It's a Small Screen World #1

Is it just me, or has the cinema really gone downhill in recent years? Every other showing is some kind of super-catgirl-flash-bat-joker and I just CAN'T DEAL WITH ANYMORE COMIC BOOK ADAPTATIONS. Batman should have ended with Christian Bale, there's only one Alfred and the one exception I may make is for little dancing twigs #IAmGroot. That being said, I still think Marvel and DC are the same things, so perhaps I do need more educating?

Or perhaps I just need to stick to the small screen, which seems to be the general consensus worldwide! I think shows like Game of Thrones, along with the rise of Netflix, have really transformed the way we view TV. You only have to look at the number of 'big stars' moving to the small screen - Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the amazing Big Little Lies, for example - to see that the balance has shifted. In ten years time, I can see the Emmys becoming more prestigious than the Oscars, especially following the Weinstein Scandal.

Another thing that has changed is the way we watch TV; aka, not on a TV! Regardless of whether I have a particular show I'm hooked on, I keep my Netflix Subscription each month and it's the gift that keeps on giving. Only last weekend we OFFLOADED OUR FRIENDS BOXSETS. It was a bit of a moment and mum kept saying "are you sure?!" But we simply don't need them. 2017 was also my year for discovering the really small screen: Youtube (yes, I was living under a rock).  Like Netflix, I can spend hours watching videos and often play them in the background as I write blog posts/ design prints for Etsy.

*Okay, so technically I'm listening and not watching... but you know what I mean.

That's not to say TV/Youtube is all golden. To be quite honest, I think you could do away with 99% of channels and Crap-Factor would still cling on for dear life (Like Marvel, Mr Cowell clearly missed the "quit milking-it" memo) But for every dozen TOWIEs there is MIC a Mother of Dragons, a Big Red Chair, an Attenborough... and so on that note, I fished around the small screen pond and have shared my current favourites below!

*A little disclaimer: this fishy analogy was, hand-on-heart, entirely coincidental.

       BLUE PLANET II      

Just in case you were living under my Youtube Rock, Sir David is back! I'll be honest, I did wonder whether anything could match Planet Earth II and its BAFTA-winning Iguana, but the first 3 episodes of Blue Planet II have been out-of-this-world; for real, I'm still in disbelief that the  filmed the underwater lake ON PLANET EARTH.

Then there are the moments that wouldn't have looked out of place on Game of Thrones! Mum genuinely hid behind a cushion when the Bobbit came on screen, while dad is convinced it's the new villain in Fantastic Beasts II... all I can say is, PROTECT THE NIFFLERS. I personally kept thinking of the Boggart, which  probably would have been a Bobbit for after watching this. It also reminded me of the 'Bop It' game I used to play as a child; did anyone else have this?

Along with the Hollywood-worthy score (good old Hans Zimmer), I swear BPII is turning into the new Game of Thrones; it's definitely the best thing I've watched since the end of S7 and has helped those withdrawal symptoms! I also love going on Twitter afterwards and seeing the reactions, along with the viewing figures - it was officially the most watched show of 2017. Take that Crap-Factor. In an age of Kardashians, Real Housewives and I'm Not a Celebrity, WTF am I Doing Here?, it has restored my faith in humanity... well, some humans!

In each episode, you're left marvelling at the Blue Planet's own humanity, where Dolphins and Wales form friendships and supposedly "brainless" fish help each other out! Conversely, you're left reeling at the barbarity of the HUMAN PLANET, where we "think we own whatever land qe land on". Yes, I just quoted Pocahontas, but I'm pretty certain the lyrics to "Colour of the Wind" were destined for this series. As much as I love Hans Zimmer, Disney may have been onto something...

What's your favourite moment from Blue Planet II So far?


