Thursday, 29 January 2015

Olivia Burton Wonderland Watch

An Olivia Burton watch is one of those things that I've wanted for a very, very long time (I'm not the only one with a mile-long wish list of gorgeous things that are way out of my budget, am I?). I have a silver watch with a white strap, but since I wear mostly black I really wanted one with a black strap. Last week I finally caved and bought one, with the excuse that it's a slightly belated birthday gift to myself (you only turn 20 once, after all!). I opted for the Wonderland design in black and gold, and I love it to bits. It's the perfect size, incredibly pretty and goes with everything. I'm in love.

Do you ever buy birthday gifts for yourself?

Love, Mimmi

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Happy Post #11

Today is pretty miserable here in Glasgow, with the weather being very grey, windy and rainy. However, that's a perfect excuse for staying in with a cup of tea and a good book, isn't it? And it's a very good reason to be positive, so this appreciative post feels pretty appropriate.

Lately, these things have brightened up my days:

Having a routine. Even though I loved having a few weeks off after Christmas, just relaxing and doing nothing, I was getting a tiny bit restless towards the end of my break. I actually quite enjoy having a routine. It makes me feel like I have a purpose with each day, and it makes me enjoy the weekend more.

The brief but lovely appearance of snow. I didn't think there'd be any snow in Glasgow, but we did have some for a few days, which made me really really happy. Snow just makes everything look so much brighter and prettier, doesn't it? That said, the incredibly icy pavements that came when the temperature fluctuated around zero degrees weren't that fun, but since this is a positivity post I won't dwell on that.

Bakery trips. This week I visited my favourite wee bakery two days in a row, which was definitely a bit indulgent, but sometimes you have to treat yourself (like when it's the middle of January and the weather is cold and grey). On Thursday, I had lunch with the English Lit girls (half a focaccia, half a mozzarella & veggie baguette, followed by half a white chocolate tart). Friday was my flatmate's birthday, which was obviously a perfect excuse to go again. This time I had a latte and an apple crumble tart. Bakery trips make me happy - it's that simple.

The unexpected magic that is cinnamon & paprika sweet potato wedges. I saw Sally mention them on twitter and was really intrigued, so a few days later (after finding a 1.25kg bag of sweet potatoes for £1 in Tesco - score!) I made them for the first time and oh my days, they were amazing. So good that I've had them twice this week...

Getting £10 to spend in Paperchase because it was my birthday earlier this month! Paperchase's Treat Me-card is no doubt the best rewards card ever. Not only do you get a free coffee every week from the Tinderbox coffee shop in their shop on Buchanan Street - you also get £10 every year on your birthday. How grand is that? It was a wee bit difficult picking something out, but in the end I decided on a pretty travel mug (perfect for those days in the library).

And lastly, here are a few blog posts that I've enjoyed lately:

Rachel's beautiful book nook.

This beautiful quote on Charlotte's blog.

Anya's beautiful poem, 'It's OK'.

Sarah's brilliant advise on photography.

Beccy's thoughts on the Page 3 controversy.

Jasmin's list of reasons why blogging makes you happy.

What has made you happy lately?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Winter Walks, Tea, Falafel & Mountains of Books

Last Saturday was deemed my pseudo-Birthday, since I had been home on my actual birthday, and me and my friends filled the day with various escapades. We started off by going to the cinema to see Into The Woods. I don't know what I expected, but it was definitely not like I thought it'd be. It was enjoyable, although very bizarre. 
When the movie had finished, we set off to find somewhere to have a cup of tea and something to eat. On the way we walked past the university, which was looking very beautiful on this icy cold day.

These are the lovely people I spent the day with (patiently posing for a photo in the freezing cold). <3

Finally, we reached Tchai-Ovna, a quirky wee tea shop in the West End of Glasgow. They had an insane amount of teas and after a good while of decision-making, I opted for a "strudel" tea, which definitely tasted like apples. I also shared a plate of falafel, hummus and pita with one of my friends. It was delicious.

Our toes and fingers thawed, and our stomachs filled with food and tea, we headed next doors to this wonderful second-hand bookshop, Voltaire & Rousseau. The shop was filled to the brim with books and the bookshelves were concealed by mountains of stacked books - everything from regular paperbacks to really old, beautiful books. This is where I found my poetry anthologies from my last post.

