Adventures in the Peak District – Travel Tuesday

20131021-085101.jpgOn Sunday I got back from three nights in the Peak District and it was an absolutely brilliant weekend – I loved every second! I’ve only ever been to the Peak District once before when I went for a walk around the Ladybower Reservoir up near Sheffield. You can read more about that over here! Since then I’ve been wanting to go back as it looks just so beautiful, and finally this weekend that happened! The reason? The younger sister’s birthday celebrations and seeing as she’s studying at Sheffield University, a family trip to the peaks seemed logical. After much searching we found a beautiful little cottage overlooking the river in Bakewell and we were set! We arrived on Thursday afternoon and didn’t leave this patch of paradise until Sunday lunchtime and I can honestly say I was so super relaxed whilst there. It certainly lived up to my super high expectations and the scenery was just superb, despite the less than glorious weather. But hey, what are you going to do about that?

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Whilst there we did some day trips – to see a friend in Leeds, to the Chestnut Centre Conservation and Wildlife Park and to Bolsover Castle but the shining star in the weekend was in my humble opinion, the lovely town of Bakewell. I can imagine in the summer it is fairly hectic and busy as it’s so picturesque, is close to the famous Chatsworth House and is renowned for its Bakewell Tarts, but during our weekend it was an okay amount of busy. We went for a few walks around and into the village and it seemed every corner you turned took you to quaint shops or beautiful views, not to mention a pretty river and a lovely sounding weir. Some of my favourite photos of the village are sprinkled in this post, although I’m not sure you can appreciate it’s beauty in these. As for places we visited that I can thoroughly recommend? The super cheap and brilliantly stocked charity shops, the atmospheric and brilliantly decorated Pointing Dog and Duck pub, which served food that was out of this world (there really aren’t the right superlatives I’d need to describe their chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie), lovely looking coffee shops and Rajas – home to delicious tasting curries!

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We did of course treat ourselves to Bakewell Tarts whilst there and they really are something else when you taste a tart that is how it’s meant to be – none of the Kiplingified nonsense you are taught is the correct why. If you’ve never had one I highly recommend you rectify that asap!

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So yes that’s what I got up to over the weekend, exploring the beautiful peak district with family, if you’ve never been I highly recommend it and I will most definitely be going back. Any suggestions for where I should visit next? I’m all ears. Happy Travel Tuesday and don’t forget to visit all the other lovely people who are linking up posts with Bonnie and the rest of the lovely Travel Tuesday brigade. Happy travelling from your desk/sofa/bed everyone.

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A Compass Rose
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Merry times away and happy things

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Yesterday I got back from four days in the Peak District where I had a whale of a time with my family to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday. Most of my smiley happy things from the past week relate to this trip as it was so much fun – oh how I wish I was still there and not at my desk in Central London! Even though the weather was mainly cloudy and a bit drizzly it didn’t seem to matter as we were staying in a lovely little cottage and having a ball – more on the weekend tomorrow in my Travel Tuesday post. So let’s get down to these smiley happy things!

Super cute animals – whilst in the peaks we stayed in Bakewell where we just happened to be overlooking the river and a lot of really cute ducks and even a few swans, so sweet! We also spent Saturday at a nature reserve full of owls and otters, which were absolutely adorable, I could have spent hours there watching the otters splash around in the water. Cuteness!

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Family – I spent the entire weekend with my family and it was so good to be all together again, even if for such a short time. I think the last time all six of us were together for longer than ten hours was in Wales in August, so it was high time for another get together! We got up to all sorts; from walks and meals out, to lazy times on the sofa and late night game playing. Not to mention hours in the car ranting at the radio or singing along to the radio – I loved ever second and I need to start planning the next trip.

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Good food – Whilst in Bakewell we did of course treat ourselves to the obvious – a proper Bakewell Tart, but we also consumed a LOT of other things including: GBK burgers (and fries with satay sauce), cooked breakfasts, cocktails, curry, pub lunches featuring the most delicious chicken liver pate ever, chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie, birthday cake and lasagna. Yummy, yum, yum! A good reason why I need to go for a run. Good food also extends into the rest of the week with sausage casserole, hot chocolates, breakfast at Le Pain, triple chocolate cookies and an obscene amount of marshmallow brownies.

