Dinner party

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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.

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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.

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Green slip dress

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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.

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Affiliate text links are marked (ad)

Read the disclaimer about affiliate links here.

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Rekindling and reconnecting

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Weekend

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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.

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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!

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

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Fluffy peonies cheering up my Monday morning.

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

A lovely Sunday

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Dolly Wagon, High Crag, Nethermost Pike & Helvellyn


 

Well, this weekend was a good one for hiking and enjoying the sunshine. It surprisingly felt much longer than a 2 day weekend because we managed to squeeze so much in. Although, I'm so looking forward to my bed right now and a good nights sleep!

Today, Amy, Franchie and myself thought it would be a good idea to get some training in before Sunday 20th - the day we attempt 32 miles! Kelly, our fourth member was supposed to join us but had hurt her foot doing handstands... hopefully she's right as rain in two weeks time! As well as trying to get fit, the second purpose for today's walk was to try and get our bearings so we aren't taking any wrong paths on the day. We hope to do it at a much better pace than today, without a lunch stop too, as we'll be trying to eat on the go.

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Sand Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales

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A local hike and swim to Wild Boar Fell & Sand Tarn


 

My plan for this Saturday was actually to wake up early and head over to the Lakes but after a couple of spontaneous vino's in my Mum and Dad's garden, I struggled getting up and out of bed and I couldn't be bothered dealing with the traffic leading in to the Lakes. So we decided to pack a bag with some food and a picnic blanket and headed half an hour down the road to a little hamlet called Outhgill. We parked our car at the side of the road by a farm called Little Ing Farm. Across the road there is a bridleway that leads up on to Wild Boar Fell. It was a really lovely gradual walk up to the top and the views are beautiful. Once you reach the ridge line the views over to the Howgills and across to the Lake District are stunning on a clear day. We could clearly see Great End and Blencathra, or so we think! 

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Looking back towards the valley and Great Shunner Fell.

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Erik with Wild Boar Fell in the background & me on the cairn at the top of Wild Boar Fell.

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Sand Tarn - yes there really is sand!

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Obviously had to go for a dip. It was quite warm! Actually warmer than being stood in shorts and a t-shirt in the wind. It isn't very deep though but it is soft underfoot.

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The Howgills and the Lakeland mountains in the background.

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After our walk we headed to Ravenstondale to the Kings Head pub, where we met a couple of friends and sat out on the picnic benches enjoying a glass of fizz in the sunshine. I'm actually rather tired from the walk and the heat so it's an early night for me before a hike up to Helvellyn tomorrow morning with the girls in preparation for our 32 mile challenge in 2 weeks time. Speak soon, L.

Our First Wild Camping Trip of the Year

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Sprinkling Tarn from Wasdale Head | The Lake District


The 1st of June and what better way to end the month of May than with a wild camp, hike and a swim! We were so lucky to have such good weather for the bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I feel as though it's been long awaited after what feels like months of cold, rainy weather. I was prepared for it, I knew I wanted to get outdoors camping the week before and after searching through Instagram and Google for a good wild camp spot, I decided on Sprinkling Tarn. Even the name sounds magical, and that it really was.

 


 

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The route

There are two quick ways you can approach Sprinkling Tarn, one being from Seathwaite or the other from Wasdale. Both are similar walking distances but it is a little more of a trek for us to get to Wasdale. But because Wasdale is my favourite place in the Lakes, we thought we'd head that way and use Wasdale as our base to park our car and then spend the following day there too. There's plenty of parking space at Wasdale Head if you get there early enough or a little later in the afternoon when most people are back down from the fells. Do be mindful of locals and emergency services vehicles trying to get through, you will get a ticket if you park on grass verges at the Wasdale Head. From the shop, after picking up an ice cream and a couple more snacks, we headed towards Saint Olaf's Church - England's smallest parish church. If you have a moment to stop by and take a peek, you should. It's really quaint! From there you can see the path that leads right through the valley between Great Gable and Great End. It's a really nice steady route up, with amazing views ahead and behind. The first tarn you reach will be Styehead Tarn but if you're wanting to camp I'd carry on for a further 5/10 minutes on to Sprinkling Tarn as it gets the sun a little longer and the views are much prettier.

