Happy Blogiversawhatever

I've had this blog for FOUR YEARS, you guys. Four. Years. Note how I didn't say "I've been blogging for four years," because, well, I haven't exactly been churning out the posts of late, but still. If my dwindling annual post count is anything to go by, you can expect at least eight posts this year! Might even get up into double figures! Anything could happen!

Because anniversaries make me nostalgic, I've been reflecting a little bit on the highs and lows of these four years of blogging. There have been moments - when I redesigned the blog to include a portfolio (gag), or that time I ran A Practical Wedding, or when I blogged every day for a whole month - when it seemed anything was possible. I was like Miss Jamaica up there, all sparkly and fabulous and LOOK AT MY FUCKING GIANT FEATHERY HAT.

Other times, not so much. I've had to squeeze posts out, one sorry word at a time, between long bouts of silence. Every word tasted sour on my tongue. I found myself wondering why I was still doing this, who I was doing it for, whether I could make a graceful exit without anybody noticing. In short, everything that is going through Miss France's head in this picture.

I feel you, Miss France. Sometimes it seems like everyone else is wearing feathers and sparkles and there you are in your sad little mushroom hat and polyester bridal gown, and all you can do is put a bow on it and try not to focus too much on the fact that you're representing the nation that gave us Coco Chanel. Well, ok, I haven't experienced that exact situation, but I can tell from your terrifying stare that it's not good.

I think I'm at my happiest blogging somewhere in the middle. No pressure or expectations, but still writing enough to keep up a little bit of momentum. Queen of my own little universe, not trying to impress anyone but myself. Feathers and sparkles, but the understated kind.

Ladies and (who am I kidding) ladies, I give you Miss Malaysia. CLASSY AS BALLS. From now on, this blog will be the digital equivalent of... whatever this is.

Annnnnnd, since normal people seem to blog about normal life shit instead of weird Miss Universe blogging metaphors, I feel compelled to tell you that I'm going on a ski holiday tomorrow! With a baby! Because I'm crazy (but not as crazy as Miss France)!

Where are we going, I hear you ask?

"I'm NEUTRAL. Here's my flag. Deal with it."


Images of Miss Universe 2015 via Go Fug Yourself, whose commentary completely cracked me up. Highly recommend.


Never mind jumpers for dogs, how about a SNOOD for a BABY???

I mean, I've got one (Exhibit A), Smidgen's got one (Exhibit B), so it only seems right that Flora should have one too, no?

When I was wee my favourite thing to do, besides reading, was dressing my dolls up in different outfits and parading them about. It has only just occurred to me that I will spend the next 10 years, AT LEAST, picking outfits for my child. I'm not saying she's basically just a human doll, but I'm not not saying that...

Baby knit snood, £7.99, Zara. Money well spent, I think you'll agree.

All I want for Christmas

I saw this Christmas present formula on Pinterest somewhere and it immediately struck me as being so obviously brilliant (subject to the addition of a chocolate orange, of course). As we enter our first festive season with a wee one of our own, and attempt to resist the pressure to spend spend spend, this simple guide seems eminently sensible. Fin and I are going to have a go at sticking to it for each other and for Flora. As she gets bigger there will be a stocking from Santa, and I'm sure her doting aunties, uncles and grandparents will leave a toy or two under the tree, but it seems like a good place to start. We shall see.

Last year's gift guide was a big hit, mainly among the various relatives who are obliged to buy me presents, so in response to popular (okay, paternal) demand, here are some bits and bobs that I wouldn't mind finding under the tree this year.

It took me forever to come up with this list. After two months of living with a capsule wardrobe I've forgotten how to shop, and after four months of living with a demanding infant I don't want anything more than hours of uninterrupted sleep. However, I managed to force myself to think of some little treats that would make me happy, but that I can't justify buying for myself (this is my gift-giving sweet spot).

The final selection gives you an insight into my ideal activities for the next few weeks: sitting on the couch, wearing cosy slippers (1), luxuriating in the scent of a fancy Christmassy candle (4) and eating nibbles from a posh bowl (3) because everyone knows nibbles taste better from a posh bowl. If I'm not holding the baby for ten hours straight in an attempt to make her sleep (which is why I'll need some bronzer that makes me look less like a sleep-deprived corpse, 6), I'll be knitting myself yet another snood (5) or, more likely, writing the seven thousand thank you cards I have yet to write because I don't know where anyone lives, hence the need for an old school pen-and-paper address book (2).

The word "need" is subjective, obviously. These could quite easily fall under "wants," but I couldn't have a blank picture, so. We have a family trip to the mountains coming up in January (insert simultaneous "yay!" and "yikes!"), my ski goggles are falling to pieces and I'd love a decent pair (1). My winter pyjamas (which are also my autumn, spring and occasionally summer pyjamas) are similarly in quite an embarrassing state of disrepair, so some new cotton bottoms and feeding-friendly tops would be most welcome (2).