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Non Peak District related good things from this week include a trip to Costco. I don’t know why but something about that place makes me so happy. I think it’s the combined fact of being able to buy yummy things in bulk (hello 48 packets of peanut m&m’s or 3 litres of sweet chilli sauce) and wandering between aisles of books, then TVs and then crisps. Such fun!

Autumn love – I’m so pleased we’re completely in the throes of Autumn as it’s my favourite season. I found the perfect leaf when briefly in my parents garden and I just love shuffling through the leaves each morning and the click clack of winter boots in the paving slabs.

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Sisters – Sort of related to point two above (as they are my family after all) but over the last week my sisters have proved they’re pretty awesome through a number of ways. Firstly through comedy Snapchats and tweets, then with lovely surprise presents to say ‘well done on your new job’ and finally when Bex gave me one of her rings, well a set of three matching ones, that no longer fit her – how awesome are they! I’m super lucky to have them in my life!

Pretty printed paper – I love wrapping the gifts I give in beautiful paper and with lovely ribbon and this week I found some gorgeous brown paper in Paperchase that had lovely patterns on. As soon as I saw the three designs, I had to buy them all – I mean look, swirly text, cute colourful birds and interesting animals. How could I not buy these?

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What about you, what things have made you smile this week, I’d love to know! x

Paris Ponderings – Travel Tuesday

Happy Tuesday one and all and how are you this lovely autumn day? I’m on countdown to Thursday right now as that’s when I’ll be off for a fun long weekend in the Peak District, hooray for travels in the UK and only two days left of work this week – whoopee!! What about you lovely peeps, what are you up to this week, anything exciting to report or anything that can better my upcoming plans?

So for today’s Travel Tuesday installments I’m heading across the English Channel to the wonders of Paris. I’ve been to Paris twice, once on a school trip (which is all quite a blur if I’m honest, I can’t remember much about it) and once about six years ago on a long weekend with family. To be honest my memories of the trip aren’t that great as I’ve come to realise I have a brain like a sieve, but when I stumbled across the following photos I decided I wanted to share the little bits I do remember with you today – so snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and let’s dive in! First up the pictures!  Below we have The Louvre, Notre Dame, Family Evans and the Eiffel Tower.

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Like I said I can’t remember much about our trip, but here’s the bits that I do remember:

  • It rained almost constantly
  • We went around Easter so there were loads and loads of yummy chocolate eggs and rabbits everywhere. Bliss.
  • I was disappointed with the Mona Lisa – who knew it was so tiny, I have to say I don’t quite understand the fuss. Hopefully that doesn’t make me an uncultured cretin…
  • We ate at a delicious restaurant at the famous Chartier Restaurant a favourite with tourists and Parisians alike. I have no idea what we ate, but I remember it was delicious, there was a fantastic amount of bustle, the restaurant has wonderful decor (check that out on the site here) and finally the waiters added up the bill on the tablecloth – love it!
  • We drove through the streets of Paris and it was fascinating to be under a graffiti covered bridge one moment and then going round the beautiful Arc de Triomphe the next. Wonderful.
  • The Louvre building is beautiful
  • I discovered what Steak Tartare is, thanks to our neighbours in a cute french cafe. I can’t even…why would you think that’s appetising?
  • Due to the storm we couldn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, although I’m not sure I’m brave enough to have gone anyway. But it was still beautiful all light up
  • I think Notre Dame is possibly my favourite Parisian building
  • I did not spend enough time sat in a coffee shop with bowls of coffee/hot chocolate and fresh from the oven pastries

What about you, have you ever been to Paris? What were your favourite parts of the city to explore? This post has definitely made me want to return so that I can properly experience all it has to offer, hopefully minus the rain and the sieve like memory!

A Compass Rose

Who made me, me?

Howdy, little blog readers, how are you this fine SEPTEMBER (when did that happen?!) day? This month I’ve decided to take part in another one of Jenni’s blog challenges, after all ‘Blog every day in May’ was a blast so I thought why not?! I love all the different topics she comes up with for these tasks and it’s a good excuse to test my writing abilities and push my sharing boundaries. If you missed my posts for the May challenge you can see a few of my favourite ones here, here, here, here and here.

For the first day of Blogtember Jenni’s suggested we talk about where or what you come from. I like this topic – what a nice one to start with, hey. I come from these two lovely beings and in this post I want to talk about the amazingness that are these two.