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What we packed

We wanted to pack as light as we could, which meant only the bare necessities. Tent, roll mats, sleeping bags, torch, 3 x Summit to Eats, a JetBoil (ad), water, extra clothing, milk & teabags.

We always really enjoy the Summit to Eat freeze dried food. Usually we take the vegetable chilli with rice but this time we tried the spicy arrabiata and I took some grated cheese too. They were delicious and filling and all you have to do is add boiling water! We use a Jetboil (ad) which is easy to use, compact and brings water to the boil in 100 seconds per litre! Both are ideal for multiple day hikes and needing to pack light. We did have a water filter but Josh lost it last time he went walking, it was a little pump that filtered the water clean so you could literally drink water out of a bog if you had to. Not that I'd ever want to and hopefully ever need to but they're a great piece of equipment if you are heading out into the hills on a hot day. This is the one we had here (ad) and will be repurchasing again.

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Next day route

The following morning we woke up early, made a brew, packed our bags, rolled up our tent and headed towards Great End. This is a nice leisurely walk from Sprinkling Tarn with amazing views of Derwent Water. Nearing the top, the terrain really changes from grass and nice paths to stones and some really big pieces of rock. You really have to be careful not to get your leg jammed because it's leg breaking stuff if you do! We got to the top of Scafell Pike at around 9:30am. By this time there were a lot of people around, although the route we took was much quieter.

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On our way down alongside Lingmell Gill, Josh spotted a few little waterfalls and the perfect little pool for us to cool off in. It was like a little infinity pool, with the best view of Wastwater. Although it was right next to the path, it was hidden by a huge rock so everyone was just walking past whilst we enjoyed a swim in our undies. We soon dried off and were one of the first to arrive at the Wasdale Head Inn for a beer and a cider in the scorching sunshine. I was glad to be back down before lunch time and heading home before, although another night or two in the hills would have been lovely. One day we'd love to do a multi day hike/camp, perhaps get dropped off somewhere and make our way back home over the mountains and the fells.

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Well, I'm sad the weekend is over but I'm grateful for the sunshine and coming back to our own home, even if it does need a good hoover and clean. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, fingers crossed this is the start of our summer! Speak soon, L.

A morning run in the Howgill Fells

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Exploring the countryside on my doorstep


Hi! Hello! How have you been? I feel like I've just been so busy lately but when I think about what I've actually been doing the past few weeks, there isn't much to tell you. Today I booked the day off work to make it an extra long bank holiday weekend. I wanted to get a run/hike in, in preparation for the 32 miler me and a couple of friends have stupidly signs ourselves up to in a couple weeks time. I tried to run (jog) what I could, but it was too hard up hill for me. Starting from Sedbergh, I followed Settlebeck Gill up to the fell wall and then crossed over to Crook, where I followed a sheeps path right round the front of Crook and into the valley where the path runs parallel to Ashbeck Gill. You eventually reach a small dam where you can then start climbing up to Sickers. There's not much of a foot path but there is a clear route up. Once you reach the top of Sickers, it's really flat and the views are amazing. From there I made my way towards Brant Fell and once I caught my breath I started to run over to Arant Haw. It was a really lovely morning, I didn't bump in to anyone else until I'd made it all the way back down Arant Haw. I love how quiet the Howgills are and how easy the terrain is to run/walk on. I can't believe it's took me until now to even venture further afield than the usual Winder walk and to truly appreciate the stunning landscape around us.

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This is the little dam at the top of Ashbeck Gill. I was expecting something much bigger than this!

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At the top of Sickers and looking over to Wild Boar Fell.

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Crook in the foreground and Winder in the background. I've never seen the two from this perspective!

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The top of Arant Haw.

