ;)

If you’re into DIY, home renovation and/or snarky commentary then I’m pretty sure Daniel is one of your tribe. Go. Subscribe.

My favourite posts:

Blogger Special: I Built a Bench!

“…Obviously there are degrees of blogger-ness, and I’ll leave it to you to create your own scale. Like, to me, if a project involves washi tape it’s Very Blogger and might score a high 6 or 7. But put that washi tape in a chevron pattern and that’s a 10 out of 10 right there. Super Duper Blogger.”

 The Apartment, After 2 Years of Living: The Living Room

“So that’s pretty much where things stand. Chaos. Confusion. Too many things. It makes me feel so ALIVE.”

The Kitchen: The Big Reveal!

“…this kitchen was probably a huge blessing that got us a great house for way below market value. Thanks, janky kitchen. I owe you one.”

New Faucet!

“I’M SO SORRY FOR BRINGING THIS PICTURE INTO THIS. By far the worst part of the whole process was taking out the old faucet to discover this broken down nasty crusty-ass mess under it. I think it’s old decomposed rubber? And mold? It easily scraped off and I was able to completely clean the stainless steel underneath back to shiny stainless glory, but still, I am scarred by this sight. And now you are, too!”

Hunting Radiators

“BAM. I know, you don’t have to tell me how hip and with it I am. I was even a little excited about the new fancy forced air system that this house would have because, for some extra cash, it could also be an A/C system! AIR. CONDITIONING. In an old house. This place was basically shaping up to be a fucking SPA.

So that was the plan. Now you know.”

You can also follow Daniel on Twitter & Instagram if that’s your thing.

If you’ve got suggestions of people that you think I’ll love please let me know, I’m always looking for new blogs to follow! :)