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Things I'm looking forward to - House edition

My current desk set up, complete with a two mattress backdrop and cramped work space

For the last few months, Craig and I have been staying with his parents in one of their spare bedrooms while saving for a house. We were saving money while renting but it wasn't making much of an impact with rent and all other bills coming out monthly, so given we had the option to try and save more money this way, it became the obvious choice. Low and behold, it worked a treat! We managed to save the bulk of our deposit in just over three months. Baring in mind we've gone for a very modest little house so our deposit probably wasn't as big others, but a little house is just enough for us and the pets.

I'm so excited to move in. I've been living on my own (with Craig, too) for the last six years so these last three months have really tested my ability to not only change my entire routine, but force me to adapt to new living spaces. I'm not great with change, so living in one bedroom has been difficult. I'm also not the most sociable so it's made for a few awkward encounters along the way. But we've survived and we get the keys on Friday! With all that said, I've made a little list of things I'm looking forward to when we get into the house.

Not sharing a bathroom
Is there anything worse than being desperate to use the bathroom and someone is in the bath? Or the opposite, enjoying a bath and having someone constantly ask when you're coming out? I'm lucky Craig lets me indulge in two hour baths without saying anything.

Being able to make a mess in the kitchen
As I'm not in my own home, I feel awkward making a mess when I cook. I mean, I clean things as I go along obviously, but sometimes there's the odd chopping board, pot or pan that needs cleaning etc, but dinner is made and hot. I end up cleaning up the rest of the mess and by the time I get to my food it's cold. No more. I will be enjoying my food when I make it and then cleaning afterwards.

Not feeling awkward at dinner time
Being vegetarian has it's downsides when everyone you know isn't one. I can't share a meal with anyone, which was fine when it was just Craig as I could accommodate that, but when it's his whole family eating dinner and I'm sat upstairs like a leper, it gets to you after a while. It'll be nice to actually have proper dinner with Craig again.

Being able to keep things in separate rooms
Right now, ALL of our things, including the pets, their stuff and cages, are in the same room along with other stuff from family. To put that in perspective that's two giant cages, three mattresses (only one is ours), two desks, a giant tv, two massive wardrobes (neither are ours), two six-piece chest of drawers (one is ours), a tv unit, a bed frame, a head board (not ours), a gas fire, two chairs, a few guitars and some other things chucked in for good measure. It's a LOT of stuff. It'll be nice to have space again.

Not having to travel an hour on the train anywhere.
Craig's parent's house is kind of out in the country, which is beautiful for the scenery, but a nightmare to get anywhere. Even getting to Glasgow is an hour on the train. Our house is just over fifteen minutes from the city centre, it's brilliant.

We can decorate how we like it
We've always lived in rented flats which means you generally can't decorate without the owners permission. Now we are the owners. If I want a pink wall, I'll paint one. If I want exposed brick in the living room, I'll expose them bricks. If I want to hang a few pictures on the wall, I'll be hanging those without sending a 'Please can I do this?' email first. (Obvs will run it past Craig, though. Don't think he'd appreciate a pink wall..)

So yep, almost time to get some space again, and I literally cannot wait. Wish us luck!

t h a n k   y o u   f o r   r e a d i n g
you can also follow Pearl & Whimsy here for all new posts.

Six bands I've rediscovered

I've been using Spotify for years now and I only figured out that if you scroll down to the bottom of your playlist Spotify recommends bands and songs based on your music that would likely match. I was honestly so happy because I never knew it did this. Hello scrolling for an hour finding loads of bands I'd forgotten about and now love again. So I thought I'd make a wee list of bands I've rediscovered and send you down an emo-memory-lane. (I like to pretend that I didn't go through an emo phase, but I can't deny it, it was glorious)

Enter Shikari
Album - Take To The Skies
Song - Labyrinth

If you'd to ever ask me what my favourite band is I'd always say Pink Floyd. HOWEVER, Enter Shikari are an incredibly close second. I adore this band and have done for a very long time. The first time I heard Sorry You're Not A Winner it blew my little teenage mind. My absolutely fondest memory of them is going to see them at Glasgow Barrowlands when they're second album Common Dreads came out and I got to hold the lead singers hand. I got so involved in the music and crowd I didn't even notice I had lost my shoes! I really messed my feet up by jumping around in my socks and getting my toes squashed, I had to do to the doctors to have two splints put in the next day. Worth it, though. Plus, everyone just knows to do the *clap clap clap* bit.