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I come from a pretty awesome family and my childhood was fairly idyllic. We lived (and my parents still do) on the edge of the suburbs and countryside, I didn’t want for anything (apart from the odd new toy or book, like all children do), we had nice holidays and I got on really well with my family. We were fortunate not to be tested too much when I was growing up – we didn’t have money troubles, my parents didn’t fight and I wasn’t really touched by the death of a loved one until I was in my late teens. I will always be fortunate that this was the case (and don’t worry I know just how lucky I am). Despite all the good things I had in my life growing up, the absolute lynch-pin to all of this was my parents. My parents, which I’m sure I’ve said before, are like best friends. I can talk to them about anything, I love spending time with them and just think they were the best parents ever. They weren’t overly strict unless they needed to be, they somehow taught me the true value of things and how to handle money, whilst never making me feel like I was missing out and I grew up knowing that I couldn’t ever do anything that would properly upset them – not that I’d ever want to. I was always encouraged to try new things and they enabled me to have amazing experiences, whether through brilliant holidays or just fun days in the garden. At the dinner table my opinion was always valued the same as anyone else’s no matter their age or stature and I always knew I could go to them with any problem, without judgement.

For this I’ll forever be grateful, my parents really are that awesome. Don’t get me wrong there were days when I screamed at them, slammed doors or thought they hated me, but in reality I was brought up by two amazing individuals and they are the reason that I am who I am. I can’t even fathom how I would have turned out if I’d been born to someone else, after all it takes a pretty special set of parents to raise twin girls without once comparing them to one another, dressing them the same or allowing others to get away with treating them like interchangeable people. I could have had a serious complex from this, or from the arrival of a little sister at the age of eight, I’m sure a lot of people have done. But not me, and that’s thanks to The Mothership and Fatherbear Evans. Love you guys. xx

What about you, what makes you, you? Why not join in with Blogtember and let your readers know? You don’t have to write a post every day, just choose the ones you like. I’ve already picked out the ones I want to join in with, as I don’t want to overload the bloglet with posts and I already have lots of posts threatening to spew out of my brain this month, it’s great that there’s no pressure at all!



Travel Tuesday: A family trip to Portugal

I’m lucky enough to have visited lots of lovely places in my 28 years on this planet – I’ve enjoyed everything from city breaks and beach resorts to road trips and glorious scenery. Weirdly I haven’t reminisced about one of those trips for a while as I tend to go on them, enjoy a wonderful time, snap lots of pictures and then jump straight back into everyday life. I think this needs to change, so I thought I’d take part in the Travel Tuesday link up that Bonnie and Belinda organise. I love reading their weekly posts, so why not share my own? I’m off to Portugal soon, so I thought whaat better place to start? Read on for some Portugal love about the last time I was out there back in September 2012.

I went out for a week to Vale do Lobo in the Algarve to spend some lovely family time with my parents, sisters and Greg, the littlest sister’s boyfriend. It was so chilled out and relaxed, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had in Portugal, and considering I’ve been about twenty times that’s saying a lot. The great thing about Portugal is that as I go fairly regularly and have done since I was about five, it means that I know the area like the back of my hand.  I always feel settled and in holiday mode as soon as I arrive, which I think we can all agree makes a big difference when the point of your trip is to relax thoroughly. In terms of what we got up to on or holiday; it was all about the eating, the exploring, the card games, the running, the go karting, visiting a nature reserve and the sunbathing. The perfect sunny holiday really! I won’t go in to masses of detail on the whole week, as I will find it hard to keep this post short(!), instead I’ll let the pictures do the talking!

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Setting the world to rights over the BBQ

The Mothership and me with drinks and cards

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Go karting fun

This was the first time we’d been go karting in Portugal and it was so much fun! I was perhaps a little more restrained than others, but I still enjoyed it. Lets be fair I can’t help it if I’m a little bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to things like speed.

Late night cocktails

Late night cocktails

A glorious view

A glorious view

Gorgeous weather

Gorgeous weather

I love the colours in this picture – the bright blues, deep greens and creamy buildings. So beautiful.

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More Uno!

All dressed up for dinner

All dressed up for dinner

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Me and Lau

and relax...

and relax…

Chilling by the pool

Chilling by the pool

Sun shade

Sun shade

Hello!

Hello!

It's all about the sunglasses

It’s all about the sunglasses!

