Married life, new hair and other musings...

Hello! Long time, no blog post...

As I type this, I'm snuggled up on the sofa, doing my nails, and watching Ru Paul on Netflix. It's raining outside, but inside my flat is an oasis of calm...for once. I've finally finished the honeymoon clothes washing, sorted out all the tidying and have lined up the thank you cards ready for the arrival of the photos in the post, so I can send them out. In short, the wedding thing is all over, and I can get back to normal life.

Except I can't, really. We're trying to buy a house, so we're trying to work out what we can actually afford and mentally decorate it before it's even ours... That coupled with the fact my new fitbit keeps buzzing at me, and I am keenly aware I haven't updated my items on Etsy, and actually I have quite a lot going on in my brain. Oh, and I cut off all my hair, so I'm trying to work out how to wear it for work tomorrow.

If anyone is wondering, married life feels exactly the same as not married life, just you don't have to plan a wedding anymore! I might do some posts over the next few weeks about wedding planning etc, and share some photos etc - what would you like to see?

Point of this post is just to say hello I guess, and set out a plan for my little space on the interest going forward! Gone are the book reviews! No-one read them anyway, let’s be honest…I’m going to continue with the 25 before 25 list, just because I’m so nearly almost there, but I’m also probably going to revert back to generally lifey posts – like this awful new hair regime I have to go through, the lovely new skincare products I’ve settled on, my newfound yoga journey, my struggle with my fitbit, my desire for a house out of an interiors magazine, the trials and tribulations of planning a wedding…just all that kind of fluffy stuff…

Anyway - just thought I'd pop up and say hello - there'll be some more structured posts going forwards, and more about my overall life plan, but for now you can pop on over to the @tumbleandrose instagram to see what I've been up to!


25 before 25 Update #5

So as I type this, I actually have 1 year and 4 months left to do all the things in this list – I’m actually halfway to most of them – some are covered off by honeymoon next month, and others are in the works, like a wedding in Scotland, and travel to New Zealand, but I do need to get my butt into gear for some of the others! (James also wants to do a 30 before 30 as he turned 26 earlier this week, so I might have some more fun making another list!. The ones I’ve done recently have been the more nerdy ones…

11) Pass all my ACA exams – done! November 2016.

It’s been ages since I updated this, but work has been SO busy. Anyway, I took my final exam in November, and found out I passed in December, woo! I’m now ACA qualified, which means I am an chartered accountant, and get a few more letters to add to my ever-growing name (thinking of double barrelling after the wedding…). I’m still in my training contract at my job though so technically I don’t get signed off till September 8th, but still…

22) Read 50 new books – 50/50 – March 2017

Done! So, I read all the books under the bookstag on this blog…and then realised no-one actually reads my book reviews so stopped adding them – in addition to the 47 reviewed on here, I read A Monster Calls, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, and Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Tada! 50, done! I’m also now reading The Circle, but probably won’t update the blog anymore. We’re looking at houses and one of the main things I want is a bay window, so I can create a sit in reading space surrounded by books, but I’m being ruthless as I’m also trying to cut down my stuff, so only books I’ll want to read again and again are being kept!

If you've got a list, have you made any progress?

The End of the World Running Club - Adrian J Walker

I read this just before New Year's and am typing this on Jan 2nd...though as I've tried to space out my book reviews, this post probably won't go live till I'm almost a married woman, awks...

My main takeaways from this book are that I need to learn how to run (my finishing 200th from last in a half marathon clearly wasn't a big enough hint...) and that if you read the little author bio, the author seems to have written it about himself!

Basically, a meteorite shower destroys most of the UK. Edgar gets separated from his family, who end up in Cornwall, and Ed has to make his way from Edinburgh to Falmouth to be re-united with them before they are sent to a different country for safety. There's no cars or trains, so Ed and his group have to run...What follows is a chillingly accurate (or at least I think) depiction of what could happen to the country, and the people in it!

