The Sunday Subject – Succulents

Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is Succulents.

The plant of choice for anyone who loves the life that plants bring to your home but is totally incapable of remembering to water the damn things.  Having said that, I killed my first succulent with love, over watered it and it rotted, most unpleasant.

Succulents usually come from a climate where water is scarce and have adapted to survive under these conditions.  Their thick fleshy leaves are designed to store water giving them the ability to thrive where only mist or dew is a regular source of liquid. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. Technically (or more accurately, horticulturally) there is a difference between cacti and succulents  but I think in the world of ‘having a little plant friend to call your own’  you’d be forgiven for grouping the two together.

There are over twenty five plant families that contain succulents and some of those of those families have well over two or three hundred succulents in them. I’m not sure I’ll have room for them all on my dining room table but I’m prepared to give it a go.

For some further reading on succulent cultivation, here’s a list of articles from World of Succulents or maybe you’d like to learn everything there is to know about succulents and Cacti, in which case perhaps this 8 lesson online course is for you!

Send me some photos of your plants! Succulents, cacti or maybe just a bunch of cut flowers, I’d love to see any and all!  You can do this via Twitter (@BeccyMundy) or via a DM on Instagram (beccy_mundy)

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The Sunday Subject – The Notebook

Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is The Notebook.

No, not the 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling. The notebook, every stationary lover’s obsession.  I myself have many (many) notebooks scattered around my home, some beautiful, others practical, most totally empty because they’re just too nice to spoil with pencil or ink!  Notebooks bring me a scene of productivity and organisation, two things I often find I lack.

From a cheap and cheerful ring bound pad from Wilko, to the sleek and stylish Moleskine. The uses of a notebook are innumerable. Whether you’re a writer, artist, parent, student or astronaut everyone has a use for a notebook.

Maybe you make your own.  During the 17th and 18th century notebooks were made at home as and when they were needed by folding together pieces of paper.  Children were taught how to make them in school because information management was so important.  It wasn’t until around 1890 that notebooks started to be made and sold.  Scraps of paper were stitched together to make a small pad.  These quickly evolved into the ‘Legal Pad’  that we have today.  As with all things the notebook developed over time and the production processes changed to include, glueing, covering, spiral binding, ring binding and of course in the 20th century we were introduced to the practical, if less pretty, electronic note taking world.

I have to say, that even with the benefits of digital note taking, I don’t think I’ll ever fully switch from paper and ink to pixel and key.  Notebooks are a work of art, there’s so much character in a well used notebook, you just can’t beat it.

If you’re interested in learning how to bind a notebook here’s a list of UK based classes and The Book Studio in Norfolk offers courses during the winter months.

Or maybe you could just fold together a few sheets of paper…

I’d love to see your notebooks, whether home made or shop bought.  You can share them with me on twitter (@BeccyMundy) or send me a DM on Instagram (beccy_mundy).

 

An Honest Opinion Of Myself – Pregnancy

My hands and ankles are swollen, my thighs and bum have expanded, my back hurts, I can’t get comfortable ever and I’m peeing about 100 times an hour.  And yet, I feel better about myself than I have in a very long time, possibly better than I’ve ever felt about myself.

Before I was pregnant, I would never have worn tight-fitting, figure hugging dresses and skirts but the second my bump popped I was in horizontal stripes, embracing every lump and bump I had. I’ve had my pale, poorly shaved legs out and my no make-up days have heavily outweighed my make-up days.  I imagine its partially down to hormones, partially down to “pregnancy glow”, but a huge part of it is down to – and please pardon my French – my body is doing something fucking amazing right now!

Being positive about your body is a choice, always, and when you’re on your knees at the foot of the porcelain altar for thirteen straight weeks it can be pretty hard to love yourself much. And not everyone enjoys being pregnant, and what it does to their body and that’s okay too! I’ve definitely had days when I needed something loose and flowy to help me feel comfortable – I’m about 4 weeks from D-Day, feeling a bit swollen from the heat wave we’ve had, and rapidly running out of even pregnancy clothes that fit comfortably.

Comfort, not ‘these shoes are really comfortable’ but comfort within myself has been my key to enjoying this journey.  Looking in the mirror and feeling like me. It’s not been about feeling pretty or beautiful everyday, but about confidence and respect for myself and my body and what it’s doing.  Pregnancy does not change who you are. You are still you.   

Give yourself a chance. A chance to see past stretch marks, swelling ankles and puffy eyes.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘My body was designed to do this and I’m doing it beautifully’. Behind it all, there is a tiny little person (or persons!) relying on you for everything and you are doing a fantastic job of providing that for them.  So embrace it for all that it is, because it takes up so little time really and when it’s done, that little person will be worth it all…

… I hope, because the swelling is really starting to get on my nerves a bit…

A scarf would bring this together…

I kicked myself when I got into the city and realised I’d forgotten to wear my new favourite scarf. I think the outfit works without it but the scarf added something… I’m not sure what… oh wait. I know. Warmth!! I was so freaking cold taking these pictures!