An amble through the nature reserve

An amble through the nature reserve

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Smiley sisters

The local nature reserve

The local nature reserve

Beautiful scenery

Beautiful scenery

More cocktails

More cocktails

Lots of cocktails

Lots of cocktails

I can’t wait to go back to Portugal soon, it’s going to be brilliant to have a chilled out few days in the sun (hopefully) and not have to do anything but relax. Let the countdown begin, only thirteen more sleeps to go…

A Compass Rose

Six memories of one brilliant person

Six years ago today my Grandma died. She was a wonderful woman, a big part of my life and I still miss her all the time. It’s funny that you never truly appreciate someone until they’re no longer with you. When I think back about my Grandma I often focus on the final few hours of her life, where she wasn’t well and wasn’t herself and that saddens me as I want to remember her as my Grandma and the person who was full of energy and laughter. So with that in mind I wanted to share some memories of her.

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You were never too busy to spend time with us, in fact you relished time spent on the floor playing with tea-sets, time spent in make-shift forts and the hours we’d spend drawing and colouring in together.

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Some of my favourite memories of growing up are spent at the house in Dorset that you and Grandpa lived, where we would share all sorts of adventures; from early mornings spent snuggled up under the covers reading The Little Girl who Lived in the Freezer and The Bedspread  and searching for shells on the beach to walks along the river before sharing a Kitkat at the WI and Sunday lunches at The Willett Arms.
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I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to attribute part of my book obsession to you as you were always reading something and loved to encourage my love of books with frequent trips to the library and WH Smith book vouchers every Christmas. I’ll never forget the hours we could spend chattering about stories we’d read and it makes me so sad that you never got to finish the Deathly Hallows as I know you’ll always wonder what happened and I miss that we never got to discuss our favourite characters in their final tale. [But don’t worry you’d be happy – we were right about so much and your favourite character was indeed a hero].

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The first Christmas without you was hard. It wasn’t Christmas, there was something missing. It wasn’t just  your unique fondant icing cake decorations, your special Boxing Day potato salad, the absence of your hysterical laughter during the mammoth board game sessions or the yummy Dorset ham that we missed. We missed your amazing enthusiasm for all things festive and appreciation for every gift, no matter its size.

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We must have spent so long frolicking in the garden with you, I love that you never grew out of searching for fairies and that your gardening knowledge was second to none. I especially love that you were always up for a game of French cricket!

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You were a special person, you had a way of lighting up a room and making everyone feel happy. That’s something that not many people have and that’s a true gift. You also had a unique way of looking at things and I was often surprised that you would have the opinions of someone a generation or so younger, you really were young at heart and a complete treasure to know.

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Holiday Humour

I’ve just got back (well last week) from a week away with my family and we had a total ball – you can read about our week over here. Whilst I was away I realised just how important these people are to me. They are the best people I know and I consider myself supremely lucky that I get to call them family.  There’s a phrase I’ve read: ‘Family by chance, friends by choice’ and this could not be truer of my family. They are all my best friends and I have a blast being around them.  Whenever we’re together we are constantly laughing and having a good time. There are of course always a few arguments and grumblings thrown in – like when Lau (my sister) told my Mum to get out the car at the Welsh border if she wasn’t going to stop complaining – oops! But those are always quickly forgotten.

Whilst in Wales we inevitably spent a lot of time laughing at silly things, which I feel the need to share with you. These stories probably won’t be that funny to anyone other than those of us who were there, but isn’t that what makes them even more hilarious and those people all the more important? Even if you don’t find these tales funny I do think it gives you a little insight into the random world of my family of crazies!

Whilst playing ‘Chain Reaction’ (an epic board game all about naming things on a certain topic) we had a LOT of funny moments, including the following.

  • Mum, Becca and I had the category chinese takeaway main meals, a great category if you ask me. However, we were all a little thrown when my Mum piped up very seriously with her first item: chicken vindaloo. She couldn’t quite comprehend why the rest of us fell about laughing and why Becca and I couldn’t continue for a while. Amazing!
  • The other team (Lau, Greg and Dad) were given the category excuses for being late. It was only after they’d finished their fast-paced round that we stopped and queried Dad’s use of: ‘I’m taking my chicken to the vet’. He honestly couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, so I might use that excuse next time I’m late to meet him and see what he says. [FYI if you have pet chickens and think that is acceptable, I’d just like to point out that my Dad does not own a chicken and has not been near a live one for many years].
  • Lau’s shining moment during this game was when she decided that in answer to the category famous wars, she was going to choose ‘The Falcon War’. Bless her.

