Monday, 31 October 2016

Autumn Walking

I think autumn might be my favourite season.

Don't get me wrong, I love a long summer's day, warm sunshine and not carrying a coat - but there's jut something rather lovely about crisp evenings, wrapping up warm and an excuse for all the tasty autumn food.

It felt like we clung on to summer for a long while this year but the seasons did eventually tick over and autumn has arrived in all it's beauty.

Now I hate wasting a good day off. And although doing the laundry and mending a broken shower head was a pretty satisfying Sunday morning, it wasn't exactly all that fun. I couldn't ignore the bright sunshine streaming through the windows, so I packed my camera and set out for a solo stroll along the river. 

I'm loving my new location and the fact that it's so easy to wander down to the riverside footpath for an adventure. 

Having grown up in London, I always used to associate the River Thames with the city centre - a section that's bustling and beautiful in its own way, but worlds away from the peaceful setting it courses through further out west.

Red berries besides River Thames

I was not the only person out walking that afternoon - plenty of people were enjoying the scenery on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. 

Fresh air, autumn colours, a gentle breeze and sparkling sunshine. Autumn, you're pretty wonderful.

River Thames in October


Friday, 28 October 2016

Post Night Shift Self Care

It's already been a week since I finished my first full week of night shifts at the hospital. I've successfully gotten back into a normal daytime routine and I'm enjoying actually seeing some daylight again rather than forcing myself to sleep through it!

The nights themselves weren't too bad - we had a good team of people on and we were able to work steadily through the night seeing the patients referred to us by A&E. Nevertheless, I was very pleased when the sun came up on Friday morning and the clock ticked round to 8.30am... all that was left to do was present the patients to the consultant and then head home!

I felt that I deserved a bit of a post-nights treat so, after a four-hour recovery nap, I headed out to the shops for a few goodies :)

First things first. Fresh flowers. A bunch of autumnal blooms as a congratulations to myself! Fresh flowers in the flat always make me feel like I've got my life together - which is definitely the feeling you want to instill after having turned your life upside down for a week...

I spent the day  just relaxing, listening to the radio with some scented candles and enjoying my favourite Dutch Shortcake biscuits. 

And then to really feel revived and recovered, I bought a handful of face masks and tried out the 7th Heaven Tea Tree mask which promised to refresh tired skin - exactly what I was in need of. 

If I thought transition in to night shifts was hard, coming out of them again was something else! I'm hoping that with experience, it'll start to get easier - but making the effort to do nice things for myself definitely helped a lot.

How do you recover after a busy week at work, or a run of night shifts?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Little Things I've Loved This Week #37

Well this has been rather an unusual week indeed! I worked my first week of night shifts, so it's been somewhat all over the place the last seven days. They went far better than I expected, although I'm very glad to be done with night-shifts for a while - staying up all night does not come naturally to me at all! Day or night though, here are the little things I've loved this week...

1. Half-price flowers in M&S. They were reduced as they'd reached their sell-by date, but were still looking in perfect condition. I said in my bedroom tour post that I've been sticking to false flowers recently, but this was a bargain too good to pass up.

2. The little boy in the supermarket who gave me a massive grin and an enthusiastic wave on Friday morning. What a cutie.

3. Toasted homemade bread. To save mealtime confusion while working nights, I decided just to make pretty much every meal breakfast. Think beans on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, poached eggs and avocado on toast... All made just that little bit better by having thick slices of chewy, buttery homemade bread that is so much more flavoursome than sliced shop-bought loaves!

4. Heading down to the docks at Southampton with my sister, admiring the boats - big and small!

5. Rewatching Downton Abbey from the beginning. All the series are on Amazon Prime and I had forgotten just HOW GOOD it is! I'm not a huge TV series watcher, and this is one of the very few series that I actually can't wait to watch the next episode of.

6. Watching as it gets light outside, knowing it means my shift is coming to an end. There was something pretty nice about knowing I'd managed to work through another entire night and that it would only be a few more hours until I could go home!

7. Crisp autumn walks along the river this afternoon. I packed my camera and set out for a stroll along the Thames, capturing the beautiful autumnal scenery in the afternoon sunshine. Blue skies, red leaves and sparkling water - idyllic :)

Hope that you've all had a lovely week!