Speaking of withdrawal symptoms, The Great British Library's A History of Magic exhibition is the latest gift to the Harry Potter Fandom and the BBC celebrated with their own RIDDIKULUSLY magical documentary. Naturally, I watched it and I am now more excited than ever to go in TWO WEEKS TIME. I will be sure to take my camera with me and visit Gringotts beforehand; I'm trusting that they'll have a haul-worthy gift shop!

The programme was so well put together, showing the historical origins of the Wizarding World and where Jo drew her inspiration from. I also loved how many of the film actors came back to read  excerpts from the book, including my favourite Evanna Lynch. It was so comforting to hear those familiar Potter voices and, while I did enjoy Stephen Fry's audiobook, it would be wonderful to see an audiobook read by the cast/ JK Rowling herself!

I nearly cried when Lupin (David Thewlis) described Harry looking into the Mirror of Erised, just after Jo spoke about her mother's death.  It showed the extent to which she put herself in her books and how important her own potter experience was to her. I think this is a message any artist/blogger/creative/HUMAN can take comfort from! I know firsthand how easy it is to worry about pleasing others; putting their happiness and wishes before our own. Jo's words reminded me that doing something for me can be good enough . You don't need someone else to validate it.

"It's not that lots of people liked it, it's that it meant that much to a few people. That's more than enough" - JK Rowling

talked recently about my fear of being out-of-place in the blog community (the Luna in a world of Hermiones), so  this couldn't have come at a better time! The importance of meaning over likes is WHY I keep writing and why I refuse to fixate on stats and analytics. Jo's words made me think of a private message I received from a girl last month, for example, saying how much my blog helped her. It made me think of the text message from V, who printed out one of my posts to look back on. These moments are worth more than all the 'likes' on Instagram. ALWAYS.

The final programme I have to mention is LOUIS THEROUX: TALKING TO ANOREXIA. I was of two minds about whether to watch, given the default 'trigger warning' and my issue with past documentaries/dramatisations  (Dear To the Bone, who the fork is 'Rexie'?!) Nevertheless, I trusted Louis to handle to subject with sensitivity and he exceeded expectations. By the end, I swear he had more empathy than many of the 'professionals' I've encountered!

"They're symptoms of your illness, to which no shame should be attached"

Moreover, he turned away from the stereotype that anorexia is about appeareence, focusing instead on the internal conflict within sufferers. Rosie's story particularly resonated with me, as she clearly want to push for recovery, but is  pulled  back by the illness and yo-yos between the two. I also related to what she said about the anger of the illness, which manifests in anger towards loved ones.

We see a bit of this in the scene between Louis and Ifzana, when he encourages her to sit down and she becomes very defensive; I've seen this kind of reaction in myself and others during IP treatment. Anorexia goes into 'self-preservation mode' and tries to push away the very people trying to help us. It's one of the reasons this illness can be so deadly, as anorexia wants to cut everyone off (this always reminds me of Luna's words to Harry; just another reason I love her so much!)

If have one criticism , it's that the programme  lacked a clear 'recovery story'. Rosie's story did offer some hope, but the outlook for other patients was far less certain. While I recognise that filming focused on IP Units, they could have profiled someone who received hospital treatment and is now in remission. I know it would have helped me to see this, as I do have the 'revolving door' fear in the back of their head and doubt if I can fully recover. Nevertheless, for what it's worth I am so grateful to Louis Theroux and BBC2 for producing this documentary and do believe it will raise awareness.

What are your thoughts on the recent rise in ED-related Films/TV programmes? 


This is my new teacher training! For once I'm actually not being sarcastic. The children are roughly the same age as the class I volunteer with, so I can see similarities in the way they respond to situations; I now know why some of the children find it more difficult to share! At that age, the rate at which they develop can vary so much and it's why holistic education is essential. You can't have a one-size-fits-all approach!

The friendship between Thomas and Ada was possibly the best thing I've seen all week and Victoria is completely enchanting. I can't think of a better word for her! Notwithstanding her bravery in fighting cancer - which is pretty much impossible to put aside - she has the most endearing, compassionate personality and I wanted to send her a fire truck after watching this!