There were two other comedy moments that happened during the week. The first one was featuring my Mum and happened after she’d drunk 3/4 of a bottle of wine at the pub. We were discussing someone’s job (mergers and acquisitions) and after a moment of silence where she had a very puzzled face, she piped up with: ‘Murders! Who does he work for, how does that work?’ She honestly thought this guys job was murders, as if he is some sort of assassin/government spy. Amazing. It’s actually rather concerning that I share her genes, what will I be like in a few years time, I can only imagine?!

But perhaps the funniest moment of the week and the one that had us in stitches most of the week was due to my younger sister and in reference to all the sheep that exist on the wonderful rolling hills and steep mountain sides of Wales. Early on in the week she observed that the sheep that were often standing precariously on the steep hill face and that should they sneeze they would most likely end up dead having fallen down the hill. She wasn’t even slightly joking. We all of course thought she was a little loopy and took great joy in teasing her all week. Perhaps the best moment was when she herself sneezed whilst standing up, which received this response: If you were a sheep you’d now be dead.

Ah the joys of family holidays. I love that all these things were hilarious at the time, but really wouldn’t be that funny for anyone reading this or potentially for us in a different setting. What about you, what in-jokes, family stories or comedy things have happened on your recent holidays?

Ten days of merriment

So this is an extended edition of my usual lately posts as I’m recapping on 10 days of awesome holiday fun. I fear it’ll be a struggle for me to make this post short, so apologies in advance if you have to take a break half way through but you know what coffee will help you through it! To sum up I had an amazing week away with my lovely family. It was wonderful to just chill out, eat and read. Pure bliss.

Day 1 – Road trip to Longleat Safari Park. The trip down to Longleat involved Starbucks, sweets and some serious singing action. Having never been to Longleat I didn’t know what to expect of this place, especially as it was a bit expensive to get into, but it was absolutely fantastic! We saw so many amazing animals and they all looked so happy just ambling around their large enclosures. Particular highlights included: giraffes with very bendy legs, monkeys that took great joy in sitting on our car roof, a regal elephant, cheeky lemurs, dozing lions and tigers, one of the world’s oldest gorillas and stunning deers that liked being fed. Much hilarity ensued with the deers: I wasn’t a fan of their dribbling whilst Mum only wanted to feed the cute ones, so ended up teasing the older ones and Lau and Becca found it hilarious when the bigger deer tried to headbutt them through the windows! It was really great to drive around the park at our own pace and hear all about the different animals on the free CD, I could have driven round and around multiple times! At the end of the tour of the park we stopped off at the cafe for scrumptious cake – what a great day! I can’t recommend this place highly enough – it’s such good fun! Day one of our holiday ended with dinner at a pub in Frome with some family friends before staying in a B&B that was all about the healthy, so no caffeine (!), normal tea or alcohol allowed on the premises…

Day 2 – The wedding! Our family friends’ daughter got married at the little church in Frome, before a wonderful reception at the stunning Orchardleigh House. The day was absolutely amazing. The bride and groom were so happy, the church was beautiful, it was lovely to catch up with old friends, the vicar made us all laugh by getting multiple names wrong during the service, the food was stunning, there was a free bar, the speeches were truly brilliant – all hilarious and touching – and the music was aces! Everyone at the wedding was staying on the estate and we had this gorgeous three-story clock tower building, so Bex and I were under the eaves – not bad really! We finally turned in after an epic game of spoof (with 20 players) at 1am.

Day 3 – Off to Wales we go. We stocked up on a buffet breakfast before heading to Bristol to pick up the sister’s boyfriend and heading into Wales! Despite a slight hiccup which saw us having an epic argument on the Welsh border and resulting in The Mothership sulking for two hours we finally got to our home for the week overlooking the stunning beach of Twywn and it was absolutely perfect! It was so peaceful and quite, with stunning views but there was so much to do nearby – Snowdon national park, steam trains, watersports, etc. After an evening run jog, we ate a roast dinner and got going on the board games – it’s an Evans family thing!

Day 4 – Barmouth. After a lazy start we headed to Barmouth via a bridge over the estuary. It’s a lovely drive to the car park for the bridge, and I couldn’t help but take some pics along the way. I particularly loved the blue church we came across, cute or what. The walk over to Barmouth itself was glorious – the sun was out and the scenery (both out to see and inland towards Snowdon) was spectacular. Barmouth itself is a cute town with lots of spots for crabbing and we settled at The Last Inn for lunch. The food was delicious and it was the perfect sustenance before our walk back across the bridge. The afternoon was spent fighting over the comfy swivel chair, reading and of course more board games!

