Friday, 9 October 2015

LIFE: Small Things


Once October rolls around I feel like one of the few people that doesn't go for the whole pumpkin thing, so forgive me while nothing pumpkiny fills up today's small things post. While everyone might be stocking up and drinking gallons of the pumpkin spice whatevers, I've been feeling more at home with my huge box of Yorkshire tea that landed on my doorstep (along with packets of instant custard and angels delight) in a birthday care package from the homeland for my birthday. Now that's more my kinda thing!

Otherwise other happy things include;

  • Joe brought me a brand spanking new laptop for my birthday. Yey I finally have a working laptop that actually came with Windows 10 so I didn't get to kill another laptop in the upgrading process.
  • Said laptop coming with the kindle app and a local library that offers downloadable books for free to borrow - I'm far too excited. 
  • Dear Ms Leigh is the expat blog of the month over on Expat Blog - for which I rambled on about myself. 
  • Stitched a Halloween Kitty although I forgot to take a photograph of it completed before passing it to my friend ... oops 
  • That birthday of mine.
  • I finally got around to ordering my spring bulbs. Over 200 of them. Far too excited for them to arrive - lots of daffodils, iris's, glads, crocuses to name but a couple.
  • Doing lots of reading - Night Circus, Friends with Boys and Ocean At The End of the Lane being particular highlights of the last two week.
  • Binge watching How To Get Away With Murder - love that show and season two is looking to be just as good.
  • Lots of tasty new food places and cocktails drinked
  • Hungry Howie's chocolate brownies with raspberry topping mmmm
  • Taking a birthday road trip to Cincinnati - enjoyed the night in a hotel and got to visit the zoo again (couple of blog posts upcoming ... eventually) but think baby red panda and blue penguins! 
  • Oh and feeding a giraffe - much fun! 
  • Seeing some of the Ohio countryside/farmland while trusting google maps diversion around accidents and roadworks. 
  • Starting a Scandinavian advent calendar cross stitch kit - a birthday gift my parents picked u[p in Norway which is far too cute and I'm loving every stitch. Fingers crossed I get it finished in time for December 1st. 

So tell me, what's been rocking your world lately?!

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

LIFE: Eight Photos Of Happiness

Sometimes you see a tag post come across your blog reading and you actually think, wow that isn't half bad. Then you tag yourself and away you go. Which is what I actually did when I spied Kerri's version of eight photographs of happiness

It's one of those nice tags where there's no silly pointless questions, it's not got that feeling of being done to death and you can just ramble to your hearts content. 

I'm easily pleased like that. 

So here goes, eight things that not only bring me happiness but are pretty important things in my life.

Birthday Day


Cross Stitching

Not only is it my oldest hobby - I've been cross stitching since I was about five, but it's the one thing that's sure to take my mind off of things. So having stitched on and off for 24 years, it's a big part of who I am. It was actually something I was bullied for being able to do growing up so I abandoned it for a good couple of years, but i'm having a second wind these days. It's relaxing, I love creating, I love still how it all comes together. Plus now I've taken a hand to designing some pieces too, the fun just keeps adding up.

Birthday Day


Picking out my first kitty Bertie is one of my earliest memories. Being an only child I guess Bertie became my closest companion growing up. I'm a self titled cat lady and share our house with Ed (pictured) and Smokey, I love hearing their purrs, getting kitty snuggles, having them walk all over me even if I'm trying to stitch ... 



Fall Colours

One of the best best reasons (aside from being with the love of my life after all) is being in a state that offers some of the most incredible fall colours once September rolls around. There is nothing like those burnt reds, crisp oranges and vivid yellows. It takes your breath away .... (although having to rake up all said leaves is another matter). 

Stitch Characters

Being Mr & Mrs

Joe, well he's my best friend. I'm not sure how I came to deserving him but I'm so glad he's decided to spend the rest of his life with me. But our life together is the one thing I don't really share on my blog and I like it that way :)



I sound like a broken record, but most people write Detroit off, even locals. Which annoys me to no end. But I love having the motor city on my doorstep, I love exploring it's areas, it's food culture and getting around to sharing them here on the blog. My fault is that I can get a little bitchy about it - like if you say you're going to get murdered, mugged, attacked, hijacked just because you went three meters south of 8 mile you'll feel my wrath. #SorryNotSorry 

Pittsburgh Incline


My geeky love is certainly for trains - big trains, train tracks, incline trains (as above with the Monogahela Incline in Pittsburgh)  model trains. I love them all. In fact for my 21st birthday, aside from all the partying at university, my big highlight was taking another ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.



More often an not I love exploring what's on my doorstep. Growing up with staycations far before it was cool, I'm a fan of keeping my nose to the ground which the how and the where's about things to do. When time and money allows, I love getting to explore new places. Finding those fun local places off of the beaten track. 

Birthday Day

Zoo Trips

One of the favorite things in my purse is my zoo membership card. I love being able to pop in as and when. Plus it helps having those discounts to reciprocal zoo's around the country - especially the Cincinnati Zoo which is my favorite I will be honest. Moreover the Detroit Zoo is often considered one of the greenest zoo's and it's making great strides in helping endangered creatures, building new exhibits and spreading the world about being green.

While I managed to pick of eight, I probably could have featured about 80 more (including say reading, Pittsburgh, photography itself, gardening, butterflies ... the list is endless). But I'm sure they give you a general impression!

What would be in your eight photographs of happiness?!

Monday, 5 October 2015

FOOD: Toast


Walk into Toast, a breakfast & lunch diner in the Detroit 'burb of Ferndale, you'll be greeted to walls decorated in a funky street art style, old style tables and quirky vintage toasters lining the walls. Offering an impressive breakfast and lunch menu, Toast has become the toast (yes pun intended) of the town, even before being voted one of America's top 100 places for breakfast. 

Toast became our destination for brunch over my birthday weekend. We'd heard great things about it, but not being ones to dine out for brekkie, it had always passed us by. But anywhere with crowds and queues outside can only be a good thing even if you're lacking in patience like myself, so when the mother in law was in town, it was our brunch destination of choice. 

Toast Toast

From waffles to burritos, all kinds of omelets to an ever growing adult drink menu (think cucumber mimosas and adult coffees) alongside the standard juices and hot drinks. The strawberries atop my waffle were fresh and sweet, and the thick slice of cinnamon bread a side to Joe's Petoskey omeltte (think dried cherries, brie, bacon and caramelized onions mmm) was delicious. The place is loud, it's quirky, it's full of personality and very charming in it's appeal. It's certainly popular with the locals, with a 20 minute wait outside for seating on a somewhat warm September morning it wasn't too bad, there's always mug fulls of coffee to keep you warm in your waiting.

For two people not really huge breakfast fans any place that makes us want to return surely as to be a hit.

Fancy checking it out for yourself? Well you'll find Toast at;
23150 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI 48220

Friday, 2 October 2015

LIFE: Photoblogging a Birthday

Birthday Day Birthday Day Birthday Day Birthday Day Birthday Day Birthday Day Birthday Day

With family visiting for the weekend and me being social awkward in taking too many photographs, I happened to miss last Saturday's monthly photo and hour link up. But with having a lazy day on Wednesday for my birthday, I thought I would photo blog it instead. Photos weren't taken every hour I will be honest, just as and when. They actually happen to highlight and speak a lot about me - my love for dippy eggs, cross stitching, loosing myself in a good book, a good film to picking vegetables. It's a day that makes me happy, a day full of things that make me happy. A pretty good start to being 29 I reckon.