The book is amazing, and I reckon would be even more emotive if you're a parent. As these things usually do, it made me think what I would do in an apocalypse scenario - I definitely need to improve my running skills, and I might even keep an emergency backpack in the larder...(Prepper? Me? never....)

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Everything We Ever Wanted - Sara Shepard

This was another one of those books that I read super quickly - if I'm entirely honest I got a bit bored, and skim read to the end to see how it ended.

It's all a bit faffy - a child dies at a big private school and that seems like it will be the focus of the book, but it slowly spins out to focus on complicated human relationships, and how people don't really know those closest to them.

It actually made me both sad and angry all at the same time - I definitely felt empathy for some of the characters and others (mainly the men in it) annoyed me SO much.

I would recommend you read it - it really won't take you long! It's not a work of art by any means, and won't leave a profound effect on you, but it is a twisty enough story to keep you entertained!

Have you read this? Or anything else by Sara Shepard?

The perks of being a wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

This is one of those classic books that you assume everyone has read, but then it turns out they haven't, so I haven't really been able to speak to anyone about it.

And I need to. Because I really didn't get it.

The story follows a teenage boy who has a very emotional outlook on the world - it follows him navigating teenage life, and everything that comes with it - girls, drugs, drink, school...

I read it fairly quickly, as it's not particularly long or complicated. It just...doesn't seem like much happens and was a bit too simplistic for me. Like, the way it is written doesn't flow as a book should (in my opinion!)

I'm for sure missing the bigger picture/deeper meaning and would recommend you read it yourself to see what you get out of it, but it just doesn't do it for me.

The DVD is only a couple of quid on Amazon at the moment, so I might get it just to see if the story appeals more to me in film version.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Sunday Catch Up #1 - Things I’m currently loving...

Happy Sunday!
 As I type this, my hair is up in a turbie towel having just seen off the above cup of tea, and washed off my Cup O Coffee facemask (that stuff is amazing - I'm going to do a 'products I swear by' post soon). I had the urge to open up my laptop for the first time in ages, and just jot down some little thoughts - this is probably the most relaxed Sunday I've had, and will have, for ages - the calm before the storm if you like - every weekend from now on is filled with wedding prep, as we've now hit the two month mark! (My wedding dress actually arrived yesterday, but I don't have it yet as it needs to be taken in slightly, plus I picked out a veil which now needs to be made!)

Anyway, I digress - I opened up my laptop as I was tidying my 'to do' part of the coffee table and realised I've read 49 out of 50 books for my 25 before 25 - when I see off the next one, I'll do an update post.

We've got a very cosy evening ahead - settling down on the sofa with blankets, eating slow cooked stew and watching Fear The Walking Dead (has anyone seen it?)
Things I’m currently loving:

I found a copper metal wire bin in B&Q and have become obsessed with it for my craft room – I go through a lot of rubbish in there and usually just have a bag propped up against the wall, but I feel I’m reaching the stage where I want a proper bin.  I also want the rainbow drawer set for the craft room, and have begged James for it as an anniversary present. Does that make me a grown up?

No? Well how about the fact that I’ve discovered that bicarbonate of soda makes the best bath cleaner ever? We’ve got a fairly basic bathroom in the flat, and truth be told, it’s never been pleasant to look at (think poor ventilation and mouldy grouting) but I’ve discovered I can at least stop the tub from getting worse by using bicarb – I’ve never seen anything absorb stains like it!

Copper eyeliner – I am by no means a make up fanatic, but got one of those Mac sessions to learn how to do my bridal make up myself. I’m slowly edging myself in and teaching myself how to use the products, but got side tracked a bit by copper eyeliner – I went through as stage of not wearing make up at all, but as I’ve been learning, it’s all been stacking back up! I found a liner in Sephora I fell in love with, but didn’t get it as it was like $15, so found a gorgeous Barry M one for £2.99 when I got back instead! I’m thinking it might be my new staple look!

