Saturday, 31 October 2015

The October Project #5

Dear You...

This is my last instalment of the October Project and how quickly this month seems to have gone!

Whereas last week saw me thrilled for my birthday but feeling overwhelmingly anxious for seemingly no reason, this week I seem to be back on track and had even forgotten that I was struggling at all! Funny how meditation and a bit of me-time can sort life out a little.

Last Saturday, I went to Brighton with two of my best buds from uni and we had a rare old time. With our closest friends it is true that you could be dumped absolutely anywhere and still have a ball, but Brighton was definitely a setting that added a lil summin' to our high spirits.

If you know me, you may be aware I am mildly obsessed with supporting independent businesses; if I had any power, we'd all be buying from small establishments with character over huge chains (you can totally kick me if this annoys you!) Thankfully for me, the Laines are knee deep in little businesses with big hearts. If you're not familiar with Brighton, definitely add Snooper's Paradise to your itinerary; I first visited a good six years ago and it's a wonderful place. There are also lots of secondhand shops, indie book places, stand alone homeware heavens and beautiful boutiques... So worth a wander.

A photo posted by Anna (@byhermirror) on


I've re-ignited my passion for soup - cue eye rolls from former housemates who were forced to watch me consuming it on a nightly basis - but this time it's been all about my own recipe! Get me. Essentially I've been roasting the veggies I fancy (usually involving sweet potatoes, onions, peppers and tomatoes) and then giving them a darn good blitz with a hand blender. Filling and so warming too.


I finished Go Set A Watchman and I'm in two minds as to whether I should dedicate a review to it... Let me know if you'd be up for it! I've also started Etta and Otto and Russell and James based on Lilly's recommendations and I am enjoying it so far.


I got super into the Weeknd this week (I really need to stop vetoing things because they are linked to 50 Shades... but this track is an old favourite that I rediscovered). I also jammed out to Mount Dreams and fingers crossed their songs will be in my videos soon!


It feels so sad to be sharing my last link roundup but here we go:

5 Night Routine Hacks - My girl Jenn shares some excellent advice for making routines a little more hassle free
Through A Lens: In The Vineyards - Lilly's visual stun me again
Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling - This video explained SO MUCH about myself and you may relate too!
Why Generation Z Are Deleting Their Social Media Accounts - Something I saw coming a while back but I loved this article's thoughts; via DotDaria
Defining Who You Are As A Blogger - Hanh's thoughts are fascinating as ever
Hello - Adele making the rest of us look like shoddy excuses for human beings as per
American Horrory Story - What do you make of this season? I've heard some complain but I am loving it (that may be the Matt Bomer effect)
FvF visit Rosa Park & Rich Stapleton - an oldie but a goldie
Elaine Bolt Ceramics - help I'm dead...
Instagram? More Like Latergram - interesting insight into the mechanics of our favourite network

And thus concludes the October Project! Many thanks for your kind words and catchups this month, it was a lovely experience sharing with you!! Please let me know how your month has gone and if you enjoyed this series - perhaps it can pop up at a later date...


Friday, 23 October 2015

The October Project #4


It's been a quiet week on the blog - please accept my apologies on that front! After weeks of thinking about digital detoxes and worrying about always being online, it's been so nice to have a week where I've just been focused on seeing friends and family. I celebrated my birthday on Monday and while it was really difficult not being able to speak to my twin brother (he's away on a military training exercise without his phone), I still had a lovely day. My gifts were so thoughtfully chosen: the vase pictured above is made by Clare Dawdry and matches the bowl and mug I so treasure, while my pressies from my uni girls included a book filled with knitting patterns for cat hats; this was my reaction.

Mum and I went to Stamford, a beautiful Georgian town in Lincolnshire. We wandered round its endless churches, admired its brilliant charity shops and had a cuppa in the George hotel... apparently what one does in Stamford! My favourite discovery of the day was this wool shop, where I bought a kit for some beautiful mittens. So far they are tricky but fun too.

This weekend I will still be celebrating... Who am I, the Queen?! The plan is to spend the day in Brighton, then stay over in London for a Sunday of gallery mooching. You can guess how very excited I am already!

But now for this week's edit of good stuff:


I just realised, with a shock, that I haven't made anything new that I can tell you about this week! Instead I will tell you what's next on my agenda; this raw ice cream looks just incredible.


I'm still making my way though Go Set A Watchman and very intrigued where Harper Lee is taking me. Among my stash of secondhand reads that I collected in Stamford's charity shops is Le Mois de Septembre, which I am hoping will fill the French hole in my life!


I've been listening to podcasts a lot this week and this older episode of This American Life was arguably my favourite of the ones I have heard so far. Writer Lindy West breaks the golden rule of the internet by speaking to her trolls; the results are fascinating.


I need to say again that I've been a bit of a lousy internet user this week, so apologies for the brevity of this list!

