Chills: a playlist

Click on the image to listen via Spotify!
Okay so at this time of year my music taste goes in one of two directions: either warm, soft sounds or very raw, shiver-inducing songs like in the playlist I have created above.

I listen to this when I feel in the mood for embracing the chilliness that this climate brings.

Happy, or rather chilly, listening!

-Evie ❁

Inside a cosy bookshop

As Winter approaches, I felt it was the perfect time to share with you possibly one of the quirkiest, cosiest bookshops I have visited. 

Barter Books is situated in the rambling town of Alnwick in Northumberland. It was opened in 1991, when Mary Manley opened a secondhand bookshop based on the swap system- hence the name, ‘Barter Books’. Mary thus opened the shop in the front room of her husband’s small manufacturing plant, located in Alnwick’s magnificent old Victorian railway station. 

So, in other words, this bookshop has taken up residence in an old railway station! The Manleys have clearly worked hard to preserve the atmosphere of a railway station, as you can see from the photos. It’s hard to describe the overall feeling from the place, but I know it was really special.

I hope you enjoyed this cosy post, and if you’re ever in or around Alnwick, I urge you to allow yourself an hour or two for wandering round this beautiful bookshop.

-Evie ❁

Mindfulness: an article by Martine

Mindfulness is a new way of being, a new way of experiencing life, and improving one’s work-life balance.

Before I start explaining what mindfulness is, I have to say that this skill may not heal all ills but it can make a great difference when it comes to perspective. Mindfulness may not heal your pain but it can teach you to live with it, and direct your focus to something better. It can prevent you from becoming unhappy by helping you to realize the many qualities of life. Mindfulness can also lead to increased confidence, calmness, enthusiasm for living and less anxiety.

Your thoughts can change your reality. If you can learn to appreciate the little moments in life, like the taste of a delicious strawberry, it can improve your life quality. Mindfulness is about changing your mind-set and the way you see the world. It’s all about being aware, and bringing attention to this moment of time, teaching you to notice every beautiful detail that is surrounding you.

Increasing gratitude
By raising awareness you can increase gratitude and compassion. This first happens when you realize the true gift of life. Focus on positive thoughts and let go of the negativity, fear and anxiety. Remember that gratitude and self compassion will bring you peace.

  1. Write it down: writing down things that you are grateful for can lead to less stress and a more optimistic outlook on life. Find a peaceful spot and write down what you are grateful for in your life (such as friendship and good memories).
  2. Sitting practice: sit down and allow your thoughts, good or bad, to drift by. Join hands and focus on your breathing. When you feel settled allow yourself to smile, to arise your face. Sit for a while and simply be.

Being in the now
Mindfulness is built on the skill of being in the now. That way mindfulness can work as a form of therapy. Instead of over thinking and over analyzing things while going for a walk, you will start nothing things like trees and flowers growing out of small cracks. By reconnecting with the simplest of moments in life, it is possible to to discover a sense of calmness and enjoyment. By simply looking around you, you can become more found of life. Practices you can do to stay present:

  1. Connecting to sound by not labelling it but just focussing on letting it drift by. Don’t let your mind get busy, simply close your eyes and listen.
  2. Standing starfish pose: Let yourself feel centred by this pose. Close your eyes and let your mind concentrate on your breath.
  3. Awaken your breath: Stand in mountain pose with feet apart and your arms by your side. Inhale and lift your arms over your head and move your arms down as you exhale. Repeat 6 times.

Acceptance is an important step to a peaceful mind. To accept your inner feelings there are several exercises you can do. By making these exercises a part of your daily routine you can increase your experience of relaxation.

  1. Confront your anger and let go: focus on your breath until you feel ready. Experiment with mentally moving towards your anger. Try to understand your anger by asking questions like: Why do I feel this way? Do not react, just sit still and focus on your breath. Do not finish until you feel the right moment has arrived.
  2. To let go of tension you can do the cat stretch: get on your hands and knees and repeat this stretch 6 times. In yoga terms, these 3 poses are called cat pose, cow pose and downward facing dog.
  3. The pebble meditation: visualize a pebble which you gently cast into the water. Imagine standing by a beautiful lake and allow yourself to visualize the sounds and tranquillity that is surrounding you. See yourself pick up a pebble and throw it into the water. What are you feeling now? Allow the pebble to sink deeper and deeper. Have your feelings changed? Then finally let the pebble settle at the bottom of the lake. What are you sensing or thinking now?