On that vein, I’ve fallen head over heels for Kiehls skincare. When I went to my make up appointment, the girl pointed out my dry eyes and said I should get an eye cream – she was so right. I’ve been using the avocado eye cream from Kiehls, and their ultra-facial moisturiser and it has changed my skin so much. When I was in the states my skin was so dry that it was flaking off and was painful, but I got this half way through and by the end my skin was amazing – I’m a convert! (Just a shame about the price tag!)

Matcha green tea - I'm not sure if I've felt the health benefits properly, but all I know is I did the TeaPigs challenge, and on the day I forgot to have it, I definitely wasn't as energised as I was before!

If I keep these catch ups up, I feel they'll definitely start becoming a bit more wedding related...

So, what have you been up to this Sunday?


The Mistake I Made - Paula Daly

Oh gosh. This book wasn't what I expected at all! It was good, don't get me wrong, but it just wasn't what I thought it would be!

The book focuses on Roz, a single mother who is trying to make ends meet. It starts off a bit fifty shade of grey-ish, with a rich older man falling in love with her, and then all turns a bit creepy with prostitution and murder and awful tragedy and The book changes direction very quickly - you won't see it coming at all!

This was one that I read in a day - I literally couldn't put it down. I really would recommend it - just brace yourself!

Have you read it? What did you think?

A little bit of a life update – February 2017

Hello again everyone! 
I’m not really sure where I want to take my blog at the moment – work and life is hectic and I’ve found myself neglecting my little space on the internet recently. 
That being said, I do have a lot of book reviews scheduled for the books I binge read over Christmas, so if books are your thing, stay tuned! 
I also have a couple of Maker Focus posts in the pipeline – these are a great way to discover some lovely handmade goodies from some little businesses across the UK – I know they’d really appreciate it if you checked them out – I’m a big fan of the #shopsmall movement (as well as having my own little side hustle in the form of an Etsy!) so keep your eyes peeled for more like this!

I’ve just settled back into the UK after spending some of January across the pond in New Jersey and NYC again – we actually left on Trump’s inauguration day, and it’s crazy to see what has changed in the world since. Although I actually did a politics degree, and have fairly strong views, I’m trying to keep my lil’ old blog a fairly positive place, so I’ll move on from this quite quickly – regardless of your views though,  you’ve got to admit big changes are afoot, and I imagine we’ll end 2017 in a very different place.

Onto more happy things, I’m getting married in less than three months now! I haven’t blogged much about my wedding plans, but it is all booked in, and my weekends for the foreseeable future are full of wedding prep – I may actually share some of my experiences as we’re DIY-ing some of it trying to save costs – it’s not going to be the garden party wedding I imagined as it turns out getting married outside is almost impossible but I am so excited about what we have got planned! We’re also trying to keep costs low as we’re saving for a house – is it bad that every regretful decline isn’t actually that devastating to me? Weddings are expensive yo. (That being said, only three people can’t make it, so not a huge cost saving there ha.)

I promised myself that I would try and shift my focus away from work at the weekends, and try and balance myself more. I’ve got a list of new things I want to try each month, and January’s was yoga. Although I wasn’t around for much of Jan, I managed to join a class in Southampton just at the end of the month, and I think I’ve found my new thing. I left my first session so much calmer and happier than I can remember being in a while, and I’m determined to keep it up. (I did ache immensely the next day, but I’m not sure if it was from the yoga, or pushing a car up a verge, but that’s a different story…)

I think saving for a house is the biggest thing that is playing on my mind – it honestly seems impossible – houses are ridiculous expensive in the south of England, and I don’t want a ‘starter’ house, so I’m setting my sights a bit high. I’d love to relocate somewhere cheaper (I miss Cardiff SO much) and our friends have just moved to Newcastle and they love it, but both mine and James’ connections are down here, not to mention the effect it would have on our careers. I think we should be able to buy in another year or so, so right now I’ll have to fantasize about decorating – the stack of home magazines on the coffee table is getting a little bit high right now. I know for sure I want a grey themed front room, and have been collecting throws and cushions a plenty. We also want a reading nook, and I want a utility craft room where I can solder silver – I can’t exactly do that in our rented flat -  as lovely as our landlady is, I doubt she’d be too impressed if we burnt the place down…

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now.