David's Recent Wedding Photography - David's photography is beyond gorge
Life Favourites - I am still obsessed with Emma's blog and it was so lovely to read her lifestyle loves of the moment
Why Climate Change Is A Threat To Human Rights - Such a fascinating angle on such an important subject
A Weekend Away: Photo Diary - Bridie's trip looked utterly gorgeous
Ridiculous Stock Photo Challenge - I made the mistake of watching this on a bench in public and it left me very giggly indeed

That is me done! Thank you for the birthday wishes, I really appreciated them - and come and tell me about your week, I so want to know how you are!!


Friday, 16 October 2015

The October Project #3

Dear You,

How have we reached Part Three of The October Project already? The old adage is proving to be true, and time is very much flying while we have fun. I hope you've been enjoying autumn's return. Darker nights are not the easiest thing to get used to (especially the further north you go... the difference between the Midlands and the south coast of England is incredible) but I am so ready for autumn colours to do their thing.

Have you had a good week? I know I have; something about being days away from your birthday seems to do that to a person! My plans revolve solely around seeing people, with a little adventure planned for next weekend... This weekend however will involve a day trip in Southampton for one last hoorah, as the last of my housemates from final year is moving on to bigger and better things. If you know and love Southampton, you will be pleased to hear that we have a visit to Wagamama's planned, as well as some decadent waffle goodness in Sprinkles (and I am keen to drag the girls to see what art exhibition is on in the Civic Centre). It's going to be sad but so, so lovely too.

For the day of my birthday, Mum and I are going to kick it grandma style and go for a mosey around a beautiful town somewhere... fingers crossed for some antique hunting. (And feel free to judge me on that last sentence; I evidently seem to think I am celebrating my 96th birthday instead.)

Please send birthday wishes through the ether to my twin brother too; he will be away on military training in Spain so won't be able to celebrate on the day!!

On to the roundup of this week's goodies...


I am still on a cooking kick and this week I made Madeleine Shaw's granola (which I will be tweaking a little as I found it a bit too bitter); some brie, mushroom and bacon tarts; and two stunning pizzas of entirely my own GENIUS invention. If any of these sound like the kind of dishes you'd like a recipe for, just holler in the comments and I will make it happen... and join me on Snapchat (username byhermirror) for more cooking fun!


I've finally started Go Set A Watchman and while I'm very much still in the story's shallow end, I am loving being back with Scout and Atticus. It was a little disconcerting to be given a third person perspective at first, but I settled in and am now used to the shift. I do need more fiction for my reading list - my non-fiction reads are piling high but I could do with some classics to provide some literary padding.


Tycho, obviously. Dive is most definitely one of my favourite ever albums. I also listened to this Owsey track a lot this week; it made me cry thanks to its haunting composition and its achingly relevant title.


I know you guys love these links; hopefully you enjoy this week's selection.

What I Should Have Done Differently When I Started Blogging - Emma's posts always come with an original angle and I loved hearing her thoughts on this subject.
Vegan Health Food Haul - Juliette's videos are just as beautiful as her Instagram
Notes For My Daughter: Weak & Strong - That Sara can produce both beautiful words and pictures is so inspiring to me. I've also been following along with her amazing Instaretreat and encourage you to join too! 
The Many Problems With, You Sound White - I love Chescaleigh's videos and this was such a great watch
In-Grid - Cereal Magazine's online journal stuns yet again and I love finding brands that are rewriting the rulebooks
The Michalaks make Sundays magical  
I re-jigged my Pinterest - what do you think?

And that does it for this week! Would you like to contribute to next week's October Project? Before this little mission is over I would love to get you guys involved so please drop me a comment below if you would like to join in! 


Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Happy Wednesday friends... You've made it to Hump Day, wahoo! I hope this morning finds you well, and ready for some motivation, as today I have a little selection of my goals for this season.

I don't need to tell you why I adore this time of year; browsings on Instagram and in the blogging community have confirmed that there are plenty of folk who appreciate a crisp morning, the warmth of a wintery brew and some stunning seasonal sunlight as much as I do.

It seems only fitting to welcome in the changing weather with a new mindset and some new tasks to tackle; I hope you enjoy!

Before deciding on my goals, I did the initial stage of this exercise that Leney explained, to give me an idea of what areas in my life needed the some attention. It was actually very eye-opening, so I recommend checking it out!!


I've just started attempt two of Siobhan's beautiful Bramble Stitch Snood and I think it's bloody gorgeous. I'm not a hugely experienced knitter, so my first version was distinctly wobbly along its edges; so far, its younger sibling its showing some promise. After that I'll be knitting a drop stitch scarf for my dad, a hat for my lovely friend Corinne and then looking up some mitten patterns, no doubt hugely influenced by these. If there are any patterns that you are working on at the moment, please feel free to let me know what you're up to in the comments!