This is my first real “put together” maternity outfit. I’ve been unconvinced by maternity wear, not sure if it’s a waste of money. I bought myself this shirt from H&M and I’m so glad I did. Putting on a well fitting item of clothing can really help you feel good. I’ve not wanted to post outfit pics because I’ve not really been happy with what I’m wearing, but on this day I felt like myself again and loved it. I’m not going over the top with maternity wear because I still think it can be a bit of a waste of money (except the jeans, they are so comfortable I just want to live in them forever). But having a few nice items in my wardrobe is going to be important for me I think.

Jeans – Jojo Maman Bebe | Boots (similar)- Clarks | Shirt – H&M | Coat (similar) – H&M | Hat -Accessorise

Goals for 2018

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I rarely make my yearly resolutions or goals public.  I normally think about some things I’d like to do, maybe I’ll write them out but then I’ll just see where the year takes me. I really don’t mind doing that and have quite enjoyed going with the flow.  However this year is going to see some big changes in my life and I think I need to introduce some forethought and planning into my year if I want to come out of the other side still feeling like myself.

In June we are expecting our first baby and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given so far is to try and continue living life the way you want to.  If you enjoy travel, travel with the baby. If you like eating out, you can take the baby along! Knowing myself if I don’t push myself to get up and get out of the house, I’ll just laze around all day and do nothing and that’s not good for me or the baby.  So I’ve set myself 8 goals for the year.  I’ve been fairly kind to myself I think, but still tried to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

1. I’d like to read 50 books*.  I did this in 2016 without too much trouble so lets give it another shot.

2. Visit 3 new places.  I’ve left this fairly vague for a reason, practically speaking I’m not going to be jetting off to new countries this year with a big baby belly or a tiny tot in toe.
But England is a beautiful country and one that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen very little of. Closer to home even, I’ve really seen very little of Norfolk and East Anglia so I need to plan some weekend trips out!

3. Sew an item of clothing.  I know how to sew, and I know how to sew clothes.  I made a dress for the evening do at my wedding so I know I can make things I like wearing and want to do this more.  But this item of clothing doesn’t have to be for me.  Maybe a tiny baby bonnet is all I’ll manage this year but that’s OK too.

4. Learn a new skill.  Again a fairly vague one but there’s a whole year for me to figure out something new I’d like to learn!

5. Do something new every week.  I work part time and so unless I make plans to do things my free time can end up being wasted.  I don’t feel like I push myself out of my comfort zone enough and what to try and make sure that I don’t waste my last few months of child freeness. When baby is here I’m sure there will be a ton of new things I’ll be doing.

6. Blog and Vlog more.  I’d like to pick up my YouTube channel again and get back into the good blogging habits I started at the end of last year. Lets see!

These next two are things I’d like to do BB (Before Baby)

7. Declutter.  We’re about to introduce a small human and all its associated paraphernalia into our home… There’s not a lot of space.

8. Do a waste free month.  This ones going to need a bit more thought but we actually throw away very little general waste so what can I do to reduce that even more?  This one really excites me and will probably come with a bunch of blog posts and videos *fingers crossed*

*I’m going to do a YouTube video about my reading goals for the year.  Got a few prompts for myself.

Casually Hanging out in a Multi Story Car-park

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Is this not the most natural place to take photos? No?…  I wondered why we were getting some odd looks. Hey look its those jeans again!  And these boots show up fairly often too…

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It’s officially autumn and that brings with it the joy of coats.  This year I knew what I was looking for when I went out shopping, I couldn’t spend too much but obviously wanted a coat that would last.  This one is perfect, cozy, pockets, a nice collar and a good length. It has it all!

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Here are a few other nice coats that have caught my eye.

coatcoat2coat3

 

Autumn Bucket List

I’ve seen a lot of people doing a kind of seasonal bucket list and I really like the idea.  It can be really easy to miss out on the changing seasons, what with work and life taking up so much time.  Having a small list of things you’d really like to do and planning time to do them is a great way to ensure you really appreciate your time.  It can be so easy to make no plans and waste a weekend or day off.  Here’s my Autumn to-do list!

  1. Have a snuggle picnic.  I totally made up the name of this. I wanted to go for a picnic during the summer and never did.  So I’d like to pack up loads of blankets and cushions and snuggle up in a park with an autumnal picnic!
  2. Bake Parkin and/or Gingerbread. Parkin is a traditionally northern English cake or biscuit.  Like gingerbread but made with black treacle.  Perfect for nibbling around a bonfire.
  3. Go fruit picking. Any Norwich based folks with tips on where to pick fruit hit me up!
  4. Have a dinner Party. For me, Autumn feels like the perfect time to fill your house with friends and delicious food.
  5. Carve a Pumpkin. Ok so it’s cliche but I do love carving pumpkins and it lends itself perfectly to my last one…
  6. Make pumpkin pie (and make mum try it). I love pumpkin pie and it shocks me that my mother has never had it. (although that would explain why I never had any until my 20s).  This year I’ll be sure to get mum to try some.  This is my favourite recipe


It’s taken me to the end of this list to see that I obviously like food in Autumn…. All food based!

