Puppy products we love

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Products both Erik and ourselves love


 

Erik turned 1 years old in April and we've had him for 1 whole year (plus 3 months by the time I'm finishing this post off)! Time goes exceptionally fast, although I can't remember what life was like before him. My life pretty much revolves around this handsome boy! Being a first time dog Mum (lol, I hate calling myself a dog mum but I also don't want to call myself a dog owner either), I didn't really know what to expect. I thought that he'd sleep much more as a puppy and we'd be able to do stuff in the house without him creeping up behind us or whining for our attention, but no. It really wasn't like any dog owner made it out to be! It's been hard work but we are getting there. Lock down and working from home certainly wasn't the best start for him but as life slowly starts to return back to normal, he too will have to get used to us going to work and also going out and having a bit of a social life.

I wanted to share some of the bits and pieces we have continued to use for him and also a few things we have had our eyes on for a while. To us, long lasting, good products are what we look for, not only for Erik but in general too. If you're a first time dog parent, some of these pet products may take your fancy!

This blog post features affiliate links.
Affiliate text links are marked (ad)
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links here.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Food & treats

There are so many different dog food brands on the market and I really wanted to make sure we were feeding Erik the best that we could. I wouldn't want to eat crap food, I wouldn't feed anyone crap food and I certainly didn't want to feed my dog crap food. I read a lot of reviews and both Josh and I agreed on Arden Grange. He'd been on the puppy/junior food for about a year and a couple of months ago we started introducing the adult food into his diet by mixing it in with the rest of the puppy/junior food. We add hot water and let it soak through before putting it in his slow feeder bowl. You don't have to add hot water but I just thought it might make it a little tastier for him.

His slow feeder bowl was something we got really early on. He loves his food (just like his Mama, lol), and was scoffing it so fast, making himself burp and sometimes sick. The bowl does make him eat it a little slower and I'd recommend it if you have a gannet of a dog like ours. Just recently, we have stopped using the bowl because he has slowed down eating a lot and we have stopped putting water on his food which we think he prefers now.

We fill the Kong with peanut butter and put it in the freezer. This is a great long lasting treat which we tend to use when leaving Erik for a while. I do buy the big Asda's own peanut butter, cause it's purse friendly and it doesn't have Xylitol as one of the ingredients which is harmful to dogs, so always check the label!

Sprats and Bonio's are always in our cupboards, on hand for treats. The sprats smell gross (dried fish) but they're oily and really good for your dogs coat. He loves them too but we don't love his breath after he's had a few!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Other

We didn't want Erik to wear a collar so we scoured the web for a well made, comfortable slip lead. I found the brand Mendota from Leading Dog and bought 1 x 3/8 6 foot lead to use when Erik was a puppy and then 1 x 1/2 4 foot lead that we now use. I'd like a 1/2 6 foot lead so it gives him a little more room to walk but really it is better to keep him close by on a short lead, as there's more control.

The flashing collar is something I've had my eye on for ages. I need to actually purchase this now the nights are starting to draw in. I've searched high and low for a good quality light up collar to use when we do have to walk him at night during the Winter months and this one seems to be the best quality.

Our 'dog bag' i.e. the pop up tent you can see below is our most used doggy product. Erik uses this to travel in the boot of our hatchback and uses it to sit under my desk when he has to come work with me. Now that we no longer need a cage for him, he also uses this to sleep in at home. We went for the medium which is fine for him because he tends to curl up but if you did want a little extra space, the size large is an option.

The Olivewood chew was something I bought months ago and it's still going strong. Erik loves sticks and tends to have this habit of chewing them, eating them and then throwing up on the rug... which isn't ideal so this is one we can give him at home without making a mess and not worry about him getting any splinters in his mouth or throat.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you have a new companion or are looking to get one in the future I hope it's helped you find some great doggy products.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Ready for Autumn

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

The end of a wonderful summer


 

This time last week, if you'd have asked me 'are you looking forward to Winter?' I'd have honestly said 'absolutely not' but after a walk and chit chat with my Mum this evening, wrapped up in a knitted jumper, an oversized waterproof jacket, my woolly socks and walking boots, something about the cooler air and sun setting early just felt special and I've decided I'm going to fully embrace the colder days and darker nights, instead of continuously moaning about it and wishing my life away - who's with me?