There's a kid in my class who reminds me so much of Vinny, right down to when he tries to comfort another child. At the start, you could dismiss him as a little troublemaker and put him in a box, yet the programme proved how complex children are; far more than we give them credit for. I think this show should be essential-viewing for any Primary School Teacher, because education is about so much more than phonics and fractions. It's about developing A WHOLE PERSON.

I couldn't write this without a shoutout to my beloved BAKE OFF. Part of this is nostalgia, because my mum and I always say how much my Grandma and Auntie would have loved it. Yet I also wanted give my two cents on the whole BBC vs C4 controversy, and this post seemed the perfect opportunity. A year ago, along with the reset of the UK, I vowed to boycott C4GBBO. However, as my twitter feed will attest to, I ended up watching the entire series and and  *cue the dramatic Hollywood pause*.... I LIKED IT! 

Yes, Liam was ROBBED and Prue "f**ked up", but to be fair she said as much herself - I think she feels bad enough without the whole of twitter hating on her. That goes for Stacey too - was I the only one who didn't understand where the hate was coming from?! Ultimately, I loved it because I love Bake-Off. I love the show and credit to C4 for recognising that; they didn;t try to do an ITV and 'make it their own'. Don't get me wrong, I adore Mel, Sue and Mary, but the tent is bigger than one single berry or *Mel-Sue* sandwich.  

That being said, I have officially find my new style icon in Noel FieldFrolicking and was mostly thankful that they kept Jo Brand for AN EXTRA SLICE #priorities. Its  it's one of the best after-shows going, Jo's observational humour is priceless and I swear those 'leaving' cakes are worth 10 glitter ball trophies! I do still love you BBC, but surely less money for Bake-Off means more for Blue Planet? It's a win-win situation! 

Speaking of Jo Brand, she deserves a round of applause for her recent  appliance on HIGNFY. In case you missed it on BBC/Twitter, Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts decided to give a masterclass in 'how-not-to-joke-about-sexual-harassment' and Jo responded with her own masterclass in 'how-to-have-more-balls-than-the-entire-male-panel-put-together" and slammed down the "poor Michael Fallon" remarks. Can we please nominate her for House of Commons Speaker?

Once the topic changed to the Trumpkin, regulars Ian and Paul came into their own, Quentin pretty much shut up and I actually enjoyed the episode. So from now on, can't the BBC just assume that all Daily Mail journalists are idiots and not invite them?! At the very least, it would save a few thousand twitter characters; the twittersphere is still recovering from whatever cabinet 'minister' the Tories threw on Question Time and could do with a rest. Where have all the NORMAL PEOPLE gone?! 

What TV have you been enjoying lately?

6 Ways to Stupefy the IG Algorithm

So... that IG algorithm. Aka the invisibility cloak of Social HogsMedia, which randomly decides who should make noise/exist. Whereas the old system simply showed you posts in chronological order, the current system prioritises how quickly people engage, what time you post and what genre we *want* to see.... apparently the #instagods have been taking Occlumency lessons from the dead (RIP Snape) and can READ MINDS.

*Dear IG: when you try to assume what we like and when we like it , you make an ASS out of YOU and ME*

What was so wrong with the old days, when you simply trusted that we actually like all of the people that we followMy own feed includes crocheters, bloggers, bookstagrammers potterheads, hedgehogs, Kardashians and the entire cast of Dance Moms. I love a good Abbey Lee rant, but I also love the adventures of little Pokee and a few flatlays in between. But if I didn't want to see them, I wouldn't follow them!