What’s on your Autumn bucket list?

Black Boot Wish list

Whilst curating my capsule wardrobe I’ve noticed a few gaps.   This is one of the most exciting parts of the capsule wardrobe in my opinion.  I can spend a little more on the item because I’ve already thought about how I’ll wear it and it should go with most things I already own.

A big hole I’ve noticed is a heeled boot.  Or more accurately, a black heeled boot.  I wear black boots pretty much everyday and having a pair that I can dress up a bit more is a must this season.  Here’s my little wish list of boots.  Some realistic, some not so realistic.

WalkerRiver IslandRaid LorenaRaid KolaRaid AriaProenzaMiss KgMarni SuedeGabiFratelliFootgloveDuneCarvela

Top faves are the Gabi bootie by Alexander Wang , the Proenza Schouler Leather ankle boots and the Miss KG Gold Heel Boots.

Which are your favourite? Any great pairs I’ve missed?

My Hair – A Love Hate Relationship

I think it’s fairly safe to say that at some point everyone gets a hair cut, or a colour (or maybe just wakes up one day with hair) that they hate. I pretty much live in a constant state of hair hate.  I might like it for a little while but I get bored or I change shampoo and suddenly my hair does nothing the same as it used too.

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When I was young my hair was straight, I normally wore it in a bob with a fringe or long and shapeless, all in all it was OK hair.  It’s always been very fine, but generally speaking there was nothing wrong with it .  When I was about 12 I took myself along to the hairdresser and thus began my hair issues.  I had about 3 or 4 inches off and without that extra weight my hair sprang into some kind of wavy, kinky mess.  I think I saw people from school on my way home and they laughed at me, never before had anyone laughed at me for my hair so I knew it was dreadful.  Truth be told, looking back now, it wasn’t that bad, I just didn’t know what to do with it. After years of washing and air drying with no issues I now had to put thought into it. I survived this haircut by scraping it back into a ponytail and ignoring it.  (I won’t talk about the time I crimped it for the school disco… people who didn’t go asked if it was true I really had an afro…)

It wasn’t until I was 16 or so that I really started to think more about my hair.  There had been a few bobs and fringes, but up until I hit my Emo phase I just let it do what it wanted.

Emo brought with it very short hair with a long fringe, black hair dye, lots of product and for a short time, a bright red fringe.  In a lot of way this was some of my favourite hair times.  Keeping it short and messy meant there was very little for me to do with it.  Maybe run a straightener over the fringe, but that’s about it. Only thing I didn’t enjoy was my hairdresser telling me the photo I’d brought in was of a boy and did I know that… And did I still want the haircut? Maybe some pretty layers instead, with a bit of feathering?

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This opened the way to keeping my hair pretty short through my late teens and early twenties, and a particular favourite of mine was my platinum pixie cut. I’d have that back in a shot if I still had the face shape for it!

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My latest trick is growing out my fringe just to cut it back in as soon as it’s reach the right length.  On occasion I even cut it myself, I think I got pretty good at it.  I’m currently in the growing out stage, having returned to the bob with fringe look, again.

The most recent disappointment was when bleaching it straighten out some really lovely curls I was just getting the hang of.  And of course I got bored of the blonde and home dyed it ginger, which I also got bored of and dyed it, what was supposed to be brown but turned out red.

I’ve had some great hair ideas, I thought about rainbow coloured hair. For a while I wanted some kind of mermaid blue/green wavy look.  I’ve thought about and actually attempted to dye the underside of my hair green… I do sometimes consider just shaving it all of but I’m scared I might have a weird head.

Cliche time… It’s just hair! It grows back!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned and I’m sure will continue learning it’s that it really doesn’t matter what you do. It will grow back,  and if things get really bad there are some fantastic wigs out there.

 

OOTD – Denim Jacket


This jacket has been one of my favourite things this summer, and I’m looking forward to getting more regular use out of it in Autumn. I bought it the very day these photos were taken.  It was the evening of a work do, when I got into the city and felt that, as comfortable as I was, I look a little scruffy and not good scruffy.  I popped into Next and there was the jacket, on sale, £16 down from £45. What more can you ask for! I got it a size up for extra oversized-ness.  It helped give my outfit a more ‘put together but relaxed’ look.

Jacket – Next (this one is similar)

Tshirt – Levi’s

Jeans – Next (but these are similar)