We had a really lovely Summer and I feel like this was the first year we really made the most of our surroundings. We've swam, paddle boarded, hiked, camped and ran more than ever. I'm still itching to discover some new places off the beaten track and hopefully we can over the Winter months when the Dales and the Lakes are a little quieter. That is what I'm looking forward to the most, Winter hikes and hopefully some Winter camps!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Wastwater, Wasdale

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

The best loaded fries at Sticklebarn | Great Langdale

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Chasing waterfalls & eating good food


 

After a day spent in the sunshine, swimming in streams and under waterfalls, the only thing that could put the cherry on top of the cake was some really good, finger licking, plate scraping kind of food and I'm so glad that the Sticklebarn in the Langdales just knows exactly what you need after a day in the hills.

We sat outside because it was scorching and enjoyed a cold cider. It was the perfect cool down whilst we waited for our supper! The views of the Langdales from here are stunning and the amount of people coming and going from here is really lovely to see, so it's a great place to people watch or bump in to someone you know, especially if you're a local!

Moving on to the most important thing part, the food.. Josh and I shared the hummus bowl & toasted flat breads and the loaded fries too. They are certainly generous portions but us being us could have totally eaten another portion of each! Instead we went for pudding and ordered the raspberry brownie with coconut cream (sorry no photo of this one, we dug straight in!) and let me just say.. wow. So good! We shared that between us again too but next time I'll be getting my own.. as well as the loaded fries and the hummus! I'm always extra ravenous after a walk and swim, especially when it's this good.

 


There is a National Trust car park about 100 metres from the Sticklbarn, so if you're a member don't forget your card!

The Sticklebarn is dog friendly, inside and outside, so it's the perfect place for your pup to have a snooze whilst you enjoy a drink and some food.

Tables are available on a first come first served basis and there are a lot of tables to chose from usually.


 

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Cornwall | Part 2

By the coast


 

Don't mind me, just reliving last Monday in sunny Cornwall whilst the weather here in the Dales has turned cold, wet and dark! The last few days of our trip down South were a mix of gloomy, misty weather, to glorious blue skies and seas. We wanted to cram as much as we could in, so here are a few of the things we got up to on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, before making the 7 and a half hour drive back home.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with m6 preset

St Ives | Beer & Bird

On Saturday we were a little tired, so we had a good old mope around St Ives and lingered outside Beer & Bird until it opened at 12pm. We'd been dying to try this spot, but the other nights we'd tried to get in they were full and unfortunately booking a table wasn't an option, which was understandable, so we made sure we were first in the queue for Saturday lunch! Josh went for the K Pop Coq burger which consisted of... buttermilk fried chicken, gochujang hot sauce, kimchi slaw and honey sesame dressing. He said it was delicious! I.. well, I went for a whopper. The Sweet Mercy. This one consisted of.. buttermilk fried chicken, candied maple syrup, chilli jam and a wheel of deep fried camembert. Mmm, mm, mmmm!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Kynance Cove

On Sunday we made our way to Lizard Point to go paddleboarding but we spotted that Kynance Cove was only a short drive away so we made a little detour, as it was somewhere on my must see list for this trip. The car park is a National Trust one, so if you are a member it's free.. don't forget your membership card! It was only around a 5 minute walk from the carpark down to the cove. It wasn't the best of days weather wise but it did make it super eerie and reminded me a bit of those scenes from King Kong where they approach the island by boat in the mist.. spooky! There is a little cafe down there, so we stopped for a brew and there are lots of nice little hidden spots where you could sit and have a picnic, go for a swim etc.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Lizard Point | Paddleboarding with seals