*Even if your own 'following' list is slightly less random than my own, Pokee the Hedgehog is  guaranteed to make you smile in 99.9% of cases, the 0.1% being Dementors without a soul.*

We could really use more #instasmiles these days... or just a bit more INSTANT. Apparently people are even scheduling instagram stories now? Oh MY GODRIC, where does it end!? How did we get so caught up in this game of likes, calculations, followers, filters and comparisons? A game that, until not so long ago, I was playing too. I was stressing and second-guessing and, what's more, I know I'm not alone in this; how many "beat the algorithm" blog posts have been written in 2017? We place so much value on what other people will like and how we compare to them. What happened to just being?

So in the past month, I decided that enough was enough and I set myself a challenge: STUPEFY THE ALGORITHM and just BE YOU. I will leave you to decide if it worked...

I was inspired to write this post after sharing the IG photo below. Here's the backstory: I wanted to fulfil the blogging cliche and share a "shoes and leaves" shot. However, my boots were muddy and I attempted to use the "healing tool" on an editing app #instaready. After several attempts and giving those celebrity photoshop fails a run for their money, I *nearly* decided not to post. Nearly. An hour later, I shared my muddy boots and unearthed the real story. It was one of the most candid and spontaneous posts I've made, yet was also one of my most 'liked'! Instead of  spending half an hour on a one-sentence pun, I wrote a mini-essay in around 5 minutes and it was a real turning point.

*caution: my rambles are no longer exclusive to this blog*

#makersgetreal day 5: something you're afraid to share on IG, so here goes.... Muddy boots may not be very "instagram", but they tell a far more colourful story 🍁🌳 If my furry companion wants to frolic through the woods like Noel and Sandi, who am I to refuse her!? 🐢 Sometimes I wonder if people actually carry the wellies to that perfect "leafy spot" and change into them for the photo - or settle for cold coffee in the name of that perfect flatlay πŸ˜‚πŸπŸ€” I can joke about it now, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not vulnerable to the comparison trap. What's more, I've noticed a growing number of references to it on here/ twitter/blogs/magazines/coffee shops... and bus stops, as of this morning! In the past month, I've tried to challenge my own anxieties and #freeupmyinsta. I've posted more and used my captions as a "micro-blog"; a place to open up and be less afraid of... being. Just being me. Sometimes I've worried about over-sharing my thoughts, or over-promoting my etsy. I still worry that people will think my crochet/prints are rubbish and I am still vulnerable to the comparison trap. I'd certainly like to kick a pile of leaves over the IG algorithm! Nevertheless, overall I do think my anxiety has DECREASED. I have less space to fixate on tiny details; details that, in reality, NO ONE ELSE will care about. I'm spending less time editing and googling punspiration (for example, that one was all me πŸ™ˆ) Less time doing/chasing perfection and more time being. Just being. So note to self: Muddy boots are more colourful than the shiniest of hunter wellies. Free Elves make for #happyselves and thats OK! I can dislike pumpkin spiced lattes and still be a socially-acceptable human. The best books have worn pages and the best stories lie beyond the cover. #honestyhour: if your life was a visual story, what would it TRULY look like? πŸŒπŸ“ΈπŸ“š
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Last month I joined in with the #MakersGetReal challenge started by Lindsay at Bundle Handmade. I'll admit that I didn't do every day and may go back to it at some point, but it helped me in so many ways:

1. Engaging with other Makers: Since opening my Etsy Store, around 50% of my photos are craft-related. Consequently, I've been wanting to engage more with the makers community and this hashtag was the perfect answer! I've found so many wonderful accounts and love seeing what others create.

2. Removing the Filter: I mentioned this earlier, but I really can't advocate it enough: GET REAL! The relationship between Instagram and Mental Health has been discussed a lot this year and I do think people are getting more clued up to the reality... INSTAGRAM ISN'T REALITY. I loved sharing my behind the scenes moments and it turned out to be great exposure therapy for anxiety! Would you take part in one? 