By the time we were finished in the bookshop we were once again freezing, so we headed straight back home. We abandoned all plans of going out again, and instead spent the evening watching Tangled in bed and eating scones and chocolate cake, which my friends had kindly baked for me. It was definitely a very good pseudo-Birthday.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Book Haul #2

Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Poems of Robert Browning
Poems of John Keats
Place de l'√Čtoile by Patrick Modiano
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Scottish Myths & Legends by Judy Hamilton
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I've managed to accumulate quite a few more books since my last book haul, which I thought I'd share with you. The three poem anthologies I got yesterday at an amazing second hand bookshop in the West End of Glasgow, called Voltaire and Rousseau (more on that another time!). The Brownings and Keats are among my favourite poets, and on seeing these gorgeous old anthologies, I couldn't resist buying them. All three of them together cost me £3.95! I got Place de l'√Čtoile as a birthday present from some family friends. It's by 2014's winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and looks like a very interesting wee book. The Handmaid's Tale is a book that I've wanted to read for a long time, as I've heard a lot of great things about it. When I found it for £2 in the university second hand bookshop, I just had to get it. The Other Typist and Scottish Myths & Legends were both birthday presents from two friends, and I can't wait until I have time to read them. Lastly, I got The Great Gatsby from one of my friends for Christmas. Gatsby is one of my favourite books ever and I had wanted that particular copy for a long time, which my friend remembered!

I also got The Ocean at the End of the Lane from one of my sisters for Christmas, but I left it behind in Sweden. Finally, I got the Harry Potter books in hardback in the Bloomsbury Signature edition from my mum for my birthday. As a massive potterhead, I'm ashamed to say that up until I got this box set, I didn't own the Harry Potter books. I used to read my sisters' or my friends' books, but now I have my very own gorgeous set of books. I wanted to bring the box set with me to Scotland, but due to it being really quite heavy, I had to leave it at home in Sweden... but hopefully I'll be able to bring it next time!

I am currently working my way through the assigned books for English and Scottish Literature, so I'll have to wait until I'm finished with those until I can read any of my new books. I'm currently reading Dickens's Great Expectations, which I'm definitely enjoying.

Have you bought any books recently?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Cupcakes and Catch-ups

A couple of days ago I met up with my friend Heather for the first time since before Christmas. With celebrating my birthday as an excuse, we decided to finally go to Cup to try out their cupcakes. Cup has two tearooms in Glasgow - one in the city centre, where I went with my mum back in September, and one in the West End, where Heather and I went. The West End one is much smaller and cosier than the one in the centre - perfect for catching up with a friend over some tea and cake.

As for the cupcakes, they were really tasty. I think cupcakes can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, but these were the perfect size and had a really good cake to frosting ratio. We decided to split two cupcakes between us and opted for one with a chocolate & peanut butter sponge, peanut butter frosting and a piece of snickers on top, and one with a chocolate sponge, chocolate frosting and a Ferrero Rocher on top. They were both really good, but we agreed that the snickers one was by far the best. I also had a cup of tablet flavoured black tea. Tablet is sort of a Scottish equivalent of fudge, and the tea was wonderfully caramel-y.

It was really lovely to see Heather again and great to finally try out the cupcakes. All in all a very good way to spend a Tuesday afternoon!

Are you a fan of cupcakes?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Happy Post #10

For lack of other fitting photos, here are two more wintery photos from Sweden. Although I'm happy to be back in Glasgow, I'd give anything to have some real winter in place of the crazy amount rain and wind we're having in Scotland right now.

Okay, first and foremost I want to apologise for my week long absence on here. After posting my New Year’s post I got a massive bloggers block. Thankfully I had already planned the Winter Walks post, but after that I had nothing. My brain was totally blank. I also felt really out of the loop with twitter and instagram for a good while, but now I’m slowly getting back into it. I thought I’d just ease back into blogging with a good old appreciative posts. It’s about time for one, too, as it has now been three weeks since the last one.

Lately, the following things have made me feel appreciative:

Having a wonderful Christmas break at home in Sweden with my family. I had such a relaxed, joyful and generally lovely time. I spent lots of time with my family, got to see one of my best friends over New Year’s, ate lots of good food and chocolate, got to enjoy snow and the crisp cold Swedish winter, and  just generally recharged my batteries. Bliss.

Receiving so many great presents for Christmas and for my birthday. I feel really quite spoiled! I’m thinking of doing a “what I got for Christmas/my Birthday” type of post soon, so keep an eye out for that :)

My amazing new headphones and the massive sound difference they give. I have no idea how I survived with my teeny iPhone ones before getting these! Music sounds ten times better with my new ones.

Getting to read novels for university. This is the reason I’m studying English Literature. It’s such a joy getting to read lots of classics and interesting novels (well, most of them are, anyway) as a part of my degree. Seriously, I just really love books.