After watching the seals the other day following some swimmers, we really wanted to get a little closer ourselves.. and of course go back to Polpeor Cafe for scampi and chips, so we blew up the paddle board, jumped on board (Erik included) and paddled a couple metres off shore. We spotted our first seal which was bloody huge, so quickly did a u-turn and got back off, lol. When that humungous thing disappeared, we were greeted by a playful young pup who was inquisitive but kept his/her distance.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Carbis Bay

Monday was our last day in Cornwall and the forecast for the day was the best we'd seen it. We'd spent the morning slowly packing our camping gear away, ate croissants and sipped our tea in the warm morning sun. When we were ready to leave, we decided not to stray too far off route so headed down to Carbis Bay. It was the most beautiful morning, the sea was so blue but super cold!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Carbis Bay Beach Club & Spa

We decided to have a bite to eat and a drink before heading home at the Carbis Bay Beach Club & Spa. It was a little pricey but the food was really good and we were just so happy to be sat in the sunshine looking out to sea. It felt like a proper holiday!

A week in Cornwall | Part 1

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Cornwall Part 1


 

What a week! It's been a total whirlwind but we needed this break from normality to do something fun, to see somewhere new and to eat all the best food. I'm breaking up our week in Cornwall in to two blog posts, because we all know I love to take a lot of photos!

Last Monday we left our home in Cumbria at midnight, and travelled all the way down to the very tail end of England to St Ives. It took us over 8 hours, with 2 stops and an hour stuck on the motorway because of an accident. I do not recommend attempting to drive through the night without any sleep that day, it was torture, my eyes were burning so Josh had to drive most the way.

When we arrived in St Ives the sun was shining, it was just the most beautiful morning. We walked from our campsite in to town along the coastal path where we spotted our first seal. The town itself was heaving, there were people everywhere and all cafe's/pubs/restaurants were full. We managed to get some breakfast at a little takeaway called MOR, then made our way back to the campsite to set our tent up. We spent the rest of the afternoon on Porthkidney beach but we didn't rate it, it was very big and spacious but so windy.. perhaps it was just a bad day for this particular beach.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

The Devils Frying Pan

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Lizard Point

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Coastal path from Cadgwith to Lizard Point

On Tuesday we walked from Cadgwith to Lizard Point. It was a long walk but fairly quiet, with some pretty spectacular views. The best part for me was reaching Lizard Point and ordering scampi & chips from Polpeor Cafe, the most southernly cafe in Britain and finishing it off with one of their homemade donuts topped with jam and cream. It was that good we ended up having food here again later in the week and of course I ordered the same two meals. If it's a good day, it's great to sit outside and watch the seals in the sea below.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Pedn Vounder

Processed with VSCO with k3 preset
Processed with VSCO with k3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Pedn Vounder Beach

I had read a number of blog posts on this beach, so it was on the top of my list of beaches to see in Cornwall. It was stunning and my photos don't do it much justice. The Cornish Life and Meet Me by the Sea have some great photographs which of course tempted me to this beach in the first place. We spent all day Wednesday and all day Thursday here, soaking up the sun, swimming, trying to balance on the paddle board and even made some friends on one of those days. Erik got to make lots of doggy friends too, and met another German Pointer from Bath who was a similar age.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Tintagel Castle

On Friday we made the long journey up to Tintagel. I must admit, we were both a little disappointed when we got to Tintagel Castle and paid the £32 entry fee to find that there actually wasn't much of a 'castle' to be seen. Don't get me wrong, the views were stunning but for £32 we kind of felt a little cheated. You can still visit Tintagel and see the views without having to pay to enter the castle site which I'd recommend instead.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Padstow

On our way back down from Tintagel we decided to stop at Padstow. Padstow has to be my favourite town in Cornwall that we visited. It was lovely and small, plenty of quaint shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants etc. but a much nicer vibe than St Ives. We actually really wanted to go to Rick Steins fish and chip shop but just weren't fancying it, so instead we got a bite to eat at Cafe Rojano. We didn't order much, because we were expecting to eat when we got back to the campsite but had we known it was going to be so good we would have gone all in. We went for the crispy baby squid, diavola pizza and the Rojano chips. Each dish was fantastic and all the other dishes we drooled over coming out the kitchen looked insane also. For pudding Josh had the affagato and I had went for another prosecco. We ended the evening in Newquay at Fistral Beach where we met Josh's brother and his friends and watched the sun disappear behind the sea.