Finally jumping on the bandwagon for #makersgetreal, as I've absolutely loved scrolling through the hashtag and engaging more with the #creativeminds on IG πŸ”–πŸŽ¨ #whereistheyarnemoji πŸ™‰ I hope you can let me off the hook for skipping the first two days! Incidentally, the anxiety I feel for this is just one example of my biggest "daily challenge" (day 2): perfectionism. So perhaps this is a good "sew what" to anxiety 😳 My #behindthescenes is from last week, when I took Dobby and Olympus Penny to Coffee 1 for an Etsy photoshoot (#backdropgoals). I picked up Penny, ready to snap away... before realising that I'd left the battery at home on charge! πŸ™‰ In the world of social media, this would stay firmly #behindthefilter, but I decided to capture the moment on my phone and remind myself that life isn't perfect! From tangled wool and fluff-covered tights, to crochet callouses and the dozen shots I took before this one, the makers' life is #abeautifulmess and that's okay. ALWAYS!
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When it comes to writing captions, I now swear by the saying: "ask and you shall receive". I used to spend ages coming up with a snappy pun to conclude my captions, whereas now I like to end with a question. - and not simply to'get likes'! I ask questions I genuinely want to hear the answers too, such as book recommendations or ideas for self-care I've noticed that engagement on my posts has increased and, most importantly, it's real engagementOne meaningful response means more to me than a dozen "this is so cool!" comments or 100 likes. What means more to you?

The high street can keep their pumpkin spiced lattes, I've found a new love... a sprinkle of cinnamon! It adds the perfect sweetness to my morning @pactcoffee and is autumn in a nutshell 🍁☕️ When I'm at home in the mornings, a frothy cappuccino is one of my little acts of self-care. It takes a bit more effort than just boiling the kettle for tea/instant coffee. It's something I started doing when I was discharged from IP and, 10 months later, it's still part of my daily routine! Other things include keeping my prescription of @simplethingsmag and taking breaks from essays/blogging to do something outside a screen! On that note, resolution to read before bed has fallen a bit by the wayside... I started "Good Me, Bad Me" last week and had really high hopes, but it's taking longer to get into than expected! What are your acts of self-care/what would you like them to be?
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I've talked 'getting real', but that doesn't always mean sharing the imperfections. Sometimes it's just SHARING. I like the idea of IG being a little time capsule, capturing the moments that make me smile. It's my version  'highlight reel', without the #beachbodyready bikini photos and cold flat white - is that flatlay really worth it? 

Right now, nothing makes me happier than my dream of  becoming a Primary Teacher, so I want to talk more about it. If others want to hear, that's amazing. If they don't, that's okay too and perhaps my account isn't for them. You can't be all things to all people - unless you're St. David Attenborough - but you can be you. The waving Elf below is more 'Sophie' than a MAC Lipstick could ever be. I'm more Lovegood than Kardashian and I'm not ashamed of that! I've spent too much of my life worrying what others think; it's time to free the elf and free myself

Dobby was saying #HelloBrookes this morning, as I headed off to my first Primary PGCE Open Day! It felt a little surreal to be back among the welcome shirts and prospectuses, 5 years on from our last encounter. Nevertheless, as soon as the course leader spoke I felt at home. The course is undoubtedly intense (the time table makes an Undergraduate Literature degree look like a holiday!) and this is NOT a career for the faint-hearted. As the teacher said, if you're doing it for the long holidays or to receive Christmas presents from the kids, you need to sort out your priorities (Ron called it first) I may have been quite whimsical in my recent video, yet I'm not naive to the reality of this career. I currently volunteer at a school where many children face unique challenges. It is a school that places huge emphasis on wellbeing and inclusivity, because the catchment area is so diverse. Far from being fazed by this, I embrace it. It is a challenge for me to adapt and recognise the needs of each child, but it is all the more rewarding for it. I can see the true benefit of me being there and witness breakthroughs at every turn. Every jobs has its challenges, so for me it is looking at the rewards. While teaching may not be the goldmine of other careers, the daily milestones of a child are invaluable. If you don't believe me, look into the eyes of a 5-year-old when she reads the word "beautiful" and amazes herself. It amazed me... and it was truly beautiful to see #learningforlife
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Of all the habits I had to stupefy, deleting photos was the trickiest. Only a month ago, it reached the point where every other photo I published would mysteriously disappear from my grid a week later. I was trying to play "the algorithm game" and, looking back, perfectionism completely took over. I'd have a dozen edits of one photo and stress over which to use. Photos had to 'balance' with the one next to/above/below it, or it would be deleted. People reading this may either relate, or think I'm crazy. Trust me, I'm going with the latter! 

