Sunday, 29 March 2015

Book Haul #3

Daffodils and books

The Bees by Laline Paull
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Yup, I bought more books. I've now got a fair few waiting to be read, so I've decided to go on a book buying ban until I've finished every unread one in my book shelf. There is just something really difficult about resisting to buy books, especially when Amazon offers them for really cheap, or when you happen to pop into a second hand book shop.... Almost all of these are books that I've really wanted to read for quite a while, so I can't wait to get started.

The Bees, Station Eleven, The Miniaturist and The Luminaries are all Amazon finds. I've heard a lot about both The Miniaturist and The Luminaries -- a mix of good and bad things, which in a way is good as it means I won't read them with too high or too low expectations. The Bees and Station Eleven are both books I've picked up many times in Waterstones. I haven't heard as much about them as I have about the other two, but they both look very intriguing. I picked up Everything is Illuminated and Captain Corelli's Mandolin in an Oxfam secondhand bookshop on the way back from university. I've read a couple of Jonathan Safran Foer's novels before and like them a lot, and I've heard a lot of good things about Everything is Illuminated. The author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernières, is one of my mum's favourites and she especially loves one of his other books, Birds Without Wings. I've been meaning to read his novels for a while, so when I found Captain Corelli's Mandolin for £2.5, I couldn't leave it behind.

Have you read any of these, and have you picked up any new books recently? I hope you've had a great weekend!

Love, Mimmi

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Highlands Part 3: Dornoch Town & the Beach

Dornoch town
On Saturday, after our walk and after having lunch, we went into Dornoch town to explore. Dornoch is a really quaint and charming town, located right by the sea. It's tiny, but there are still things to do and see. We started off by having an amazing hot chocolate at the Castle (which I failed to photograph), before going for a wander about the town.

Dornoch town

Dornoch Cathedral from the outside
Dornoch Cathedral

Dornoch Cathedral

One of the most beautiful places in Dornoch is the Cathedral, which dates from the 13th Century and is located right at the heart of the town. After visiting the Cathedral, we wandered around for a wee while longer and spent some time in the shop 'Jail' which is located in the old jail building. Having seen most of the town, we headed down to the beach for a walk.

Dornoch beach

Dornoch beach
Dornoch beach

Dornoch beach
We timed it perfectly with the sun going down, and the light was really beautiful. On our way back, however, the rain came upon us, but that's just Scotland for you. We headed back to Dana's house for a delicious home-cooked meal, and then went back in to Dornoch for a few hours at the pub.

On Sunday we went for a walk with the dogs to Dornoch bridge, and Dana drove us around a bit to show the surrounding area, which is really, really beautiful. I didn't bring my camera, however, so I don't have any photos from that day. The rest of the Sunday was spent mostly lounging in the living room, and then there was the four hour trip back to Glasgow, which actually went by surprisingly quickly. The weekend flew by as well, probably because I had such a great time. Spending the weekend with the girls was lovely and I'm so glad I got the chance to see more of Scotland and of the Highlands. 

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Happy Post #15


Where on Earth did March go?! Can you believe we're more than three quarters through the month already, and that April is almost upon us? I can't. I'm not complaining though. I'm so ready for spring, and there are so many things to look forward to in April. This weekend has been a good one, but I've had a few rubbish days over the last week, for various reasons. However, that only makes it so much more important to cherish the good things, right? Without further ado, here are a few things that have made me happy recently...

Reaching 200 followers on Bloglovin'. Of course numbers aren't actually important, but it's just pretty great knowing that people read my ramblings and enjoy them enough to want to see more. It's definitely a confidence boost!

The signs of spring everywhere. I think it's safe to say that spring has finally arrived. There is sunshine, blue skies, birdsong, daffodils, longer days and that special spring-like feeling in the air. Wearing lighter clothes and less layers without freezing is really rather wonderful.

Not having any more essays to write. Just like last semester, I had five essays, of which three were for the same week, so for a while things were a wee bit stressful. I did enjoy writing a couple of them, but it's such a relief to be done with all the coursework. So now I'm enjoying my free time as much as I can before I have to start revising for exams...

Getting to read purely for pleasure again. As much as I enjoy reading novels for university and broadening my reading habits, it's lovely being able to just pick up a book and read, without having to look out for themes and underline important bits. That said, I still find myself thinking in that way ever so often... I guess it's become a habit.

Finally finding the time to catch up on skype with one of my best friends from back home, who is currently studying in China. We hadn't talked properly since Christmas, so it was lovely to catch up with her and hear about her life over on the other side of Earth. We ended up talking for a couple of hours, although it felt like so much shorter.

