Thursday, 28 November 2013

Songs I Have Been Loving

Every so often I find that I get really into finding new songs and listening to old ones which I had not listened to in a while and I think that I have been having one of those times recently and want to share with you which songs I have been loving recently.

I hadn't heard this song before watching this video but it fits these lovely period dramas well and includes a few of my favourite films - Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Titanic etc. It is so beautiful.

This is an old favourite of mine which I really love. The fun, jiggy tune which reminds me of barn dances alongside lyrics about such a beautiful love are really all I need in a song - hopeless romantic Jay Gatsby type that I am.

I love A Fine Frenzy's music but this song is just so moving and the lyrics are really poignant. She really deserves more recognition as she is so talented.

I love The Band Perry's country sound and this song is lovely. Kind of makes me want to take a trip to American and travel around in an old-timey way.

I first came across this song when it was in an advert and had to look it up. I love the lyrics and just everything about it - whoo, go Paloma!

This song is so beautiful and I love it even more as it is in German but the English translation is gorgeous as well.

I absolutely love King Charles - in fact, I saw him in concert - and this is my ultimate favourite of his.

Bit of a classic but who doesn't love a bit of Elton? I love the lyrics to this!

I think this may be my all time favourite song ever. It is so beautiful. Definitely didn't discover it through A Cinderella Story though... heh.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I would love to hear what your favourite song is and if you like any of these songs.
If you want to chat you can always tweet me at @TheEmeraldDove any time!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013


I know that this is not the normal kind of thing that I post but I feel that it is important to share this as this is my blog and I don't want to conform to expectations but share things which really do mean a lot to me.
Basically I have really been feeling the peace of the Lord recently and this is something really big for me as I
have always been the one on the sidelines believing in God in my mind but waiting for it to fall to my heart and I feel I am now on the way to doing this.
For a long while I have felt quite distanced from God (through a fault of my own, of course). I have had my mind fixed upon worldly things and really have not made any time or effort to try to 'keep in touch' with God. I have not been wholly separated but I have just not felt close to a great extent at any time. But the last couple of month I have felt further than usual from God and I was just focusing everything on worldly things - such as university application and other things - and just making no time for God and not letting Him have any control through fear that my plans would get messed up and what He would want would be different to me (which I feel terrible writing but I have to be honest). So, at the height of this time I was putting things which really aren't important right at the top of my priorities and letting them dictate my emotions and outlook  - I just didn't feel very happy or peaceful.
Then last Sunday I went to Church and something seemed to change (rather cliche). I would describe it as peace. It is like you suddenly realise that all those things you thought were really important don't have the same level of importance or influence anymore. I can only describe it as that feeling of something being really important then it stops being important but it is not an emptiness but a freedom from the things which once had a big influence on you. A realisation that all those hours you spent worrying about things really were wasted and you feel thankful that you can now see it and won't waste more time. I feel like I was really at the height of my wandering then suddenly it all changed and this really can only be God-given. It is like God has removed the chains of worldly things which were holding me back and now I just feel much more happy and peaceful and it has just struck again a hunger to learn more about God within me.
I just wanted to post this so if you feel like I have been feeling you can see that it happens to everyone and I would just say if you are growing away from God just try to make time to pray and be with Him but don't feel guilty as everyone will have felt this way at least once.

I absolutely love this hymn and Owl City sings it amazingly!

I find this sermon amazing - and the guys voice is rather cool!

This sermon by Louie Giglio is quite long but if you skip to about 26:20 you will find a really inspirational testimony and, even if you aren't religious, you need to watch this. Trust me, it is funny and extremely moving.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I am really put my faith out there and I feel a bit afraid about posting this but I trust that everyone will be respectful (no-one is ever anything else). As a bit of a disclaimer, I am not trying to force my religion upon you and I don't want to offend anyone but I felt this was important to share. 
If you would like to chat to me more about faith in a more discreet way you can always email me at

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Vintage Christmas Gift Guide

I am one of those people who like nothing better than a bit of vintage. You will often find in an antiques shop oohing and aahing at everything, collecting old leather bound books and scouring charity shops for hidden treasures. So, I can imagine that finding the perfect present for someone like me would be a bit difficult for a modern minded friend or family member hoping to give that one amazing present. Thus we have a vintage gift guide made entirely of items from the high street or not-too-high-end brands.

Although this coat is a bit pricey if you have a daughter or sister or someone you want to spend a bit of money on I would advise buying this gorgeous coat. Imagine this worn with a dark floral skater skirt, a burgundy jumper, thick tights, a satchel and a pair of brogues. 