Weekend at home

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Quiet weekend


 

A quiet weekend at home, doing odd jobs around the house, getting out in the rain with Erik, cooking and cleaning in preparation for a week off was so needed. On Friday night we were invited around to one of Josh's clients house who is a trained chef. She had her own restaurant in Hong Kong and has travelled all over the world. The food was delicious and she was one of the most interesting people I've ever met. I was so nervous about going because I'm socially awkward but chatting with her about her life sparked something inside of me to start chasing my own dreams. Last night we made cocktails, ate lots and listened to love songs on the 80's channel. We started work on the house again, which has been long awaited. We managed to get the oak flooring down in our master suite and it has made all the difference. It's a big room anyway but now it feels even bigger!

We only have one full week left at work before we can really switch off and relax. I cannot wait to eat out, go for long walks on the beach and discover somewhere new, even though I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to see/do! I am so excited, I feel like the past 2 years have been hard with the house and then the pandemic and with last years trip to Scotland being a total fail, I have high hopes for our next trip away! Keep your fingers crossed for us...

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Meet Toby. Isn't he just gorgeous?

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Burmese food. Red prawn curry, goat and lentil curry, cinnamon chicken & a tomato and nut salad.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

I can't tell you how much satisfaction cleaning and organising the kitchen cupboards give me.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Our flooring in the master suite is down and it's made such a difference. 

Dinner party

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

French toast made my Sam and Lena. So good!

Our first dinner party


 

This is something I've been wanting to do for so long but because of covid and not being completely 'finished' with the house renovations (will we ever be finished?) we put it off. Then our friends Coops (Sam) and Lena moved to the UK from Bucharest and brought their new fur baby with them too, Aki. You might remember we visited them a few years ago and they planned a wonderful trip for us, where we got to visit some of the most beautiful Romanian villages and stayed in a cabana on the Transfagarasan. We even got to stay in Coops hostel, Podstel, in Bucharest. It was an incredible experience, I wish we could do it all again now. If you're interested, you can see all those posts here.

Anyway, during our time in Romania we discovered that we all had one thing in common.. and that was food. We all love to eat good food and so it only felt right to have an evening where we would cook, drink wine and eat. It would have been nice to have the living room a little more finished but we did do a little shop yesterday and got ourselves a new table lamp and a few cushions to make it feel a little more homely. Some floor cushions are next on our list, as I actually enjoy eating from the coffee table. I saw these Thai style cushions which I'd love two of. My brother and I used to have one each for our bedrooms and I loved it! I used to sit on it to play my PlayStation 2 - Sims Pets 2 if you're wondering.. oh and The Urbz! That was one of my faves.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Lamp from Armstrong Ward, foot stool made by us, yellow cushion from TK Maxx, blue cushion made by me, Sofa from Laura Ashley (second hand), print from King and Mcgaw by Lesley Birch.

I absolutely adore how the homely the house is starting to feel. It's amazing how some ambient lighting, candles and soft furnishings really make all the difference. I'd like another lamp for downstairs, as this one pictures here is actually sat next to the log burner where we can see it. It would be nice to have another the same but also nice to have something a little different to not make it feel too matchy matchy. Below are some of my favourite lamps at the moment, just need to decide which to go for eventually!