Almond butter. I used to eat it quite a lot last summer, but when I started uni I told myself that it was out of my budget. But then, the other week, inspired by Deliciously Ella, I treated myself to two jars (Holland & Barrett was having a buy one, get one half price campaign!), and I've been eating it daily ever since. I love putting a spoonful in my porridge, but it's also wonderful with banana coins or apple wedges. Or just on its own, straight from the jar... Yeah, I'm obsessed.

Finally, here are five blog posts I've enjoy reading recently:

'The Little Things' on Bluebell & Bumpkin

'Wednesday Words #5' on The Peppermint Pencil

'10 Ways to Being Happier, Right Now' on Pale Lily

'Adventures in Spring' on The Tea Drinking English Rose

'A Birthday Trail Along the Surrey Hills' on Snug

Also, I wrote a feature about Glasgow on the lovely Lu's blog, which you can check out here!

What has made you happy recently? Has spring come to where you live yet?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Highlands Part 2: The Big Burn Walk

Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland
Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland

Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland
Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland

Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland
Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland

Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland
Big Burn Walk, Golspie, Scotland

So, it's time for the second post from my trip to the Highlands the other weekend! On Saturday morning, we took the car to the nearby town of Golspie to wander along the Big Burn walk. It's an hour long walk up a gorge, right up to the waterfall in the last photo. You walk along the stream, sometimes crossing over from one side to another on wooden bridges. The walk is really beautiful all the way, and the waterfall at the end is quite spectacular. It was really lovely to get a big dose of nature, since that is something I miss with living in the city. It was the perfect way to start the day.

Are there any beautiful walks near where you live?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

New in for Spring

Clothes and make-up
Clothes and make-up
With the imminent arrival of spring, I felt a need for a few new additions to the wardrobe, so this Friday I headed into town to have a wee look and ended up buying a few things.

Blue shirt and white crochet top

Firstly, I got two tops. On the left is a simple but lovely, super soft (and a bit wrinkly, oops) light blue shirt from Forever21. On the right is a beautiful white top with crochet details from New Look. I love how versatile and wearable they both are - they work great both with black jeans and tucked into a skirt, which is what I wear most of the time.  The weather here is still more jumper-appropriate most days, but hopefully I'll be able to wear them very soon without freezing.

Eyeshadow palette, blusher, lipstick and earrings

Eyeshadow palette, blusher and lipstick
The eyeshadow palette is the only thing not purchased on my shopping spree. I won it in the lovely Jasmin's recent giveaway, and it was such a welcome addition to my make-up stash. I've already used it quite a few times and I love it to bits. With the Boots points I had accumulated since September, I got the Max Factor Creme Puff Blusher in Nude Mauve and the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss lipstick in the shade 08, both of which I really like so far. I also got a set of three pairs of earrings from Accessorize for everyday wear and a light-weight, grey scarf from Forever21 to go with my spring jackets. 

Have you got any new clothes, accessories or make-up items recently?

Love, Mimmi. 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Highlands Part 1: Exploring Inverness

Inverness rooftops
Last weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, my friends and I went up to the Highlands. My friend Dana is from a wee town called Dornoch, one hour outside of Inverness, so we stayed at her place for a few days. A lot of the time was spent lounging about and having a generally relaxed time (which was wonderful and very much needed), but we also made sure to explore the area a bit. Dana, Alice and I took the bus up on Thursday afternoon and our friend Jenny joined us on Friday evening, since she had university duties on Friday. On Friday afternoon, before meeting up Jenny, the three of us went into Inverness for a few hours.

Churros and hot chocolate
Our first stop was the chocolate themed café So Coco, where we had hot chocolate and churros with melted chocolate. It was very, very sweet, but insanely delicious. You can never go wrong with chocolate, can you?

Leakey's bookshop
Next, we visited the wonderful second-hand bookshop Leakey's. The building is an old church and it's full to the brim of thousands and thousands of books; some very old and some more recent. It's really quite magical and we ended up staying until the shop closed. Yup, we're all a bit obsessed with books.

Leakey's bookshop

Leakey's bookshop
Leakey's bookshop

Leakey's bookshop

Leakey's bookshop

Next, we wandered through Inverness (which was looking quite pretty in the evening light) for a while until we decided to get something more substantial into our stomachs and went to a pub/restaurant called The Filling Station.


The three of us all opted for a pizza with vegetables and goat cheese, and afterwards we treated ourselves to cocktails. Exciting stuff! After our dinner, we were picked up by my friend's mum, who had also picked up Jenny at the bus station. The evening was spent quietly at home, as we were all pretty shattered.