Sunday, 16 October 2016

Little Things I've Loved This Week #36

I'm writing this feeling ever so lazy still sat in bed on a Sunday morning! (Ok, I have already gotten up and put a wash on because the guilt was too much.) I'm preparing for night shifts next week, so today's a day for a lazy morning, as late a night as I can manage and then hopefully getting some sleep during the day tomorrow before working the night. Anyway, that's next week. Here are the little things I've loved from this week:

A Saffy-style welcome home. I went home on Saturday to go for lunch with my mum and of course to see my beautiful little terrier, Saffy. They always say dogs give the best welcome and it's so true. Saffy's getting to be more of a "mature lady" in age nowadays, but there's still something so puppy-ish about her whirling tail and flying paws as she hurries to say hello when I'm back!

A live orchestral performance. One of my closest friends plays in an orchestra and she invited me down to Paddington for their autumn concert this weekend. They played some of my absolute favourite classical music - The Nutcracker Suite - which never fails to make me smile. There's something so enthralling about being up close to an orchestra and seeing how every sound you hear is coming from the people and instruments in front of you!

The patient who, upon me asking how she was that morning, replied "all the better for seeing you!". I know I shouldn't have favourite patients, but she's working her way towards it!

Matchmakers. They were on sale in Tesco and I may have bought myself a box. Or two. 

Being able to fill my fridge with fresh food. Basically, I'd had a faulty fridge since moving in to my flat and finally it got replaced the other week. Since then, I've been loving being able to buy lots of fruit and vegetables without worrying about them going off. It's also meant I can prepare my lunches for the week! (I've also been enjoying the ability to have fridge cold chocolate too...)

Jadu Tea's Spa Afternoon loose leaf tea*. This was sent to me a while ago and I've only just gotten around to trying this particular one. It's minty and refreshing and I have been enjoying it by the potful, sipping it from my beautiful Bombay Duck tea cups. It's a beautiful blend of spearmint, Chinese Oolong tea and nettle, dandelion, burdock and milk thistle. 

What have you been up to this week?

Monday, 10 October 2016

A Bedroom Tour

You know how ages ago I promised a tour of my new bedroom?!

Well, finally, I've gotten round to doing it! I moved into a new flat back at the end of July so maybe it's not such a new bedroom anymore, but better late then never :)

Pink and grey bedroom
When I moved, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go for a new style with my bedroom. I spent a lot of time searching for inspiration on Pinterest and blogs - making it only fair to share some photos of my own finished room. 

The room was pretty much a blank canvas when I arrived - all white furniture and walls just waiting for an injection of colour. 

White bedroom
I really loved the idea of a sophisticated pink and grey room and set about most my favourite activity in the world - homeware shopping!

At the age of twenty-three, I think I can finally trust myself not to destroy white bedding and so opted for a simple waffle-patterned set from John Lewis that would be the perfect base for adding blankets and cushions to.

Pink satin cushion on white bedding
Many, many hours of my life have now been spent in Home Sense which is where I found a beautiful soft, grey blanket that's ideal for breaking up the 'whiteness' of the bed - and is wonderfully cozy now that it's starting to get a little cooler!

Pink and grey cushions on bed

Finding pink cushions turned out to be a much harder mission than I anticipated, but I eventually tracked down a couple of bright pink ones in Tesco and a lighter, satin-textured round one in M&S. The grey cushions were also an M&S find.

Pink and grey cushions on bed

I knew I wanted some flowers to brighten up the room, but despite loving fresh flowers I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain them and so opted for some fakes instead (shh!). These beautiful pink peonies came from Hobbycraft, and fit perfectly into the vase supplied by my landlady.

Fake pink peonies
Pink peonies, candle and photo frame on bedside tableFake pink peonies in white vase
 I love having a dressing table, but easily fall into the habit of having everything out all the time! I've tried to be tidy with it this time and only have out brushes and some moisturisers, while all my make up is stored in the drawer below. Keeping it as clutter free as possible means there's space for a few scented candles which I light in the evenings when I'm winding down for bed.

Brushes and make up on white dressing table
 Scented candles on dressing table

Lake Sunset Yankee Candle jar

I've also freed up some dressing table space by storing all my haircare things in this wicker basket from Dunelm. No more tangled hairdryer wires!

Wicker basket with magazines
Pile of magazines
 My bedroom is easily my favourite part of the flat and as my bed is a million times more comfortable than the sofa, I spend a lot of time sitting in here! There's still more I'd like to do with it, like maybe getting some fairy lights to wrap along the bed, and I'd love to be able to change up the questionable canvasses that were here when I moved in. (Not pictured here, but for some reason they thought a photo of a creepy forest opposite the bed would be just the thing to fall asleep to...). If it was my own property, I'd probably also swap the blinds for something a little more stylish, but I guess I can't have everything!

Pink, white and grey bedroom

I'd love to know what you think of the room. And if you've got a room tour post, pleaseeeeee  leave me a link because I'm really nosey :)

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