However, I feel genuine pride in saying I DID IT. October was the month of not deleting and my "exposure therapy" worked. I find that I fixate less on the little things and have more time for the things that MATTER; namely discovering new accounts, engaging with old favourites and having a TRUE account of my own life. Perhaps I did get carried away with Dobby photos lost followers as a result, but that is what I wanted to post! Plus if someone doesn't have time for House Elves, they're an Umbridge and I don't have time for them

       TAKING A BREAK          

Can we appreciate the irony that I can't actually go on Instagram right now, due to the lack of iPhone general sanity? Seriously though, it's been 4 days since I lost my Apple baby and it's starting to take its toll - my morning alarm is NATURAL LIGHT and I've gained a newfound appreciation for the Metro newspaper (more on my phoneless days to come). For those savvy people who use scheduling apps, IG would continue come rain or shine; for me, however, in my algorithmically-challenged world, we've been on a ROSS GELLAR BREAK....

...and it was needed! For starters, it's proven that THE WORLD WILL NOT END IF YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. If Ross and Rachel can survive it, we can too. Yet I think the biggest silver has been perspective. I've had time to"sort out my [IG] priorities". I don't miss the  algorithm, the editing, the second-guessing, the #ads or the 'likes' I miss checking up on Pokee, exploring the #ToysForSyrianRefugees tag and engaging with Potterhead Bookstagrammers! I miss capturing and sharing the moments that make me smile; not stressing about what the algorithm wants to see. So when I do return, I'm going to prioritise ME. 

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There may be people who clicked on this post and hoped for a "magical answer". Perhaps some of them stopped reading long before now, because they wanted a way to gain likes and I wanted to ramble about Harry Potter and Hedgehogs (seriously though guys, Mr. Pokee has a face like sunshine!

On the other hand, I do wonder if there is a 3rd group: the people who followed the *clickbait* and , like me, stressed about the algorithm. People who, perhaps, read this and found an answer they weren't looking for; a new way of looking at things. 

For what it's worth, I still have my days where I want to delete a photo/feel judged by what I share. However, those days are fewer and I feel altogether happier since making these changes. Life is about so more more than gaining likes/followers and, as cliche as it may sound, you can gain so much more by simply BEING YOURSELF

Fresh Pawspectives from the Pumpkin Patch

You're never too old to start new traditions and, after last year's ramble to Farrington Gurney, i was determined to visit the Pumpkin Patch again! For starters, my fluffy Princess/ First Dog/ pawesome sister loves it and I'm not trying to speak bark for her. You only had to look at her waggy tail/tongue/bottom  to know she's in seventh heaven! We call it her Beyonce Wiggle and she was Sasha Fierce on Sunday.

My other big motivation for returning echoes my recent posts, Leaving the Ghost of Autumns Past and Imagination, Free Elves and Freeing Yourself. If, by some miracle, you happened to read them (#ad #shamelessselfpromotion) then you'll know that I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and rewrite past experiences of this season. When I visited the Pumpkin Patch in 2016, I was a fortnight away from being admitted to hospital and my mental health was in a bad place. Though I did genuinely enjoy our trip and loved posting about it, I wasn't truly 'there' and did put on a front. 