Day 5 – A trip on the Tallylyn Railway. It might seem a strange thing to do but we decided to head up one of the mountains on the steam railway as it sounded like such fun – yes we’re clearly train geeks! Having packed our picnic we headed up to the Dolgoch Falls for a wander up and round the falls, which are beautiful. We then munched on our lunch up at Abergynolwyn, a couple of stations further up before heading back down the line to Tywyn. It was such a fun trip on the railway with so much to see from the cute sheep, to the stunning vistas. Plus it was a joy to see the pleasure that those working on the railway took in their work – it was clearly something they relished doing. That night saw us yet again playing games, but this time there was a gorgeous pink sunset to watch – absolutely stunning.

Day 6 – Road trip. We decided to go for a drive around on day six as the weather was atrocious. It seemed logical to see some of the stunning scenery that we were so close to, so we headed towards the Snowdon National Park and meandered through Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Trawsfynydd, Porthmadog, finally ending up in Criccieth. The small towns were all really picturesque and even though the weather was dreadful it was lovely to visit them all. That area of the country is truly stunning. If you do ever find yourself over that way make sure you pop in to Tiffin’s in Criccieth for lunch, as all their food was spectacularly delicious. You could just tell they love food. I had the mushroom and spinach lasagana which was truly delicious, although the butternut squash and goats cheese one tasted just as delicious. I’m definitely going to hunt out a recipe for both very soon!

Day 7 – Beach bound. We awoke to stunning blue skies and high temperatures on Thursday so we obviously had to spend the morning at the beach! We even ventured into a very boisterous sea, which whilst freezing at first it ended up being lovely and warm. It was fun to act like a five-year old and jump over the waves and get pushed around by them (and throw seaweed at my scared sisters of course)! I did also act my age on the beach I promise, there was some reading and music listening too. After the beach there was arcade fun to be had, it’s amazing how much fun you can have with just a handful of 2ps. Those machines never fail to amuse me!

Day 8 – Snowdon awaits. Early on in the week we decided we wanted to pop up Snowdon and see the stunning vistas (I love that I’ve used the term pop up, as if you can just go up for a quick visit as easy as pie!). It was an absolutely stunning drive to Llanberis; every corner you turned meant another stunning vision in front of you. In a way I’m glad I was driving as I would have taken absolutely millions of pictures!! After a wander along the river we got on the diesel train for our trip up the mountain. Sadly the weather was a bit too windy so we couldn’t go all the way to the top but we did make it about 5/8 of the way up, to Rocky Mountain where we stopped for a while before heading back down. It really was a stunning vista, and I can only imagine how much more you can see from the very top. Next time I will make it to the top, and maybe I’ll even walk it… Our last night in Wales saw more arcades, more food and of course more board games!

Day 9 – Home Time. We left our wonderful Wales home early in the morning as it was a five-hour trip home. It was so sad to leave as our little spot was just wonderful and absolutely perfect for what we wanted for the week. There was so much we could do if we wanted to, but equally our apartment was so lovely that we didn’t mind doing nothing but looking out the window or having our head in a book all day. Whilst it was sad to leave our holiday haven, it was lovely to get 3G, reception and Starbucks coffee on the way home – you forget how reliant you are on such things until you have a week without them. I am very relived that I’m now back in contact with the world’s happenings thanks to the wonders of Twitter! Saturday saw an epic amount of cleaning (knackering but so worth doing!), TV catch up and defrosting the freezer. What a life I lead hey!

Day 10 – The last day of holiday, sad face alert. I made the most of my last day of holiday, and it started with a lovely lie in and then a lazy morning on the sofa. Bliss. After lunch I headed for a walk around Clapham High Street to grab some food, an iced coffee and to spend a small fortune at Oliver Bonas – one of the joys of a £65 credit note. I got some lovely stuff to show for my money though: a flamingo lamp shade, flamingo phone case, a new Oyster holder (badly needed after the Color Run destroyed my mine) and a blue owl glass vase (because you know it’s an essential!). I also picked up some Christmas stocking fillers as it’s never too soon to start getting prepared in my opinion! The rest of the afternoon saw TV watching, long over due blogging, ticking off lots on my epic to-do list and a 4 mile run. My longest run for a hell of a long time and it was horribly hard but hey at least I did it! After the week I’ve had it’s certainly necessary – I’ve eaten so much!