Things I want to learn this year:
Brush lettering (I didn't do this post photo btw, it was circulating on Insta - if anyone knows who's it is, let me know!)
Playing the piano
Ariel fitness
Stone setting

Have you ever tried any of them?


Strictly Between Us - Jane Fallon

This is very much an addictive chick flick - but not in a happy romance way, more in a cheating husband gets his comeuppance kind of way.

It's really easy to read, and switches perspectives between the main characters quite frequently. You can sort of guess the twists and the endings easily, but that doesn't ruin the book.

In short, Tamsin's best friend's husband has developed a reputation so Tamsin sets up a honey trap for him...then proceeds to sleep with him. Oops. Then it goes even more wrong.

Not an amazing in depth review on my part, but there's not much to say! It's worth a read and really won't take you long at all!

Have you read this? Would you recommend any other Jane Fallon books?

The Minimalists: A Documentary - my ramblings

I don't usually write down my thoughts on films, or documentaries (because it would mainly be AWWWWWWWH CUTE PENGUINS) but this one came at the right time for me to sit down and just type out my feelings.

This holiday season just gone was a weird one for me. It gave me time to actually sit down and think things through, and I came to an important realisation. 

I am not happy. 

There, I said it.

On paper, my life is perfect - I have a pretty well respected corporate job with one of the most prestigious companies out there, I've just gained Charted status, I'm getting married this year to the most amazing man I could ever hope to me, I'm 23 and have the rest of my life ahead of me, and my little Etsy is just taking off.

Pretty good eh?

Well yes. But I'm crippled with anxiety that something will go wrong or something will happen to James, and my job is so demanding that I barely have time to think. I'm away from home 75% of the time so I don't actually get to see my perfect fiance that much, and when I do, I spend most of it tidying our little rented flat. We're saving for a house, a wedding and everything else.

I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to have experiences. I want to make new friends. I want something as simple as being able to join a weekly club, like yoga or something, but the reality is, I just can't.

So what do I do to try and make me happy? I buy stuff. Stuff I don't need. Clothes, jewellery, books, take away coffees, DVDs, you name it.

Guess what? It work for about 10 mins, then I'm sad again, I'm sad that I've spent the money, sad that I'm not a clothes size smaller, sad that we don't own a home, sad that I'm always away, sad that I can't commit to anything, sad that I haven't seen most of my friends in 3 years.

The reality is, I'm in a dark cloud, and I have been for a while. I'm 95% sure I've got depression, despite being sure my entire life I'd manage to avoid it. I just need to see a doctor to confirm it, but guess what? I just don't have the time.

The few weeks over Christmas gave me the time to sit down and decide what to do. Well, I didn't decide as such, I made a vague future plan. A vague plan not to buy as much crap, a vague plan to see my friends and do more as opposed to buying more. A vague plan to enact once we've finally got a house sorted.

Then I watched this documentary. It's good. Let me say this first - I did really enjoy it as a documentary. It had some amazing features - like the focus on the tiny house movement (so cute) and the chats from all the different writers. 

The thing I felt though was that it didn't answer the question I was hoping for. Naively I sat down with a cup of tea, hoping that I would learn the secret to happiness in the next hour and a half. 

Spoiler: I didn't.

What I did find what an hour an a half of people peddling their books, and talking about how their life had changed, and they'd written it in this book and how popular the book had been. I also found the main two guys' version of minimalism a bit unobtainable. Like yeah, they got rid of all their stuff and quit their jobs to travel, but they were both on six figure salaries before that so probably had a fair amount of money saved up for food and stuff. They're also making loads from their book and this documentary, and their blog, so I don't really see how this can translate to the rest of the world....