Thinking about: the end of the world

My mind has been filled with a lot of things lately. Questionable things that don’t really make all that much sense when written down. But, nevertheless, I’m going to attempt to express a small segment of my thoughts around a topic that has been swept into my brain by two separate entities.

That topic is ‘the end of the world’. I feel like everyone must have thought about this at some point in their lives, however some have more than others. Whilst some have blatantly labelled it as a ‘big fear’ and tucked it safely away in a corner of their brain to be avoided at all costs, others try their best to convince themselves that it’s a perfectly okay thing to be scared about. I don’t know quite where I belong, but I know that if I start thinking about the beginnings or, more often than not, the end of everything, my head feels like it’s literally going to explode. So I have to distract myself with some form of media or book. But, ironically this theme has managed to creep into the media I’m consuming in the form of a book and a film. So this is basically a glorified recommendations post with a little chat accompanying it.

The book is one that I started quite a while ago and read in small chunks, so as not to scare myself too much. It’s called ‘Life as we knew it’, and is the fictional diary of a teenage girl in a time of deep gloom for the world. The moon has been hit by a meteor, knocking it out of sync with earth and thus causing several natural disasters that threaten to end all life on our planet. Whilst this wasn’t the most well written book I’ve read(not possible given the format of a diary), it did make me really think about what I would do in that situation- would I, as the majority of people did: steal food and keep everything to myself, or endeavour to help others, perhaps jeopardising my own chances of survival in the process? Honestly, as much as I wish I could fervently ascertain that I would do the latter, you can never be sure until the situation arises.

The film is called ‘Seeking a friend for the end of the world’, and honestly I can’t recommend it enough. In a way this scared me even more, maybe because I watched it alone, in the dark, completely lost in the characters’ worlds and their fate. It has a very similar theme to the book mentioned above, but instead follows a single man looking for someone, anyone, to spend his last moments with before earth is blown up. It’s peppered with black humour and also has a subtle love story woven in, with Kiera Knightley playing the, very quirky, main female. What isn’t to love?

I hope this post made you think a little, and perhaps gave you a bit of material to pass the time before, you know, the end of the world.

-Evie ❁

Podcasts I’m loving

Lately I’ve really been getting into podcasts. They’re a great alternative to music for getting ready in the morning, or listening to on the tube. I have to admit that only recently did I discover that there is an actual iPhone app called ‘Podcasts’ where you can find them all, for free! But don’t worry, if you don’t have an iPhone, you can listen to them all online, too. So, in this post I’m sharing a few of my favourite podcasts: I think there’s one for everybody here!

  • Serial; If you are, like me, a fan of crime shows, you simply need to listen to this. It follows the true story of Adnan Syed who was arrested for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. It is so gripping that it’s hard to stop listening, so I would suggest listening to it, uninterrupted.


  • Ladies Who Lunch; This podcast is hosted by Cat Valdes and Ingrid Nilsen, who are both known for their YouTube channels. Although more light-hearted in mood, they tackle really prevalent issues in our society, including friendship, feminism and sexuality.


  • Stuff You Should Know; These five-minute long episodes are so informative, about interesting and often obscure subjects such as hysterical strength,grassoline and contagious yawning.


  • Welcome to Night Vale; This fantastically odd podcast tells the story of a made-up desert town called Night Vale. I would recommend this to anyone with a strong imagination and a love for the bizarre.


  • Witch, please; This is seriously my dream podcast. Two smart and funny women talking about my favourite other-world: Harry Potter’s. If you love Harry Potter as much as I do, you need to give this a listen.


I hope you found a new podcast to listen to after reading this post, or perhaps are only just, like me, entering in to the glorious world of podcasts. Happy listening!

-Evie ❁

Interior loving

Recently we were lucky enough to spend a week in the idyllic town of Alnwick in Northumberland. 

With Alnwick Castle(aka Hogwarts!)  and Barter’s Books on the doorstep, it really was my idea of a perfect getaway. 

But today I wanted to show you some snaps I took of the beautiful house we stayed in. It was decorated in my exact interior taste: lots of white, wood and plants!! 

-Evie ❁