I think this sweet little chalk board would be perfect in any bedroom and perfect for those who are a bit forgetful (guilty!)

You can always trust Etsy when looking for something beautiful and these opal earrings are no exception! I am a big fan of opal and these look amazing and are quite affordable as well. 

You may have guessed my love for Pride and Prejudice by now but just in case you missed it I thought I would share this beautiful little spoon with a P&P quote engraved into it with you all. 

I don't think you can ever go wrong with a good nail varnish and I love the pretty nude tone of this one and the affordable price! 

If I were looking for a nice bag to buy for someone I would probably get a satchel and I love the colour of this one!

I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some inspiration for what to buy. 
You can come and say hi to me on Twitter too - my username is @TheEmeraldDove 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

An Interview With Jamie Baywood

Rather exciting I was recently contacted by the incredibly lovely author Jamie Baywood who wrote Getting Rooted In New Zealand asking whether I would like to feature her on my blog. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and soon sent a list of questions to Jamie for her to answer. So, I am very happy to introduce Jamie to all of you and I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did!

1. What inspired you to write a book?

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland.  The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand.  All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.”

2. What do you like best about writing?

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.
My education is in fine arts, I didn’t write until I moved to New Zealand. I had a lot of art shows in California and New Zealand and even managed an art collective in Auckland. I was bored with the fine art scene. Everything has already been done before in painting, but I am the only person that can tell my own story. Writing feels like a more honest form of art than any other method I’ve tried.

3. What advice would you give to anyone who would like to publish a book?

4. What do you like to read in your spare time?

May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine.

5. We would love to hear a bit about your book.

By the age of twenty-six, I was actually much happier being alone than dating, but I was completely bombarded by guys trying to date me. I read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population has 100,000 fewer men than women.  I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so.  Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband a Scottish man in New Zealand.

Reading my book would be similar to receiving emails from a friend living abroad. I didn’t really come up with the distinct writing style. It’s just how I honestly observed things and described them. I only know how to write my truth. My truth tends to be stranger than fiction.

It would be impossible to write down every single thing that happen to me in New Zealand for over a year and it probably wouldn’t be interesting to read. My book is 100% true. These are 100% my experiences. I have changed some the names, but not all of individuals and organizations to preserve privacy. Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. To write my book Getting Rooted In New Zealand, I relied upon my personal journals, e-mails, and memories. In February 2013, I organized my stories into a cohesive narrative. It went through several rounds of editing and then I published in April.  
I love making people laugh more than anything else. I love hearing from readers that my book is making people laugh out loud. The hardest part has been when people don’t understand my humour. I have been in a lot of situations where I had two choices: laugh or cry. I’ve chosen to laugh. I write my experiences from a purely personal standpoint. Compared to other travellers who worked abroad in New Zealand my experiences have been very unusual. I would highly recommend everyone goes to New Zealand to experience their own adventure.
I think readers need to remember this is the dairy of a young, hormonal and confused twenty-something, this is not a travel guide to New Zealand.  I am sincerely appreciative of everyone that has read Getting Rooted in New Zealand. I’m absolutely grateful that readers are enjoying the book and reviewing it positively. I love making people laugh. I hope you enjoy Getting Rooted in New Zealand 

6. You have obviously travelled a bit, what are your travel essentials?

My style is classic girlie girl. I only wear dresses, never jeans or trousers. I would love to raid Mad Men’s voluptuous Joan’s closet. I don’t like to carry too much with me. I just usually have the basics; phone, keys, lip gloss, credit cards, and hopefully some cash. When I was in American Samoa I bought a colourful cotton tunic style shirt. I wear it as a dress with leggings way too often; it’s great to travel in.  The less you wear the easier it is to get through airport security.

7. What was your favourite thing about New Zealand?

Following my dream to live abroad by moving to New Zealand was absolutely liberating. New Zealand turned me into a writer. I have absolute gratitude for every experience and everyone I met. It taught me to trust myself and believe in myself. New Zealand is such a beautiful country. Beaches, mountains, glaciers, lakes, forests, islands, New Zealand’s got it all. It has such freshness about it, like the islands just emerged from the sea. It feels like anything is possible in New Zealand. I also loved the quality of light in New Zealand. It was like looking through a polarized lenses, but more intense. Everything is so colourful and vibrant.

By the end of Getting Rooted in New Zealand, it was time for me to go, but I would be open to moving back there.

