Finding Connections

This week has made me feel a little like a Jonah Hill GIF. Google it.

IMG_20150309_080451_editI felt garbled and disconnected and when I stumbled across Jay’s Daily Prompt response here in my Reader… I started looking for more to cheer me up. I found these beautiful denuded trees (I highly recommended enlarging the image), juicy vines and this mahoosive market in Barcelona.

It reminded me of one of my favourite posts, Precious Mornings.

I’m going to re-connect with myself through a relaxed weekend involving books, magazines and coffee. Yes, I’m back on the coffee, just one a day keeps the grumps away. And I’m on Instagram as – you guessed it – PetalandMortar!

Celebrating 100 posts, 1000 likes and 1000 tweets

It has been a crazy old weekend. The Follow Friday post resulted in so much feedback into Saturday, I had a hard time keeping up on my phone. We were out in the countryside and the only way to get a proper signal was to balance on one leg and dangle my arm out the window!

Today, I’ve logged back onto my laptop and discovered (since 19 January this year) I’ve written 100 posts, received 1000 likes, and tweeted 1000 times. So today’s post is a round-up-best-of-Petal-and-Mortar bonanza.

I suppose a good place to start is with my intro to motherhood. Then read about some setbacks on the road to recovery. Read my open letter to the Duchess of Cambridge and her new daughter. Maybe bake a batch of peanut butter cookies, or tahini cookies, before you settle down to read. Enjoy some of my attempts at photography, such as BlissConnect and Oddities. If you’re looking for books to read this summer, I can highly recommend Maine and The Lemon Grove. Laugh along at my daughter’s thoughts. Get swept up in the excitement backstage. Make some carrot cake. You’ll need a sugar rush to get you through grief, rage, panic attacks and social phobia.

If you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, follow my blog for more adventures, or come say Hæ/hej/hello on Twitter (@petalandmortar). Also, check out the fellow bloggers who like and follow my posts. They’re pretty awesome, too!


A wonderful reminder for all the bloggers, photographers, bakers, quilters and creators out there:

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures”

Henry Ward Beecher


#churros #southbank #londonI can’t believe today is our last Photo101 assignment! It feels weird knowing there won’t be another prompt on Monday. You know me, I like a PLAN. So I’m on to the A-Z challenge next month. A blog post Monday to Saturday, starting at A, ending at Z. Watch out, blogosphere, so far, I can only think of ‘zucchini’ for Z.

Are there any other fun blog challenges next month? 

If any of you lovely readers are on Twitter, come say Hi @petalandmortar

Rotate Your View & Rewire Your Brain

I was reading this incredible article, Neuroplasticity: You Can Teach An Old Brain New Tricks, this morning, and I thought how apt it was for our photo assignment today.

Rotating our thoughts by being mindful of them can lead to new neural pathways and connections in our brain, which can hardwire us to react with happiness, peace & gratitude. Watching my daughter’s near-miraculous recovery has convinced me of what scientists have been saying for 20 years now: the brain is dynamic and can be re-coded, hence the term ‘neuroplasticity’. 

Today is my daughter’s birthday, and instead of wallowing and remembering the trauma of the day she was born, I chose to wallow in her happiness, her delight, her excitement at being 9! I’m anticipating her face when she sees that a long-wished-for book has just arrived. And you know what? I haven’t cried once today. It’s grey & raining and I’m feeling happy. How about that, elastic brain?

Rotate Collage

Original photo was from the Mystery & Light assignment from 2 weeks ago.

Living on the Edge

So, I’ve had two songs running through my head today: Living on the Edge and The Edge of Glory – I really can’t help myself!

Other thoughts this morning:

  • The knife-edge of pain in my hips is gone, which means I can roll over, sleep on my stomach and start running again with two whole hip flexors! Psoas major, I’m glad we’re friends again ❤
  • Nine years ago today, I was on the knife-edge of motherhood, chugging through labour with pizza, an exercise ball and the Friends boxset
  • The terrifying anxiety about working with another bad set of people has faded, and I am excited about putting myself ‘out there’ again. I love being my own boss and I am good at what I do, and I need to get back on the horse.

Edge Collage

Through the Looking Glass

I had a dance with anaphylaxis on Saturday (accidental ingestion of kiwi in a beverage), and the after-effects were unpleasant and persistent. So I finally caved this morning and took the drugs to counteract the rabid hives which had proliferated across my neck and chest. A common side-effect of the drug is mild anxiety-like symptoms and extreme woolly-headedness (like I don’t have that already!). Cue fun take on assignment!

I’m bringing you along on my journey so you can see what it’s like, first-hand. I used two glass jars and my camera phone, and the results are pretty darn good, if I say so myself! Ready to tumble?


Square jar, on my bedroom floor

jar corner

Corner of the square jar, where the camera struggled to focus

table through glass

My walled patio, through the bottom of a jar

weed through glass

A weed in the cracks, seen through the mouth & body of the jar

My treasures, close up

The last seven days have been treasure-full! Friends visiting from Iceland, bags of Icelandic liquorice, meeting up with a great group of female entrepreneurs, an early birthday celebration for daughter & her bestie, teaching them to make sushi and going to the movies…

But my two favourite treasures are the consistent ones: my caffeine-holder and the maker of the caffeine-holder!


Mug1 My favourite mug, made by….


my real treasure! ❤

International Day of Happiness (& Landscape)

Right, people, today is International Day of Happiness. The solar eclipse left me feeling underwhelmed because of the cloud cover, so I’m focused on the sunshine that has burnt through, and the fact that I get not one, but TWO, surprise visits from the Icelandic besties this week. One lives in Iceland and the other in Scotland, so real facetime is precious. Busting out with happy today. The hills are alive….

Landscape Collage

Do you think Maria would have enjoyed yodelling here?


FeelGoodNetworkI really struggled with today’s theme, and some might say this is more an emotional impact than a visual one, but I just had to share!

This awesome little card was passed to me by Cat, founder of the FeelGood Network (I’ve written some posts for them). It made me feel 10 feet tall! It’s the same feeling I get when I see another comment or like on a post. So to everyone that has stopped by, liked, commented & followed this blog:

You are awesome!