Your lovely comments on my last post! I'm still an amateur photographer and I know I've got a lot to learn, but getting all those amazingly kind comments made me really happy. Thank you, all you lovely people!

Deciding to try out swimming. I went swimming this morning and really enjoyed it. It's really refreshing while still being tiring. I definitely think I'll keep doing it.

Blog posts I've enjoyed recently:

Evelin's photo diary from Stockholm.

My friend's stunning night sky photos.

Katy's list of 10 Good Things About 2014.

Rosie's (from Cider With Rosie) only resolution of the year.

Rosie's (from A Rosie Outlook) lovely poem.

Sam's engagement post (and her beautiful ring!).

That's that! How have you been lately?

Love, Mimmi

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Forest Walks

Up until the new year, the weather here in Sweden was really wintery and lovely. There was snow on the ground (not that much, but still) and it was chilly and sunny. Perfect weather for a refreshing winter walk. One day when I went on a walk with my dog, I brought the camera with me and took a few photos. I thought I'd share a few of them with you.

How has the weather been where you are? Have you gone on any nice walks?

Love, Mimmi

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bye 2014, Hello 2015 & Hello 20-Year-Old Me

The Seine in January / Paris in February / My mum and sister in Paris in March / Tulips in April / Lilacs in May / Berlin in June / Out on the lake in July / My sister and I in our Hogwarts uniforms (nerds, hehe) in August / University of Glasgow in September / Halloween with the girls in October / Ashton Lane in November / Christmas selfie a week ago.

So there goes 2014, and now we’re in 2015! My birthday is on the 2nd of January, so the new year has always arrived almost at the same time as I turn a year older. A new year for everyone, a new year for me. Two new starts at the same time. Funnily enough, I’ve never really been very bothered by the new year. After celebrating Christmas, New Year’s Eve just seems like it’s trying to hard, and I’m not that big on celebrating my birthday either. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind either of the days, but they don’t make me nearly as excited as Christmas. Plus, I’ve always been rubbish at looking back at the old year and making resolutions. Today I thought I’d try, and bring out the sentimentality in me.

Bye, 2014

Last year started out so-so. I had spent Christmas and New Year’s at home, and on the 4th I went back to Paris, where I had been studying French for the past few months. I stayed there until mid-March, and I remember feeling very lonely and homesick. I love Paris as a city, but for many reasons I didn’t enjoy my time there. It just wasn’t my thing. I left Paris with a smile, however, after having a lovely week of touristing with my sister and my mum.

I then spent six months in Sweden, waiting for September to arrive. I desperately wanted a job but only managed to get three weeks worth during July, so most of this time was spent doing nothing. Those six months weren't terrible, but looking back at them now I can see how unhappy I was. Being idle made me feel worthless, and gave me too much time to brood. There were lots of nice moments too, though. Like when my mum and one of my sisters went to Berlin in June, and in August when my other sister from Japan came home to visit for a month, making that month much more eventful and fun. 

I started being really, really nervous about moving to Scotland, but I knew I'd never forgive myself if I didn't try. So in September I moved to Glasgow, which was initially really scary but turned out to be  (probably) the best thing I’ve done. I love the country, the city, the university, my degree and most importantly the friends I’ve found. I feel like I’ve ended up in the right place. 

I've learnt that life is full of up and downs, that it's okay to not succeed in all your endeavours, that it's okay to be scared but also that it's important to be brave. Goodbye 2014. You weren’t perfect. You were actually pretty shitty at times. But you weren’t terrible, and in the end you made up for it. See you on the flip side.

Hello, 2015 & Hello, 20-year-old me

I’m not going to make any strict resolutions, as those only stress me out. I do have a few aims with the new year, though. In the coming year, I want to…

…become better at photographing, and learn how to do everything manually. I’ve dipped my toes into manual photographing, but most of it just really confuses me. I know that doing it manually is key to improving as a photographer, so I really want to get to know my camera better.

...lead a healthier lifestyle. I'm not going to completely cut out chocolate or got to the gym five times a week, but I do want to be a bit more active and eat less crap (this mostly applies to the many chocolate digestives I eat on a daily basis, haha). We'll see how it goes!

…grow as a person and be happier in myself. Looking back at my teenage years, I know that I’ve come far with this, but I know I can go even further. I’m entering into my twenties now (scary thought!) and I want to do that as the best version of me.

…be kinder, more accepting and generous. This is closely linked to being the best version of me, but I thought it deserved its own point. I’d like to think I’m a good person, but I know I can always be better, and I want to be that.

…just enjoy my time at university, enjoy life and have a good time. It’s as simple as that!

How was your 2014? Are you looking forward to the new year?

Love, Mimmi.