I adore Inaluxe prints, but our walls are already covered in pictures and they definitely don't count as a "need." A calendar (3), on the other hand, is fairly essential for making sure baby massage doesn't clash with baby swimming (what has happened to my liiiiife?). As for the toothbrush, well. Every year, my mum popped a toothbrush in our stockings, and it seems like a wise tradition to maintain, for reasons of nostalgia as well as dental hygiene. An electric one (4) would be nice, but if we're talking needs rather than wants, manpower is good enough for me.

It's at this point that I realise how many of the things in this year's post were also in last year's post. Mittens (1), a tartan scarf (2), Tocca Cleopatra (3). Oh well, try try again, eh? This jumper (4) may be the answer to my sequins conundrum: comfy, inexpensive, sparkly but not too "Christmas." Oh and Zoƫ Ball wore it on It Takes Two, which makes it a million times more desirable. Jewellery that is outside the reach of tiny grasping fingers is also high on my list; bonus points for matching my blog's colour scheme (5).

I love getting new books that I haven't heard of and I'm not fussy, so these are very much just an indication of where my brain is at, namely how not to ruin your child (1), broody Scottish murder mysteries (2), ambitious craft plans that I will probably never finish (3), NEW BOOK BY RAINBOW ROWELL! (4), NEW BOOK BY AMY POEHLER!!!!! (5), poems about dogs (6). Yup, that about sums it up.

Enough said.


And in non-canine fashion news

This is the first time in many years that I have no need of a sparkly new festive outfit, and I'm struggling to come to terms with it.

I absolutely love the first part of winter, when everything is anticipation. The first snow, Christmas, my birthday, maybe a ski holiday: my excitement for each milestone trembles in the air like an early frost, and clothes are a big part of it. Dusting off my winter coat, pulling cosy jumpers out of boxes like slightly bedraggled rabbits, slipping my hands into snug leather gloves, willing it to get cold. And above all, sequins and glitter.

Maybe it harks back to a wise man offering gold to a tiny baby, or maybe Marks and Spencer have just done a spectacular marketing job on me, but something about this time of year makes me yearn for magic and sparkle. A new dress for Christmas parties, nails painted dark, a sleek pair of heels that are entirely inappropriate for the climate. Is it really too much to ask?

This year, unfortunately, it is. I have no parties to go to - maternity leave has bumped me off the guest list for my work do, and most of my formerly party-loving friends are now boring baby drones too - and even if I did, I couldn't justify the expense (maternity leave has also bumped me off the payroll, or may as well have).

In fact, I'm not buying any new clothes, sparkly or otherwise, for a while. Inspired by Rebecca, I've jumped on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon. It's quite a crowded bandwagon, but we're all travelling light and in impeccable style.

Back at the beginning of October, I carried out an honest assessment of my lifestyle right now and the clothes that will realistically be useful and relevant at this stage in the game. In: jazzy leggings, non-grabbable jewellery, machine-washable knitwear. Out: sequins, statement heels, brushing my hair.

Despite the lack of glitter, I have secretly been enjoying the whole capsule wardrobe experiment. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is to select a limited number of pieces of clothing, shoes and outerwear and wear only these for an entire season (a season is three months, not that anyone's told the Scottish weather that). Then when the next season starts, you can mix up your selection, add new things, take some out, so that you don't get completely bored and want to set your wardrobe on fire. That's the theory, anyway. Blogs like Un-Fancy and Into Mind go into the whole thing in much more depth, if you feel like reading up.

I went into the experiment with three goals. 1) Wear clothes that I actually like instead of just whatever I happen to find in the back of a drawer. 2) Get dressed quickly in the morning without having to think about it. 3) Cut down on washing by wearing the same small selection over and over instead of just working my way down to the absolute dregs and letting everything pile up until I want to cry at the sight of my washing basket.

So far, I'd say I've been moderately successful in all three. When the next season rolls around (hello, January) I'll probably aim for a bit more variety, so that my outfits don't get too repetitive, but in general I've enjoyed getting dressed in the morning ten times more. The very fact that I've been getting dressed in the morning at all, despite having a reasonable chance of being dribbled on by a tiny person within ten minutes of getting up, probably says more than anything else.

All I need are some sparkly pyjamas, and I'll be all set.

Images: 1. Natasha Poly by Mario Testino for Vogue Paris October 2014, via Visual Optimism 2. Miranda Kerr for Marie Claire Australia October 2012


...why I shouldn't buy Smidgen this jumper for her birthday.

I mean, LOOK AT IT. And you know Smidgen would wear it better than some terrier.

Whatever, Buster. You're no sighthound, and you know it.

There are, actually, a few good reasons why I shouldn't buy Smidgen this jumper for her birthday. 1) It's £46. 2) It's £46. 3) She will almost definitely roll around in the rotting carcass of a seagull within minutes of putting it on. Even if we're inside. She ALWAYS FINDS A WAY. 4) It's £46.

But hey, a girl can dream. And anyway, it had been far too long since we had a dog wearing clothes around here.

Did anyone see any good doggy Halloween costumes this year? Remember these guys? Never not funny.


Smidgen's third birthday (in which she wears a hat)
Smidgen's fourth birthday plus a lot of random facts.

Images via Houndworthy

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