This November will see the last day of my Project 365, which was a mission I never thought I would complete!! If you do want to take a peek, its official Flick album is here... but do be warned that I've been on a very steep learning curve since its conception. It is amazing to think that in years to come, I will have a record of one year of my life... If you're considering giving it a go, do it, you will be amazed by how quickly it becomes a habit!


Most people I am sure feel pulled to get outside in the summer; I am very much the opposite and love nothing more than frosty walks in the autumn chill. Conker collecting, rambles in the brambles and games of pooh sticks are all on this season's agenda. I realised after writing this post simply switching off my phone and blocking out technology isn't enough; unless I fill that free time with something fulfilling, I will always feel that I am missing out on something online. This morning I went for a walk with my bestie and her pooch and it was the nicest start to our day.



My travel plans for next year are as ambitious as they are thrilling... I don't want to jinx things by telling you about them too soon, but I will be spending some time in two countries that I have been desperate to visit for the longest time. Both adventures will doubtless be documented in detail so do not worry, you will hear all about them on this space. I was also surprised by how nice it feels to be saving my pennies in the knowledge that they are going to a great experience... it makes saying no to impulse purchases infinitely easier!


This last one is proving to be my biggest challenge of late but one that I am relishing. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of zero waste living, this podcast is an excellent starting point; I've also included a video on the subject below. (Found yourself drawn to ideas like slow living or minimalism? Then this is a lifestyle that will really speak to you.) So far my experiments have been limited to the essentials that I buy myself; I have a solid deodorant, shampoo and conditioner ready for when each of my existing toiletries run out, and have been using a gorgeous slab of Lush soap in place of shower gel and shaving cream for some time. Progress on zero waste food has been far slower; living with my parents means there are limits, but I think I am slowly getting somewhere! Every little counts as they say. If you have heard of this lifestyle and are interested in chatting, I would love to hear from you! I am in dire need of someone to bounce ideas off.

And there we go... Those are the goals I will be working towards this season and I would love to hear about what you are working on too. In the meantime, have a lovely week and I will see you on Friday morning with Part Three of The October Project!


Friday, 9 October 2015

The October Project #2

Dear You,

Well hello there my friend!

How has your week been? I hope it has treated you well (and if not, I hope next week is better!)

We're into week two of The October Project and I firstly need to thank you for being so great about its first installment... I wasn't sure how you'd feel about it, so your kind words were very much appreciated.

This week was a lesson in how things don't always go as planned... but they can still be okay! My trip to Cambridgeshire to see my housemates from when I lived in France - alas - didnae happen. A migraine came out of nowhere at work and I'll be honest, I was really disappointed: I haven't seen them in person since April 2014. We did have a Skype instead however and it was like every time I call them... It felt like we were picking up on a conversation that had only just ended.

My hunt for a second job seemed to be going awry until a uni friend told me (after watching my breakfast video) that I should get in contact with people who need video content, and that is definitely something I am going to start looking into.

Lastly, I received a really nice comment on one of my recent Instagram photos from the lovely Maria, whose pictures are in the grid below. I was so shocked by how few followers she has compared with how gorgeous her photos are, so it would be so great if you checked her out here!

Maria's photos make me feel lots of emotions... all of them overwhelmingly positive! 


It's been a food centric week on BHM, hasn't it?! I ended up cooking two lots of sweet potato fries (both excellent... they're my signature dish, so I can't be modest guys), some damn fine falafel and I also made all my breakfast ideas... Woops! I did want to tell you about the process of making the video though: the first two dishes were one-takers, filmed without a hitch, but those bloody eggs... I made scrambled eggs three times in a 24 hour period and the last version (the one you guys saw) I couldn't actually eat! It had to stay in the fridge until I had recovered... at which point they tasted great again.


I'm reading Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw and I think I'm going to make a video on my thoughts on this and Deliciously Ella (don't worry, I won't be repeating what I said in this post!)


I've been absolutely obsessed with this track by Darius... As I said to Lilly, it reminds me of the soundtrack to Drive.
I also love Kiiara's voice: Feels is my favourite track.


It's been an excellent week:

A New Way To Set Goals - Leney breaks down a great strategy for goal setting that I am itching to try
The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn't True - Mia Birdsong delivers some home truths and its conclusion left me on the brink of tears
My Illustrations & Some Exciting Career News - Hayley from The 5 Year Memory Blog shares some gorge artwork and I am so happy for her next step job-wise
Meet Ash & Kristofferson - Holly introduces her gorgeous new pets with a photoshoot that will make you laugh and want to book flights to Canada in order to steal them (just me?)
Travel: St Ives - Cate St Hill shares dreamy shots and words from her trip to Cornwall and both will stun you
Hanhabelle Turns 2 - so pleased for Hanh as two years is an amazing achievement! Her roundup of her blog's high points was a gorgeous touch.

That's me done... Please come to the comments and fill me in on how you are doing! What were you up to this week? And what are you up to this weekend? Let a girl know!