Ahhh, I'm so glad it's a bank holiday weekend and the forecast is looking good for the next couple of days. We are planning on wild camping one night over the weekend, which I am SO looking forward to. If we do go, it will be our first camping trip of the year. I'm hoping the spot we've decided on won't be too over crowded but it is quite secluded, so I can't see it being busy.. who knows with everyone making the most of the British countryside when we can't really go abroad though! Speak soon, L.

Let’s catch up

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Photo dump from the past two weeks


 

Good evening lovelies, how have you all been lately? I can't believe I last posted two weeks ago. I had a couple of posts planned but never managed to photograph the content I wanted for them, so those will have to wait for now. Instead, here's a handful of photos I've taken over the past couple of weeks.

Our home is really starting to come together now. We had flooring laid last week, the main bathroom tiled and my Mum made the gorgeous green floor length curtains for the living room. I adore them! This weekend I attempted making my first cushion since leaving college. I'm so pleased with how it turned out, now to find tie to make the other 3!

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The cherry blossom has made an appearance and it just looks so gorgeous. Every time I walk past or drive past it brings a smile to my face.

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The downstairs plied and ready for the herringbone flooring to go down and Erik being the biggest baby.

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Managed to enjoy a drink or two in my parents garden. They have started work on their house and are getting a patio and glass doors fitted which will make such a difference. I can't wait to see it finished.

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This mornings little jog by the river and through the woods. It was so nice to see the sunshine again after having the worst weather lately.

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I picked my camera up again this weekend to start vlogging and also to start using my camera to photograph again. I really miss using it! I'd love it if you could subscribe to my channel here. Speak soon, L.

What’s in my beer garden bag

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What's in my

beer garden bag


Because the beer garden has become a bit of a thing now that we are allowed out to socialise in groups of 6 outdoors, many of us are now flocking to our nearest pubs, cafes and restaurants to catch up with friends and family we haven't seen in so long. Whether it be for a lunch date, quick pint, evening meal or hot chocolate, it's hard knowing what to wear to feel comfortable but also put together, or is that just me?

At the beginning I really struggled with what to wear and what to take along with me. Thankfully our local is a 1 minute walk, which is great if we are cold because we can run and make it back in less than 30 seconds, no joke. But for those of you who aren't as lucky to live next to your local, then here's what you need to take along with you.. you just need one of those Mary Poppin's bags to fit everything in...

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Afternoon drinks and food at Botanica

Layers

The best way to experience a British beer garden is to layer up! Start with something like a body suit that tucks in, that you wouldn't mind showing off in the afternoon when the sun is on your face and your feeling the heat. Then add a thin long sleeve, not too warm but keeps that gentle breeze off your arms. Then I'd go for a fleece or a hoody, something that's going to make you feel snug. And lastly, a proper jacket just incase it gets to those Arctic temperatures. It ain't warming up anytime soon, so take my advice or freeze if you wish!

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Long socks

One of the worst things for me is when that cool breeze picks up and your little tootsies start to get cold.. especially those ankles! I have terribly dry skin on my legs as it is, so the cold really does not help. A long pair of socks with your trainers or just in your bag to put on later will really help keep you warm and if you've got a pair of joggers or long jeans on, tuck them in as well. We don't have to worry about being fashionable by this point, let's just be cosy!

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A blanket

Some beer gardens may not have heaters or blankets to offer and personally I'd rather use my own blanket anyway. You can pick up decent throws from various high street shops, such as TK Maxx, M&S and Asda to name a few. I sometimes resort to one of Erik's several blankets but I do think it's time to purchase my own.. because who wants to wrap themselves in dog hair?

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Please excuse the lack of curtains, skirting and flooring here. Work begins again tomorrow and we should have flooring and hopefully curtains by the end of the week. Oh and that door needs a paint too!

Bits & bobs

Sunglasses, lip balm, tissues and hand cream. These are things you may just have in your every day handbag but me being me, I don't own a handbag I use every day so I tend to forget this sort of thing when popping out the house and then wish I had it! It's also that time of year when hayfever will soon be rife, so pack those tissues, nasal sprays, antihistamines and eye drops if you're a sufferer. Nothing worse than a runny nose and itchy eyes when you're trying to enjoy a cold one.