The menu:

Homemade bread with balsamic vinegar & olive oil

Chicken tikka kebabs, chilli chicken, roast potatoes

Tiramisu

Porn Star Martinis


Ok, so the menu wasn't too adventurous and you might think that roast potatoes with chilli chicken and tikka is a weird combo but it actually went really well together. It would have been good to have done a few more small dishes as well but for a first attempt it was good. Lena made the bread and the tiramisu, which was so delicious! Then they both taught us how to make the Martini's. Josh has now ordered a cocktail making set, so you'll find us drinking Porn Stars for the foreseeable!

The next morning, my head was a little sore.. so we went for a long walk and then came home to have breakfast cooked by Sam and Lena - yes, we were really spoilt! They were supposed to be our guests! They made this amazing French Toast which was incredible, I've just finished my portion for tea because I was still feeling a little delicate this morning.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Green slip dress

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Wedding outfit


 

Well hello! I've missed blogging so much but the past few weeks I've focused on eating well, living well and exercising as much as possible and oh man, I feel good!

It was a dear friend of mine's wedding last weekend. I used to work with her on a Saturday at our local flower shop, where she taught me how to put together bouquets and wreaths. I remember it like yesterday, we always had so much fun and always ate so much on our lunch breaks.

I really struggle with wedding outfits because I'm not a floral type of girl and I didn't want to spend money on something I would only wear once. I wanted a dress I could wear again, not to another wedding but either dressed down or dressed up for dinner. When Josh and I spent the day in Manchester, this is the dress I came home with. A silky little slip dress, the perfect fit. It made me feel so tall and sexy, I loved it as soon as I put it on. You can find it here (ad) (if you like it too). With freshly shaved legs, lots of moisturiser, some new shoes from Zara, my trusty Sophie Hulme bag and a bright lipstick, I was ready to celebrate the day.

This blog post features affiliate links.

Affiliate text links are marked (ad)

Read the disclaimer about affiliate links here.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Rekindling and reconnecting

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Reconnecting & rekindling


 

Life.. it's a funny old thing. One day we are happy and content.. the next we are looking for more. We lost our way a little over the past year or so, life got in the way, we started working more, stressing about funding the house renovation and found less and less time for one another. It's hard for me to be open about my feelings, to anyone.. but this time was different. Something in both our lives needed to change so we have spent the past week dating again, spending time with one another and reigniting that flame. It's been so nice to have the weather to do all of the things we love and really just get to know one another again. It's almost been 8 years since we started dating and we have both changed so much. Sometimes we lose our way.. and maybe we're bound to after so long but it's important to keep dating, doing things together, surprising each other and do something crazy & stupid every now and again.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Wild camping under the stars

Friday was the last day of good weather here in the lakes, so we both booked the day off work and went camping Thursday evening. We only took sleeping bags, some roll mats and a ground sheet to sleep on. We watched shooting stars, planes and satellites over head, whilst drinking Pimms, beer and eating a packet of pasta. It was the most beautiful evening, albeit a little cold at 2am when a slight breeze picked up but it was fine. Next time I'll take the winter sleeping bags! The following morning we woke up at 4:30am and watched the sunrise over the Lakeland mountains. The clouds sat below us in the Langdale valley, it was so peaceful, warm and one of the best experiences of my life. We went swimming in Stickle Tarn at 7am, not just swimming but skinny dipping. It was so liberating, the cold water and then the mist making it's way over the tarn. It was an experience that not so many people will get a chance to do. So grateful, so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Paddleboarding

Our friend Kelly lent us her two paddle boards for the day. We headed over to Coniston and spent the afternoon paddle boarding, swimming, cooking sausages and sunbathing. It was like being abroad, the water was so warm and Erik enjoyed jumping off the SUP boards and swimming in Coniston Water.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Swimming

We've done so much swimming lately, in rivers, tarns, streams and in this quarry which has just felt so good for soul. That weightless feeling of swimming, or the thrill of jumping off a rock in to the water below is just the best.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Running

It's been so good to get back in to running, even though we've had to go early morning/late evening because it's been so hot. I always used to like running alone but since we've started running together I've pushed myself much harder and have bagged lots of PB's.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

City break for the day

We got the train to Manchester yesterday for food, drinks and a spot of shopping. We ended up eating way too much.. a Wagamama's for lunch and Dishoom for tea. Won't be doing that again, we could barely move! Next time, just 1 stop for food and plenty of day drinks will do just nicely.