8. Are you planning to write anything else in the future?

I haven’t stopped travelling since I moved out of California in 2010. I never moved back to California. For over three years, I’ve been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I’ve lived in five countries now America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. I plan to publish it late 2014.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I just want to thank Jamie for wanting to be a part of this blog and share her book and experiences!
You can follow Jamie on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads and be sure to have a look at her book over on Amazon

Sunday, 10 November 2013

#BritishBloggerSelection: Q&A

Ellie from Little Vintage Camera, who you can contact if you want to get involved with the #BritishBloggerSelection, emailed us all some questions this week to answer in order to get to know each other a bit better. So, today I have a Q&A and if you would like to see more of this kind of post be sure to let me know!

Question One: Why do you like blogging?

I like making new friends through my blog and just having a bit of a chat with you all. I also love reading everyone's beautiful comments. I enjoy reading other blogs, which I spend a lot of time doing, and the excitement which comes with finding new blogs to read and making a new friend through that.

Question Two: How did you come up with your blog name?

I think it is about time I explained this one after the many comments and messages I get addressed to 'Emerald'. Basically I used to use 'The Neon Dove' as my screen name on Flickr as I wanted to convey a religious element, as I uploaded religious themed photography, but make it a bit jazzy at the same time. Thereafter I started a blog with the same name but it was a bit rubbish and I gave up. Then I started this blog but couldn't use the same name so chose to use Emerald instead of Neon as my birthstone is an emerald and I love the colour. 

Question Three: Where from the UK do you come from?

Without wanting to put too much information on the internet about where I live, I live in the south in a village in the countryside with a lot of farmers but it is a beautiful area and I do really love it. 

Question Four: Favourite colour?

I really like blue and I also am the biggest burgundy fan. Basically any jewel tones are my favourite. 

Question Five: Do you like Lana Del Ray?

Who doesn't love a bit of Lana?! I fell in love with Video Games after hearing it at Zumba - for the cool down, don't'cha know?! 

Question Six: Hidden Talents That You Have?

I have none. This is a kind of 'tell me something interesting about yourself' question and you end up realising you have no interesting qualities. 

Question Seven: Celebrity Crush?

I am not really one to have celebrity crushes but if you had asked me this about a year ago I would have said Mat Baynton who you probably all know and love from The Wrong Mans but I really liked him in Horrible Histories (cool kid that I am). Also he sings under the name Dog Ears and is very good!

Question Eight: Favourite Blog Of All Time?

I couldn't possibly pick one!! I love everyone's blogs! 

Question Nine: What made you want to join #BritiahBloggerSelection?

I wanted to meet new bloggers and it looked like a fun thing and encourages me to blog frequently.

I hope you liked this post and if you want to chat you can tweet me at @TheEmeraldDove or send me an email.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Christmas Outfit Wishlist

You may be able to guess that I am rather a big fan of Christmas - the food, the novelty jumpers, the Bridget Jones repeats, the Christian elements, carols and, of course, the presents (both buying and receiving!) - these are the things which excite me. So, in my mind Christmas can never come early enough and true to form I have produced an outfit wishlist for a Christmas outfit I wouldn't mind wearing. Also the Etail blogger network is running a competition to win ASOS vouchers by featuring a watch from The Watch Hut in a Christmas wishlist. 

I found this gorgeous red dress on the Topshop website and I think it is just amazing for Christmas - it makes me feel rather festive and like I want to sing a bout of 'Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat..'. I love how it goes in at the waist and the fabric looks like it would skim over any Christmas day bloating. 

The gorgeous Marc Jacob's watch from The Watch Hut I think would hold its own as an accessory and I would be tempted to not add anything else and just let the watch take the lime light - the colour is so classy and I love the gold detail.

The bag is from H&M and I loved the mash up ('lovely and lunch - lunch - it's a mash up') of the textures and how with all the textures the black wouldn't look dull.

Last year I think they ran these shoes in New Look and even Primark, I think, but I never got a pair but they are so perfect I think I would have to get some! I love how they look so comfortable with the straps and thick heel - better than stilettos after a few rounds with the sherry trifle! 

This velvet blazer is from H&M and I, again, love the different textures with the faux-leather from the lapels and the velvet of the body of it.

Finally what Christmas outfit is complete without a smokey eye? I love the colours in this palette and I was considering a red lip instead but I couldn't resist a smokey eye for this outfit.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you would like to see more posts like this be sure to let me know! Also stay tuned for Christmas gifts guides, hauls and recipes.
You can come and chat to me on Twitter - @TheEmeraldDove 
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