Phew, what a busy little bee I’ve been! It was so lovely to have a week away with my family – they really are the best people! And Wales was absolutely lovely – I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I did, but considering how beautiful it is how could I not fall in love with the country, it’s simply stunning. My only regret? Not booking off two weeks as getting up for work this morning was not fun, just one week was far too short a break!

How are you lovely people, how have your weeks been and what holiday plans do you have?

Pinterest Corner #28 – Simple Things

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of the lovely magazine The Simple Things. I just love it so much, it’s like an aura of calm descends around me as soon as I sit down to give it a good read. There’s so much lovely stuff in this beautifully designed magazine and I’m constantly amazed at the things I’m being told and shown. I like that they focus on the simple, easy, nice things that make such a difference in our lives. It’s not about the faff and the fuss, it’s about all those little things that are important. They continue this on their Pinterest page where they get others to pin their simple thing. The other day when browsing on there I got a bit carried away and kept exclaiming, oh I love that, or that’s cute. So it made me think about my current simple things and I thought I’d share them with you.

20130716-080916.jpgLilac and mint. This is my new favourite colour combination discovered by happy accident thanks to my nails inc lilac nail varnish and my brand new Forever 21 accessory purchasing. So far I’ve work this colour combination three times in ten days – good work right?!

The sun. It’s out. Hooray! Quick take pretty pictures, drink ice-cold drinks, treat yourself to an ice cream, laze in the garden and dig out the BBQ, say ‘hello again’ to the freckles and slather on the suncream. Before it goes we must make the most of it – it’s our duty as Brits!

Gooseberry Jam. My parents make the best gooseberry jam and I’m very lucky that they’ve just delivered a new batch of it to our flat. So far I’m halfway through jar number one and it’s at it’s best when accompanied with Jacob’s Crackers and a very sticky brie. Yumalicious!

Rich Tea biscuits. We rediscovered these recently and I’ve realised how underrated these lovely simple biscuits are. They are the perfect accompaniment to all hot drinks and when you’re in need of something sweet they really hit the spot. Plus I’m able to eat ten in one go and I feel no guilt – brilliant!

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Evening strolls around Clapham Common. Unbeatable on a Summer’s evening if you ask me. It’s the perfect way to do some exercise so you don’t feel guilty about the upcoming Rich Tea consumption but it doesn’t exhaust you and you can have a good old natter and a nosey at the cricketers/picnickers/runners frequenting the common at the same time. Blissful

What are your simple things?

Touristy tales. Take two.

Days three and four of our touristy trip were based around the wonderful sites in Wiltshire. I have to admit that I’ve not been down that way and done the touristy thing for years – I think the last time was about 15 years ago. So needless to say I was very, very excited about our impending trip. So here’s what we got up to on our trip to Wiltshire:

  • The Royal Baths – These are absolutely fascinating. The stonework is so intricate and beautiful and I find it amazing that the baths have survived, intact for such a long time. Even if they were hidden for quite a while. The colour of the water and stone carvings was so unusual and beautiful too. Once again we had brilliant audio guides, so that was once again fascinating. 
  • The Abbey – Isn’t it a lovely looking building? We didn’t go into it but we ate our picnic in its shadow and it really was beautiful to see it from the Royal Baths.
  • The Royal Crescent – this street is absolutely gorgeous and I’m always amazed when I see pictures of it. I can’t believe it’s so absolutely perfect.
  • We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Limpley Stoke – check out the stunning views from our bedroom window. Also there was a gorgeous little pub just a stones throw away from it, which was perfect for dinner. Sometimes you just can’t beat a quaint English country pub.
  • Stonehenge – Whilst I can appreciate how impressive these stones are, as to move anything of that size in the time that they did is quite a feat, I just don’t understand what it’s all about. Was it a form of calendar, totally fluke or something else entirely. I can’t stand the ambiguity, I need to know. Anyway it was good to see Stonehenge and I’m glad it wasn’t too expensive, but I really wish it hadn’t been raining the entire time. I’m not sure my Aztec pumps will ever be the same again! 
  • Marlborough – We stopped off at Marlborough on our way home and it’s such a beautiful little market town. Plus there was a gorgeous food market on at the time, so we of course treated ourselves to cake and cheese. The smoked mozzarella is insanely good and I’ve been enjoying it ever since!
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