Freedom never felt so good

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Testing positive for coronavirus


Hello! It's been a long 2 weeks without posting here and I've missed it so much. If you're wondering where I've been and you didn't see my moany posts on my Instagram stories about losing my taste and smell (bloody nightmare), Josh and I actually tested positive for Covid almost two weeks ago now, the day after the 32 miler my friends and I completed! It was a challenging 10 days and I don't ever want to have to repeat it again. My body was aching, especially my lower back. I was sleeping for a ridiculous amount of hours a day, but still trying to keep in a routine with when I went to bed and got out of bed, I was continuously coughing, headachey, fatigued, everything! But the worst symptom for me was losing my taste because food always keeps me going but because I couldn't taste anything I totally lost my appetite. Now all I've craved since my taste has started to come back is really healthy, fresh, homemade meals, like smoothie bowls, fruit, vegetables etc. and because I'm usually someone who craves carbs and cheese, I'm using this time now to get my arse in to gear and really try to focus on portion control, as well as trying to work out some kind of fitness routine in order to shed a couple of pounds and feel happy and healthy in myself.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Smoothie Bowl

I saw @justjessfood had made an Acai Smoothie Bowl on her Instagram. It looked delicious so when I did our most recent Asda order I ordered a load of stuff so I could make these regularly. This one we had today had frozen cherries, frozen mango, frozen strawberries and coconut water for the smoothie. Then I just topped this with Goji Berries, sliced strawberries and granola. I do have some of the Whitworth's Shot packets but I didn't want it to be too sweet. This was perfect!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Wild Swimming

You all know I love cold water, so when I came out of isolation the first thing I did was take Erik for a long walk and then went for a swim in the river. I've never swam on my own before but I'm trying to get used to doing things solo as much as I can, therefore I have no excuse not to try anything once.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Homemade Hummus

I always buy a couple of Moroccan Hummus pots from M&S when I do my fortnightly shop but because we've started ordering from Asda and getting the food delivered I had to miss out on the hummus and Asda's just isn't the same.. so I made my own! This was just a really simple recipe, so I could get used to the ingredients and the flavour/texture of  a simple hummus. Next time I'll try various spices but this was a great first attempt.. paired perfectly with these Manomasa crisps!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Walking

I recently downloaded OS Maps on my phone and have discovered 2 new walks close to home over the weekend. It's been so nice finding footpaths that I never knew existed and a change of scenery has been good, even if it's only the odd mile in another direction. Erik always loves new walks and he seems to get so excited when we go somewhere he's never been before. I have missed getting out walking Erik so much during isolation. He went to stay at our wonderful dog sitters for those 10 days and had the best time but I was so glad to have him back.

32 mile challenge | The Ullswater Way and Helvellyn

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

My biggest challenge to date | sunrise to sunset


 

I am a broken woman. I'm still lying in bed now at 10:39am. I've only hopped out of bed to nip to the loo but other than that my legs are pretty much useless! Thankfully Josh is home today, so he can take care of Erik.. and me! You may have seen my Instagram stories this weekend about this Sunday's challenge but incase you missed it, yesterday the girls and I attempted and completed RudeFIT's 32 mile sunrise to sunset challenge. I'll go more in to details further down this post about what it entailed. What an experience it was and what a group of girls I had alongside me to keep the spirits high and to push me along when I felt like my legs couldn't go any further. I never knew my body had it in me, but it did and although there were times when I thought I was pushing myself too far, I'm so glad I did it! The views were incredible, and setting off so early in the morning meant we got to experience some of the route just to ourselves. We ran much more of the route than I thought we would, but taking it easy and stopping when one of us needed to kept us all going. Team work makes the dream work!

