First snow of 2021

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Storm Arwen


Well, that certainly wasn't the weekend I was expecting or had in mind. I had train tickets booked to Manchester with my friend Bethany, so we could enjoy the Christmas markets, eat some nice food, buy some Christmas presents and just treat ourselves.. but most the trains were cancelled and we missed the only one that was running, which I'm kind of glad about because it doesn't look like we'd have made it home! So instead we treated ourselves to breakfast at the Farmhouse Kitchen in Kendal, walked round the shops and had a little ride out to Ambleside. By 3pm I was shattered and ready for a cup of tea and a lie down. No sure how I would have ever managed a whole day in Manchester!

On Sunday I'd planned to get up really early, pre sunrise, for a walk in the Lakes but obviously due to the weather the roads weren't great so we stuck to the good old Howgills, right on our door step and had a wander up on to Arant Haw. It was so slippy most of the way up but once we got to where the thick snow was it was so magical. I just hope it snows like this on Christmas Day because it's our first year hosting and I want it to be extra special this year! It was tough going, I haven't been on a proper walk in so long, I felt out of touch with it. The best part is when you get back down and you go to the pub or a cafe and order something sweet and warm, like hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and a huge bowl of cheesy chips with sweet chilli sauce. Yep, that was my order at Smatt's Duo cafe in Sedbergh, the perfect after walk combo.

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Josh and Dan with Arant Haw in the background

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Mum, Dad and Erik at the top of Arant Haw. Great timing with the little love heart snow flake on Erik's cheek.

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Mum and I at the top of Arant Haw

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Snow covered Howgill Lane

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Mum and a ginormous hot chocolate in Smatt's Duo

Nimsdai Purja – Kendal Mountain Festival

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Anything is possible

On Friday afternoon, Josh and I rocked up at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, ready to watch an early screening of Nimsai Purja's 14 Peaks, Anything is Possible.. until I actually read my ticket and we should have been at a totally different venue, so we ran back to the car and off to the Leisure Centre we went. The film was incredible and I highly recommend watching it when it's released in a few days time on Netflix. We'll certainly be watching it again!

The footage was all recorded by Nims and his team which is incredibly. But what inspired me most was Nims and his team approach to life. They weren't too serious, they knew how to have good time but more importantly they were team players. They knew that to achieve what everyone thought was impossible, they would have to be able to rely on one another because on your own, something like this would be near impossible.

After the film ended there was a standing ovation, as the whole room welcomed Nims on to the stage. I was already emotional after seeing Nims Mother on screen  - who reminded me so much of my Thai Granny, so it was real hard to hold the tears back. I felt, in a sort of way, proud that someone from a Nepali background was making history and setting the pace for future climbers and adventurers, even though I'm not Nepalese myself! Kendal Mountain Film Festival is one of the best events held so close to home, I'm already looking forward to next years and making a full weekend out of it. Who knows who we might see there next year!

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A day in Edinburgh

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Christmas Shopping, eating & drinking


We had originally planned to stay in Edinburgh for two nights to celebrate my birthday and as just a little break for the two of us, seeing as we haven't really been anywhere or spent some time and money on ourselves in so long. Then 2 weeks before our weekend break, the Air BnB cancelled on us and every hotel, bed & breakfast, apartment etc. were charging well over the odds so we decided to keep our reservation at one of our most loved restaurants and get the train up for the day and head back home for the evening.

We got one of the earliest trains from Oxenholme to Waverley, which took around 2 and a bit hours. When we got to Edinburgh the sun was shining and it was just the most perfect crisp November morning. We headed over to St James Quarter which has a whole load of lovely shops and a huge John Lewis which I've never really shopped in before, but it was great to get some ideas for Christmas presents.

We forgot how much shopping and travelling really tires you out and because we are so out of sync with doing stuff like this, we were really looking forward to sitting down and having some food at Tattu. Ah, the food, the service, the atmosphere, the decor is just unlike anywhere else and we had a lovely waitress called Alba who looked after us for the afternoon.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Alchemist and enjoyed a few cocktails each before getting the train home. It was such a lovely day but I did feel like we needed a few extra hours or a night in the city centre so we could spend a bit more time browsing, eating and drinking. I'm looking forward visiting the Manchester Christmas markets in a few weeks time!

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Hello & welcome to my very messy 'dressing' room.. This was me at 7:30am drinking Lemsip, waiting for Josh to get out the shower.

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What I'm wearing:

Topshop Jeans, here

Zara boots, here

Zara body, here

River Island bag, here

All Saint leather jacket, here

Leather belt old from ASOS

I treated myself to the green/yellow jumper from & Other Stories whilst n Edinburgh, you can find it here. But this colour doesn't appear to be online.