Panic! At The Disco
Album - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
Song - The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage

I don't think there's anyone who went through an emo phase and didn't listen to P!ATD and I think pretty much everyone knows the lyrics to I Write Sins Not Tragedies. I loved this album and it was one of the first to be put onto my little MP3 player, the one that when you pressed a button the background light changed colour. You know the one I mean. I still listen to this album on a regular basis and still sing my little heart out if it's ever played in a pub/club.

Fun fact #01 - This band got me banned from MSN for a few weeks. When everyone was going through phases of putting their favourite lyrics as the tag bit I thought it'd be a good idea to put "I've got more wit A better kiss A hotter touch a better fuck Than any boy you'll ever meet Sweetie you had me". In hindsight, probably not a good idea when your dad was constantly checking on you. Also, remember MSN?

Album - Ocean Avenue
Song - Only One

I haven't listened to Yellowcard since I think I left high school. I used to love this band and I found it funny when people asked who I was listening to and they'd be like okkaaayy... Still though, this is a great album and sounds like one of those albums you'd hear in a teen film about coming of age and they're driving through Beverly Hills with the top down and looking all punky and smiley. Good summer music to jump around to.

Album - Fallen
Song - Going Under

Going a little bit more emotionally heavy here, Evanescence definitely played a huge part of teen life. I remember the first time I ever heard Bring Me To Life was on Top of the Pops and I literally jumped out of my room and downstairs to turn the volume up and stare in awe at the TV. Hooked, instantly. I used to try and dress up like Amy Lee, but could never pull off that heavy make up look and just ended up looking like that girl from The Ring. Maybe one day.

My Chemical Romance
Album - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
Song - Thank You For The Venom

I couldn't write a list like this and not include MCR. I mean, c'mon, I'm Not Okay is like an emo anthem. Can anyone actually resist screaming out the lyrics to this when it plays? Even the 'trust me' part. This was the first band I ever let my dad listen to when I started to branch out into my own music and I was so nervous about it because, if you couldn't tell, my dad was very strict. I let him watch the video and listen to I'm Not Okay and he just looked so disappointed in me, but let it slide. I was allowed to listen to them and venture into my little emo phase. Cheers, dad.

Fun fact #02 - I used to be close friends with this girl in high school who, after finding out I liked MCR as well, fell out with me instantly and stopped talking to me because they were "her band" and I wasn't allowed to listen to them. I took it pretty hard, but looking back on it now it honestly makes me laugh so much.

Fallout Boy
Album - Take This To Your Grave / From Under The Cork Tree
Song - Calm Before The Storm / Sugar, We're Goin Down

I couldn't pick a single album or song for Fallout Boy, because I love them equally. Calm Before The Storm I think is the only song where you can hear them try to add a little "screamo" to the song with Pete Wentz, but it don't think it went down too well and they stopped it from there. Still though, it's a great song and my favourite on that album. Again, talking about anthems - Sugar, We're Goin Down is another one that I think that everyone just instinctively knows. Put it on, I dare you to not sing along.

So there you go, a few bands for you to go back and listen to and relive the glory days of emo and punk music. Oh, and if you didn't ever listen to these bands when they first came around, go listen now, you won't regret it!

t h a n k   y o u   f o r   r e a d i n g
you can also follow Pearl & Whimsy here for all new posts.

A few little plans for October

I still can't believe that it's already October. I know it's a little too early to be talking about the 'C' word, but still it's right around the corner. I don't really have any plans for Halloween so the festive period is on my mind instead. Things are moving along for us buying a house and college is going well so I've been keeping a little list of things I want to do and get done in the next few weeks.

Start exercising again.
I haven't been been to the gym in well over a month now. After moving out and starting college things sort of slipped on the fitness front, but hopefully I can get that back on track. I was doing well for a few months so I think it'll be hard to get back into it again.

