A field of sunflowers


Sunflowers always remind me of my grandparents house. Where the sunflowers would shoot past the garden shed into the sky. Harvesting the sunflower seeds as summer drew to an end.

Annmarie xoxo


Two Dragonflies

I was browsing through Waterstones and came across ‘Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way‘ by Jennifer Orkin Lewis, and I immediately bought it. I loved all the prompts and how each month had a different theme and choice of materials to use. I’ve been eager to start it on the 1st January. I’m going to try and keep as close to the suggested 30 minutes.

The first month focuses on markers and black pen with the first prompt being two dragonflies.


I haven’t really worked with markers before so I wasn’t sure how to colour everything (hence the first green leaf on the left). I was surprised once I finished how it all came together and I really like it, especially the dragonflies.

Annmarie xoxo

Setting goals part II

Technically writing this in 2017… but let’s ignore that technicality.

At the end of 2015, I set myself five goals to work on throughout 2016. I was expecting to achieve roughly 70-80% of the below, so I think I’ve done pretty well. It wasn’t until I was gathering all the evidence for this post did I realise how many mini victories I had over the year. I guess it’s very easy to lose sight of them.

I definitely want to stick with these goals, and continue to progress with them during 2017.

1. Apprendre le francais
I completed the reverse tree on Duolingo (French > English). For Duolingo I reached 89%. Although I did have the following message pop up in August. I haven’t completed the drill books, however I have been more immersive in my learning, listening to French radio stations / TV programmes / podcasts

Goals for 2017: Communicate more in French, getting more involved in language exchanges, practising translations. Possibly taking a French class?

2. Read more
I completed my challenge of completing 23 books, and then exceeded it by reading an additional seven books! Reading a total of 11,689 pages.

Starter For Ten – David Nicholls
Hummingbird and the Bear – Nicholas Hogg
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne

The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
The Two of Us – Andy Jones
A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar

Paper Towns – John Green
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
The Program – Suzanne Young
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joye

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Perfect – Rachel Joyce

Room – Emma Donoghue
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers

It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany
Somewhere Inside of Happy – Anna McPartlin

Before I go to Sleep – S. J. Watson

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it all – Jonas Jonasson

Goals for 2017: I’ve set myself the challenge of reading 26 books, whereby the author’s surname of each book has to start with a different letter of the alphabet. With the added rule of not being able to purchase any additional books to complete the challenge.

3. Exercise and diet
My diet has had it’s ups and downs this year, but as we have progressed through the year it has gotten considerably worse. Exercise wise, I have been running since February. It wasn’t until I restarted the Couch 2 5K programme that running became a routine. Once I came back from holiday, I started to slack a little on going to the gym. But when I did go I was pushing myself and was able to complete little goals such as rowing 2k within 10mins at a resistance of 10. Something I have been trying to do for the last few years.

Goals for 2017: Join the local parkrun, I have been putting this off a while but now I can run 5k I have run out suitable excuses. Try several fitness classes, join a local sports club, get back into pilates. Avoid junk/processed food.

4. This blog
Awkward….same story, different year.

Goal for 2017Break the bloody broken record.

5. Mental health
I honestly feel like I am in a much better place mentally than I was this time last year. I still have a lot to overcome or improve, but I have done things this year that I wouldn’t have imagined of doing (travelling – posts to come, promise!). I had a really useful block of CBT earlier in the year and I’m slowly reducing my medication. Exercise has definitely been a great replacement, and having my lunch breaks surrounded nature.

Goals for 2017: I want to continue with the exposure therapy. This year I want to take it to the next level and throw myself into my idea of hell or things that I wish I could do/were doing but currently can’t imagine myself ever doing.

6. Getting arty farty
New goal for 2017! Over the last few months of 2016 I have been practising hand lettering and drawing. I’ve found it very therapeutic and have loved firing the creative cylinders in my brain that were collecting dust. I’m hoping to continue this through 2017 and showing some of the work on here.

Annmarie xoxo

Love yourself paper cutting


Had the sudden urge to make a paper cutting.

Annmarie xoxo

C25K – Week 1, day 1

My friend and I were talking about doing the Color Run  (it really pains me that the ‘u’ is missing) in June. I feel like I need to get my arse into gear before then, so I can keep up. Over the last few months I have tried to get back into running, however I lacked the structure. I would go out and run for 10 minutes, then want to die and kept hitting the same wall each time. Plus my anxiety kept playing up and made it hard to keep my breathing steady.

So I put in my sexy secondary orthotics, as I have metatarsalgia/ flat feet and my primary ones are made out of hard plastic so these are more cushiony when pounding the pavements.


When I first started the insoles were digging into my arch making it quite uncomfortable to run. I also had a problem where I didn’t realise the app I was using would just ping when it’s time to run/walk, so I missed most of the first minute run by accident. During my fourth minute run, something in my body clicked and I started to enjoy the runs and it felt comfortable like when I used to run properly. My pace probably has to drop to survive week 2 though. It started to spit at the end which was welcoming.


Annmarie xoxo

Review: The Rosie Effect

I had originally read the first in the series The Rosie Project. I had loved it and was happy to hear there was a sequel.

Except part of me wishes I didn’t read the second book. It ruined the happiness I felt for the first book and Don and Rosie’s relationship. I loved Don as a character, although he has his flaws (and he has many), I just wanted to take him under my wing as he tried to salvage his marriage and tried his hardest in his own way to fulfil the baby project.

There were still brilliant scenes in which Don gets himself in trouble by just being himself as usual. But this time it felt like the humour was lacking. It was also hard to like Rosie because of her behaviour. It’s a shame she was made into the raging hormonal crazy pregnant lady.

Overall it wasn’t an awful book, but because I loved the first one so much, my expectations were a little too high for the sequel which led to disappointment. It was nice to revisit their lives a couple of years later (for me, not them) and I enjoyed the ending. I just can’t decide whether ignorance really is bliss in this case…so three owls.


Annmarie xoxo


I downloaded Paint Tool Sai and was mucking about to try and work out how you actually use the programme and tried (emphasis on tried) to create a galaxy.


Annmarie xoxo