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Tattu

Our original booking for when we were staying over was for the evening but the lovely lady I spoke to helped us change our reservation to earlier in the day, so we were able to enjoy the food and a few drinks without having to rush off to catch the last train home. We had a sticky beef short rib and Sznchuan rock shrimp for starters. The rock shrimp was delicious, highly recommend that if you go. Then for mains we shared the fillet steak and caramel soy with duck egg and Chinese sausage fried rice, Thai style crispy monk fish and special fried sweet potato. The fillet steak was beautiful and perfectly cooked, highly recommend. You can find the Edinburgh menu here.

Autumn Days

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Wonderful colours of Autumn


Isn't nature just delightful? I love it when the seasons change and now that the rain has (dare I say it) finally stopped.. the colours of the leaves changing from green to gold and the soft sunlight in a morning after the clocks changed over the weekend is just magical. I love this time of year! We have lots planned this month, so I'd like to begin posting regularly again by sharing 2 posts a week, on a Wednesday and a Sunday, over the next few months because I always find November and December to be the busiest and most fun months of the year and I love documenting it by taking lots of photographs!

I recently started selling a lot of my old clothes on Depop in order to treat myself to some new items for my wardrobe. I've always loved fashion and trying to dress nice, and that's what I'd really love to share more of over the coming months but I'm ordering stuff and not liking in and having to send it back which is so frustrating. I just have no idea what I like anymore or how I want to dress. I find there's just way too much inspo out there and a lot of the stuff I like on other people just doesn't suit me. I loved the years I used to wear chunky loafers, tights and mini skirts, those were my favourite outfits but I can't even find any skirts I like or any shoes, other than trainers, but I want something that's a bit more dressy and not so casual. Gosh, that was a ramble. Hopefully I'll have my style figured out soon so I can share some outfit posts and rope Josh in to helping me with those.. wish me luck!

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B&W photo diary

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Happy Halloween! If I remember correctly, Halloween is always this wet & miserable! I'm just glad to be sat in front of my fire with a cup of tea after a lovely weekend at home.

This weekend we were puppy sitting Toby, Josh's brother and girlfriends 6 month old Labrador. He was the cutest, most chilled little guy and Erik loved him! It would be nice to have the space and time for another dog but most definitely not in this house as we don't have much garden space for them to run around in. Plus, I can imagine life would be pretty hectic with two large dogs in the house!

Today we went for a walk with my parents, prepped a cottage pie for bait boxes and headed over to Hayes in Ambleside for some Christmas decs but only came home with a Yankee candle 'tree farm festival' which FYI smells amazing, 2 baubles, some dog treats and some chutney for our cheese boards we find ourselves eating most nights over Winter period. We then decided to stop and have a Sunday roast at a pub on the way home, which was nice but now I'm sleepy after just one glass of red.

I've really missed blogging and I've really been wanting to get my camera out again to film a bit more, so I'm hoping to do a bit more of that over the next few weeks and over Christmas when we decorate and do lots of winter hiking/camping. I go through stages of not wanting to share anything and now all I want to do it film, photograph and edit. Speak soon! L x

 

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Photo Diary from October

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It's been 20 days since I last posted and it feels like so long ago. I'm trying to be a little more present whilst spending time with Josh, friends and family and even when I'm just out walking Erik. It's felt so nice to spend less time on my phone and more time in 'real life'.

I haven't taken many photos this month but here are some I did manage to capture. Special moments, like my childhood best friends first time swimming in cold water, food & drink, sunsets, Erik and our cosy living room, the view of the trees, celebrating big birthday's like my Gran's 80th, spontaneous evenings at our local and more.

What I've discovered over the last month is that I'm so happy when I'm cooking and testing out a new recipe. Saturday morning's are my favourite. I love to watch James Martin's Saturday Live Kitchen and wake up early on a Sunday and just sit in silence on the sofa with a cup of tea. I love organising my drawers and folding my towels and tea towels like Marie Kondo, hoovering & cleaning. Wow you can really tell I'm approaching my late 20's now.

I've enjoyed finishing a few jobs off in the house, making it cosy for winter, relaxing in front of the fire, watching some hella good series like Squid Game and finally season 3 of You. We celebrated my brothers and my Mum's birthday in September and my Gran's earlier this month, so we've eaten out a lot! Last weekend Josh and I hosted a Dishoom evening and cooked a Salli Boti curry with gun powder potatoes, onion bhajis, chicken tikka skewers and I made my first tiramisu which was delicious if I do say so myself. 4 of our close friends came round for a lovely evening of food, wine, cocktails and bad dance moves. It was so much fun and just what I needed. It's felt so good to just do some normal things again with the people I love. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the people I love half way across the world, in Thailand <3

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Puppy products we love

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Ready for Autumn

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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!

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Wastwater, Wasdale

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The best loaded fries at Sticklebarn | Great Langdale

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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.


 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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The Devils Frying Pan

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Lizard Point

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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.

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Pedn Vounder

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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.

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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.

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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

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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...

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Meet Toby. Isn't he just gorgeous?

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Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

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

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

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Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

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