Complete Breath of the Wild.
I re-started Zelda: BotW again about a week ago and I'm trying to complete it again. I love that game, but honestly, it's huge. Although I do hate the stupid rain mechanic, it's dumb and annoying.

Go looking for conkers.
I probably should have started looking for a conkers a few weeks ago but I still want to go and look for some. I love finding conkers so hopefully there's still some left.

Buying a proper pair of boots
I wore my last pair of boots until they fell apart so right now I'm relying on my converse, but seeing as they're canvas, they're letting in every bit of water that even remotely come close to my feet. I can't find a pair of boots that I like though, they're all either suede or have a huge heel on them. I just want a nice pair of waterproof boots with no heel. It's not difficult.

I'm planning on keeping the next few weeks fairly quiet and lowkey, saving for a house is difficult and it's also my little mum's birthday soon. It should give me plenty of time to keep going with Blogtober, though.

t h a n k   y o u   f o r   r e a d i n g
you can also follow Pearl & Whimsy here for all new posts.

Going to attempt #Blogtober

I've never really been one for attempting to do blogging challenges, but I've been looking for something to spark my interest in blogging again. I said at the start of the year that I was looking to get back into blogging properly again and then essentially it fell by the way side due to issues in my personal life or I just didn't have enough time. Now things have quietened down for the moment while we look for a house to buy (which is stressful itself) so I feel like I can give it a genuine bash.

I've got a list of blog posts written out and a few typed out already, so hopefully this gives me the little boost I need to get going. I'm also counting this a Blogtober post #01, because I'm a cop out and I needed an easy first start!

Now I'm off to go play some Breath of the Wild and get ready to post blog #02!

t h a n k   y o u   f o r   r e a d i n g
you can also follow Pearl & Whimsy here for all new posts.

Going back to college again

Since starting college again this year, I've realised a few things about myself and other people. To start with, I kept actually going back to college a secret as I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was going through with it. I'd been considering going back to college for the last four years and it's only been this year that I decided to go for it.

So I enrolled and I'm now classed as a mature student studying web development and digital design. Mature student. At my interview when she was discussing my portfolio she said I'd be a mature student because I'm over twenty-five and my heart sank into my stomach. Mature? If she really knew me, she would not be calling me mature. I act like a child 90% of the time and the other 10% I'm just hiding the fact that I want to act like a child. But yeah, I'm a student now, mature or not.

Going back to study is super weird though as I've not been in a classroom environment in over six years. I'd forgot all about registration, listening to a lecturer for three hours and finding it annoying when the person sitting next to me will not stop talking. So, here's a few things I've learned since going back to college.

I'm totally over-prepared.
I purchased loads of new stationery, despite not needing any of it. I finally bought myself an Ipad Pro because I knew it would come in handy for the design aspect of it (I'd wanted one for ages anyway!). I've sectioned all my classes into folders and categories in OneNote, along with doodled notes, slides, PDF's and more, it's all so neat and organised and I'm only a week in. Hopefully I can keep it up.

People talking over the lecturer when they speak makes me realise that maybe I am a mature student.
Mature enough to know that when someone is speaking, you're generally meant to be listening. Especially when that person is the one who will decide if you pass or fail, so ye know, shh?

I now have no patience for people younger than me when they say 'back in the day' or something else implying they're old.
You're not old, you're literally eighteen. Lighten up and stop being such a moan. I mean I know I'm only twenty-six, but c'mon.

I'm not a fan of people who are deliberately annoying and disruptive.
High school is over, guys, that joke about 'your maw' should've stayed in first year where it belongs. If you want to make a joke that silly, save it for outside the classroom. Also, no one cares if you find this SO EASY!!!, please stop shouting out random spouts of half conversation to the entire room.

I actually enjoy getting up early now and can function fine with less sleep.
I used to find that when I was working full time I would need at least seven or eight hours sleep in order to feel well rested and I loathed getting up in the morning. Now, I can get by on around four to five hours sleep and love getting up in the morning. I actually wake up enthusiastic about my day because I know I'm going out to do something I genuinely find interesting and not something I feel like I'm being forced to do. It's so refreshing.

