January, we had fun

January was a great month on the blog.

I made some delicious soup (Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup), took part in a photo challenge (highlights below) and published the post which was Freshly Pressed, to my delight, on February 1!

I kick-started January with the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge, welcoming in 2013 with a photo a day.

Browse highlights from my entries below:

Day 1: Resolution:

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Day 10: Gorgeous hand-knitted socks, knitted by a friend


A wintry photo entry for day 14’s “Frost” theme

snowy tree

Day 19: Fur


Day 31: snowdrops signal the end of winter


I also enjoyed challenging my writing skills with challenges from The Daily Post

My dream trip: a writing challenge about traveling set my imagination on fire.

Another writing challenge: Starting Over, a short story set in Mexico.

Cultural Life celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with this post:

January 28 1813.

And on January 31, I published this weekly writing challenge post, about saying an emotional goodbye to my mother at the doors of the operating suite. It was Freshly Pressed! I don’t often use the word “awesome” but being Freshly Pressed was the embodiment of that word. Thank you to everyone who commented, liked and shared my post. Welcome to my new followers and thank you for helping to create a great blogging month here at Cultural Life!

Photo challenge day 31: End

It’s day thirty-one of the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge from Fourtuitous, celebrating the first thirty-one days of the year with a photo a day, and that means it’s the end.

Snowdrop flowers signal that winter is coming to an end and spring will soon arrive.


Snowdrops signal the end of winter

Snowdrops signal the end of winter

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Fourtuitous First Thirty-one photo challenge day 9!

Continuing with yesterday’s Jane Austen theme, here is a photo of a scene from one of my favorite movies to watch on a cold winter day: Sense & Sensibility. Kate Winslet plays Marianne Dashwood, who loves brisk romantic walks in the English countryside, leaving her with a muddy hem and rosy cheeks!

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Photo challenge day 8: Home

Day 8 of the First Thirty-one photo challenge from Fourtuitous!

Home: a place where you can sit in comfort, absorbed deep in the pages of a good book.

First Thirty-one photo challenge day 8

First Thirty-one photo challenge day 8

This month marks the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is a literary classic and one that I love to read.

Photo challenge day 7: Growth

It’s January 7, we are a week into 2013 and that means we’re also a week into the First Thirty-one photo challenge at Fourtuitous. Today’s theme is “growth”.

The decorative heart in the photo was a gift to me. It is designed so you can create a kind of collage: postcards, photos, favorite greetings cards… It hangs in my bedroom and at the moment it is empty. But during 2013, I want it to become full of memories of the year and to reflect my own personal growth throughout the next year.

Photo challenge: day 7

Photo challenge: day 7

Photo challenge day 2: Branches

It’s day 2 of the First Thirty-One Photo Challenge! One photo for each day of January 2013. Go to Fourtuitous to find out more!

Today was hectic and it was dark before I had time to take the second picture for the photo challenge: a tangled web of branches, stripped bare of their leaves by the winter chill. Apologies for the bland, unexciting photo but it was the best I could do today!



Photo challenge day 1: Resolution

Happy New Year!

I have chosen to take part in a 31-day photo challenge which I discovered via the blog, Fourtuitous.com. Starting off 2013 with a photo every day sounds like a fun idea to me!

Day 1: Resolution.

My resolution for 2013 is to get outside and go places. I want to spend more time outside, exploring the world, and less time sitting behind the steering wheel of my car.

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Resolution: to get outside and go places

I used the photo-editing website, picfull.com, to have some fun with applying filters to my photo.

Reblog: First Thirty-One Photo Challenge

To kickstart my blogging year in 2013, I plan to participate in this photo challenge. It will be the first photo challenge I have done and I look forward to it! Because I don’t use Instagram, I will post each photo on here instead.


Created by Audrey Zimmerman

Be inspired this New Year and share your inspiration with us! Using your Instagram savvy, take a photo that captures each day’s theme and share it at #firstthirtyone. Audrey–Amelia’s sister, her shop model, and our dear friend–will choose her favorites for the week and post them here every Friday.

First Thirty One


Join us in capturing the New Year with fresh eyes. We can’t wait to see what inspires you!


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