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

The night before the challenge, Amy, Franchie and myself stopped in Amy's camper van, a short 5 minute drive from the starting point. It made sense for us to be closer, as the journey from home was around an hour and seeing as all 3 of us were coming from the same place we were all happy to squeeze in to the van for one night.

The Challenge

The challenge began from Patterdale and we were supposed to do the Ullswater Way anti-clockwise, but because non of us read that part we ended up doing it clockwise! I thought it was a great way to do it, although a few other groups said we did it the most difficult way around. Once we'd reached our starting point again, after 5 hours 45 minutes, we stopped, had a bite to eat, repacked our bags, changed our shoes and attempted the next part of the challenge.. Helvellyn.

The route itself is quite nice when you walk up the valley to Grisedale Tarn. It was a hot day, much hotter than was expected, so it was tough going. I found the uphill parts really hard so had to take those really steady. The first summit was Dolly Wagon, followed by High Crag, Nethermost Pike, then Helvellyn, Lower Man, White Side, (Raise but we missed that one as we dropped down a little earlier to the Glenridding Common), and back to Glenridding and along the road side to Patterdale.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

How I trained

I'd be lying if I said I 'trained' because I didn't do much to prepare myself for this, besides from the odd run, long distance walk with a heavy bag and that's about it. The week before the challenge my knee was quite sore, so when I was going to give it one last push I ended up resting at home and using Amy's massage gun to help get rid of the ache in my knee. If I could go back in time, I would have been out most evenings running, adding an extra mile or two on to practise long distance but hey ho, the body is a wonderful thing - I did it regardless of the training but it would have been much easier with some practise!

Processed with VSCO with b6 preset
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

What I packed

Trying to work out what would be best when packing a bag for this challenge was difficult. The forecast originally was going to be over cast with the odd shower, so I had planned on having 2 bags, 1 for the Ullswater Way which would be light enough to run and another for Helvellyn which would carry a rain jacket, thermal base layer etc. However, the day before the forecast changed (thank the lord) and I ended up using the same bag for both parts of the challenge. Here's a list of what I carried in my bag: Babybel, Cheesestring, Pepperami, beef jerky, Clif chocolate chip bar, orange juice (always crave this), dried banana chips, crystallised dried mango, yoghurts, apple soreen, energy gels, energy chew blocks, electrolyte chews, paracetamol, hayfever tablets, tissues, a Philadelphia sandwich and a camel back of cold water.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

Weekend

Processed with VSCO with j5 preset

Date night


 

What a lovely weekend it was. We finally had our first date night in well over a year. It was a last minute decision to go out for food and drinks and after trying several places we ended up getting the last table at Bangkok 7 in Kendal. We had salt and pepper squid and moo ping (pork skewers) for starters, and both shared beef penang and goong yang (spicy prawn salad), with egg fried rice and sticky rice - my favourite! It was delicious but next time I think I'd go for a different starter or instead saved myself for a mango and sticky rice pudding, something I've been craving in so long.

Speaking of Thai food, we actually booked our flights to Thailand for next Easter. I'm really hoping that we can go and see our family. It's been so long for me and time is precious. I already have so many ideas on what I'd like to do and see this time. I definitely want to visit new places and island hop in the South, learn to free dive and really just make the most of my time there because who knows when we will be back again.

Hope you enjoy these shots from the weekend, love L.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

All the lovely wild flowers and long grasses are out, which is crap for my hayfever but these birdeye speedwell were just beautiful. So delicate!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I treated myself to some peonies from Asda. They were only £4 but they've come out lovely and smell amazing.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Fluffy peonies cheering up my Monday morning.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with j5 preset

Food at Bangkok 7 followed by a couple of drinks at the new micro bar in Sedbergh, The Thirsty Rambler.