I'm keeping in mind that I'm not just doing this for myself.
As cheesy and lovey-dovey as it sounds, I'm actually doing this for Craig, too. He left his course and university and walked into a well paying graduate position with almost no down time in between and has been earning so much more than me ever since. I want to be able to reverse that or at least make it even. He's definitely the breadwinner in the relationship, but I'm hoping that once I get the qualification I'm after that it can be a bit more even on the financial side of things.

So yeah, I'm officially back to be a student again. Although, I do completely hate my student ID card, the picture on it is the worst. I look so angry and ready to punch the camera away from me. In my defence though, I'd gotten soaked walking from the train station to the class so I was probably a little grumpy.

Anyway, I'm off to go do my homework.

Homework.. still sounds weird to me.

thank you for reading
you can follow pearl & whimsy here!

New Ipad Pro 10.5 - Spending too much money

So on Monday I went on a little spending spree! Although 'little' wouldn't exactly be the word I'd use to describe how much I spent at the Apple store in Glasgow. It was definitely a lot! However, I did get a student discount off the Ipad, the Apple Pencil, the protective case and the promotional free Beats, so all in all it was actually pretty good.

Why napping is actually a good thing

I am definitely one for taking a nap. I remember even when I was younger enjoying taking a nap, I wasn't one of those kids who you see trying to be put into bed for a little nap and fighting it, I was all for taking a little mid-afternoon snooze.

moving house and catching up

I never know how to start off one of these catch up / chatty style posts without being like "hi guys!" and it's all cheesy and stuff, like I'm speaking to my millions of youtube subscribers and it's all cheery and smiley, you know? Anyway, I suppose this counts as a start to a post.

Why it's okay to make small changes

First of all, I'll get this out of the way quickly, I don't think I'll ever tire of the peace sign pose for selfies, it just reminds me of all the love I had for the Spice Girls. Second of all, my hair is no longer pink, it's back to being a weird faded gingery colour, the pink did not last long at all. (also shamelessly posting a selfie!)

Okay, on to the main reason for the blog post - I'm talking about making changes in your life.

This post will focus on small changes regarding vegetarians, vegans and cruelty free products, so if you fit into one of those categories or are interested in reading a bit more then sit down and get comfy cause this could be a long one.

Life update & mid year goals

Time for another little life update as I've not written anything here in over a week. I do have good reason though - I've not been myself recently. In fact, it's more than that. I've not been myself, I've lost all track of dates and days, I've been to and from the doctors like a yo-yo and I just generally feel awful. I'm eating probably less than one meal per day and struggling with that and I barely leave my flat, unless I need to go to the shop for food etc.

Why I'm gradually going Vegan

On the 17th March I made the decision to go vegetarian.

This is something I've been wanting to do for years but there's always been a few factors that have stopped me doing it. Selfishly, I let them get in the way. Silly things like it'll make it harder for Craig and I to share a meal together (because he's so bloody fussy), I would have to learn how to cook differently without using meat as the main of a dish and I would have to learn to cook with different ingredients. The majority of my reasons came down to laziness and then I eventually decided enough is enough and quit altogether.

Where to buy cute stuff when you love cats

It's no secret that I'm a cat person. I've always lived with cats and thought they were one of the best pets you could have. I don't have a cat right now because after my lovely little Winry was put to sleep last year, I haven't had the heart to want to get another little bundle of fluff quite yet. Maybe soon, but right now I'm still heartbroken over losing her.

What I do in the mean time is buy loads of cat things! I mean, how many cat mugs is too many? So I thought I'd do a little post of a few of my favourite little cat items I have in the flat, as after posting a photo of the cat mug a few people were asking where I'd got it.

How to add a custom domain to blogger

When I updated my blog and changed my URL I got a few messages on Twitter asking me how I got my domain name to link with my Blogger account. So I thought I'd write out a little tutorial showing you a step-by-step guide on how to do it!

A new start - Pearl & Whimsy

Over the last few weeks I've really struggled to maintain an active interest in blogging and I couldn't really figure out why. I tried changing up my blog look, how I took my photos, what I wrote about and nothing really worked. I put it down to it all feeling a little bit stale. Then I was scrolling through Twitter and noticed there were a few people talking about re-branding their blog and when I thought about it a little more I realised that's exactly what I wanted to do.