Thus is one of the reasons why I've been more open in recent posts. Not only is it cathartic for me and part of "rewriting my narrative", I've also had some lovely messages on social media; people saying how much it helps them. As I've said before, this kind of response is worth more than 1000 likes or "Great post! Follow back?" *insert link* comments (that being said, if you actually enjoy my rambles and want to respond, I would love to hear from you!)

So here's the real deal with today's post: I'm in a pumpkin patch, with TWO of my favourite people (two-legged mum and four-legged sister) and I'm genuinely happy. Recovery is still "work in progress" (bare with me!), but in this moment I was a world away from October 2016. I'm a great believer that the truest sign of health is your face; it's one of the reasons I think body-shaming is so futile

When I sorted through the photos for this post, I only had to look at my eyes and smile to see this change. Though I still gave progress to be made with my physical and mental health, my eyes and smile show a girl who is LIVING. I had the energy to chase after Millie, which I simply didn't last year; what's more, she's faster than she looks and I was soon popping my coat in the Pumpkin barrow! 
One of the highlights for me was when a little boy ran over to Millie. I'll be honest, I'm not entirely convinced by the whole 'fate' think; however, i couldn't help thinking it was meant to be. It reminded me of the change that helped me come alive, in the past year: the decision to pursue primary teaching. This little boy was bursting with excitement, yet became timid when he got up close to Millie. 

With the encouragement of his mum, my mum and little old me, Millie found a new friendFrom that point onwards, we kept bumping into them every few minutes, right up until we were paying for our pumpkins! To quote his mum: "he's completely obsessed with her." I only wish I could say the same for my little Minion. Truth be told, she was rather more interested in another pastime... pumpkin eating
Princess Pawesome picked a patch of pureed pumpkin... 
 ...and decided to squash in a little snack before dinner; ever the op-paw-tunist! Compared to last year, we left our pumpkin ramble a little late in the day and a lot of them had split. So in Millie's defence, the smell was like a Yankee Candle Shop on All Hallows' Eve and Pumpkins are food. Given that dog noses are 40 times more receptive than humans (random fact of the day), we'd basically taken her to  Woofy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and  we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. Besides, just look at her little face...

How could we not? I was also far too content to be cross and I swear Autumn colours are like natural serotonin-boosters! It's the one time of year where a girl can dress like a slut like orange and no other girl fashion police can say anything about it. Speaking of fashion, I decided to go all-out with the embroidery trend and teame my favourite backpack with a brand new pair of Miss Selfridge MOM jeans (half price, thanks to a hoarded birthday voucher!) 

Oh this backpack... it may be the best fashion gift my mum has ever given! Not only is it bunny-friendly (non-leather), it's far more durable than its predecessor and is just the right size for all those handbag essentials: purse, phone lipstick, diabetes equipment, yarn, crochet hook... what more could you want? It is a must for any vegan/cruelty-free wishlist *edit* add it to ANY wishlist! Who needs Hell for Leather when Aldo have created a Heaven for Non-Leather

I've also found possibly the most economical buy of the season - this jumper from Primark! I now own it in 3 different colours, all for £18 and the material is so soft! I like that it's not a full-on jumper, so can can be worn under dresses/jumpsuits and tucked into skirts. I've pretty much had these 3 tops on rotation for the past month... time for a fourth colour? 

...and so  squishy squashy rambles came to an end. However, the clock hadn't yet struck midnight; here was still time to turn that pumpkin into a golden cow-rage... yes, you did read that correctly. A COW RAGE. Sorry to disappoint any aspiring carriages, but the cows were one step ahead of you. Salagadoola mechika baloo la, Bibbidi-Bobbidi MOO...
Oh, and there was also time to actually carve a pumpkin Potterhead style, as you do. It seems that the resurrection stone and elder wand got a little weathered along the way, but the Cloak of Invisibility didn't let me down - take note Muggles! Have you ever attempted a Potter Pumpkin? I'm already Pinterest Pinning for next year, to do alongside my beautiful V - if you're reading this my lovely, this one's for you...