Anyway, it is a good documentary. I'd recommend you watch it.

It also inspired me to have a bit of a spring clean and go through all my stuff to see if I really needed it - I didn't for the most part, and now I'm committed to keeping my life clutter free, and not filling the space with stuff, just experiences.

If I do end up finding the secret to happiness, I'll let you know. All I know is, in the long term, it isn't stuff.


Beautiful Broken Things - Sara Barnard

I don't think I'm the target audience for this book but I really enjoyed it!

It focuses on three typical teenage girls, navigating friendships, parents and GCSEs. One of them is the new girl in town, trying to find her place and running from her past. Her actions affect the other two in unimaginable ways, and change their paths forever. 

I really enjoyed this book, even though I couldn't relate to it much anymore. I read it in a day and would happily devour anything else by the same author.

Have you read this? What did you think?

Maker Focus: Rosebud Casson

Here's the second of my posts in my Maker Focus series! This time, the lovely Rosebud Casson.

Tell me a little about Rosebud Casson, how would you summarise your brand/what's your motto?

I'd like to think that my brand is all about nature. I want to bring the beauty of nature into our every day lives and also raise a bit more awareness in how to help the natural world. In 2016 I created a fundraising campaign called The Bee Box and I am planning bigger and better things for 2017!

How did you get started? What has inspired you?

I knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to work in some kind of art, and after completing a degree in textiles and surface design I wanted to go further and start up my own business. It's been such a learning curve but i have loved every second of it. I have always been fascinated by nature, and I couldn't think of anything better than to combine my two biggest passions, nature and art! And thus, Rosebud Casson was born! I've also been incredibly inspired by the friends and makers I have met along the way in this crazy journey!

What is your favourite item in your shop?

I can never really decide on this, as depending in what mood I am in depends on which product I favour the most. I've always loved the Honeycomb geometric necklace, but I think at the moment the little honeybee pin might be my current favourite, I love how tiny and detailed he is!

What advice would you give to people out there with their own crafty ideas?

I would always tell someone to do what they love. Go for it! You will never regret taking a chance and going for what you truly want to do, but you will regret not giving it a go. 

Who are your top three other makers? 

Ah they are so many! Right now I'd say Nutmeg and Arlo, Sunshine Jo and Oh No Rachio!

I'd love to see if you add anything from this beautiful shop to your collection!

You're never weird on the internet (almost) - Felicia Day

Another book down in my reading quest!

I sometimes feel like Felicia Day is the American version of me. Granted, the successful, pretty, funny, version of me. Okay, basically not me, But we've got some similarities okay?!

I read half this book on the plane to Newcastle and half of it sitting at home on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea - in hindsight, it's definitely the sort of book you need a clear schedule for because you'll devour it in one sitting.

I feel like my main takeaways from it are that it's not just me that feels that killing themselves working flat out in school wasn't worth it, it's not just me that feels redhead solidarity, and it's not just me that made a fool of themselves in front of Matt Smith...

Lessons for life there - whatever your thing is, you are not alone!

All joking aside, this book might have been the little push I needed to make my mark, albeit admittedly probably not going to put those plans into action until 2018 when I'm hopefully married, qualified and have a house (aka, safer than now!)

But yeah, If you've ever felt like maybe you don't fit in, this is the book for you.


Gothic Winter: New Etsy range

Happy New Year! Here's a quick plug for my Etsy - Tumble and Rose since I've opened up again for the new year and restocked!

Not only have I added more crystals, and thinner band sizes, but I've added more sizes of my opal rings, and perhaps the bit I'm most proud of , a new collection 'Gothic Winter', full of darkened metal and raw crystal necklaces, as well as a fossil or too!

I'd love it if you could check it out or spread the word about my one of a kind necklaces - my little Etsy means the world to me, and I love seeing pictures people send me of their jewellery!