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy Post #14

Glasgow rooftops

The weather in Glasgow recently has been a bit schizophrenic, with snow and cold winds one day, and sunshine and mild temperatures the next. The photo above is from this Wednesday, which was absolutely lovely. I'm hoping that the weather will get a grip and realise that it's technically spring. By the way, how crazy is it that it's already March? I seem to talk about this all the time, but I really can't believe how quickly time has gone. I only have three weeks of lectures left, and then it'll be April. I'm a bit torn, honestly. While I'm happy spring is coming and looking forward to April, when friends and family will be visiting, I also feel a tiny bit like I've barely had the time to just be. Mostly, though, I'm really excited about spring and summer. While you're reading this (hopefully, as I've never tried scheduling posts before...), I'm up in the Highlands with my friends, which brings me to my first point of this wee happy list...

Getting to go up north to see the Highlands. Me and my closest three friends have been talking about going for a long time, so I'm really happy it's finally happening. One of them is from a small town near Inverness, so we're spending the weekend exploring the area and having a good time. I'm really happy to get the chance to see more of Scotland, while also spending time with my favourite people.

Finding Deliciously Ella's Cookbook at the bargainous price of £8 on Amazon. I've picked it up and flicked through it several times in Waterstones, but haven't been able to justify the actual price tag. When Amazon discounted it to less than half the regular price, I jumped at the chance. It's such a beautiful and inspiring cookbook that makes me really keen to try some new recipes.

Winning Jasmin's recent giveaway was such a nice surprise, as I never expect to win. The Too Faced palette is my taste precisely (I love those neutrals), and her crocheted eye masks are so cute too. I'm so excited to receive both things!

Making plans with one of my best friends from home about her coming to visit in April. I haven't seen her since New Year's and I'm so looking forward to spend some quality time with her and introducing her to Glasgow.

Catching up with my sister over skype this Tuesday. We haven't had time to speak a lot this year, with us both being busy at different times and because of the time difference (she lives in Japan), but we finally managed to find a time that suited us both and ended up speaking for more than two hours. It was really lovely to just chat about everything and anything.

And here are five blog posts I've enjoyed reading recently:

'Chilli Chocolate Brownies' on Daydreams of Summertime

'Birthdays, Bucket Lists and a Q&A' on Through the Thicket

'Being Yourself is Underrated' on Miss West End Girl

'20 Really Simple Beauty Tips I Wish I'd Known Sooner' on Thunderlove

'5 Ways to Feel More Confident' on From Roses

What has made you happy recently?

Love, Mimmi.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Weekend on the Isle of Arran

Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran Beach

Isle of Arran Beach

Isle of Arran Beach
Isle of ArranIsle of Arran

Isle of Arran Sheep
Isle of Arran and sheep

Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran
Due to a jam-packed week (or rather, weeks), followed by a weekend away, I wasn't able to keep my regular schedule of posting on Thursdays and Sundays, but now I'm getting back on track. I spent the weekend on the Isle of Arran, which was really lovely. The trip was organised and partly funded by the Department of Scottish Literature, and we were around 20-25 students, from people in first year to PhD students, and three professors.

On Friday, we arrived at the hotel just before lunchtime, and after lunch the whole afternoon was dedicated to presentations - each of us had to prepare a presentation about Scottish literature or culture. After a wonderful three-course dinner, we watched a Scottish movie and then I (as well as most people) went to bed. On Saturday morning we listened to the second half of the presentations. After lunch we were supposed to go for a walk along the beach to see the famous King's Cave and the beautiful scenery, but with every step we took the storm got worse and we were forced to return. After a couple of hours of relaxing, it was time for a three-course dinner again. The rest of the evening everyone simply sat around and chatted, which was really nice.

Sunday was the last day, and the weather was looking much better. After a late breakfast, a game of Scots "Call My Bluff", a short walk along the beach and lunch, we took a coach trip around the North of the island. We stopped at a couple of places to have a look around, and I was happy to get the chance to see more of the island. Arran is really beautiful, and I'm sure it's even more breathtaking in summer. There's still a lot I haven't seen though, so I definitely plan on coming back. All in all, I had a really great time. I met some really lovely people, ate a lot of delicious food and improved my knowledge of Scottish culture. Plus, seeing so many sheep roaming around everywhere made me really happy, haha.

I apologise for the photo dump, but it was impossible to pick only a few!

How was your weekend?

Love, Mimmi.