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Monday, 8 February 2021

2021 goals

A (very) belated Happy New Year to you all! Here's to hoping 2021 is a better year than 2020 was for us. I'm not one for resolutions but I do always like to set myself some goals for the year. So, here are my 2021 goals.


2021 goals

  • Get outside more I love being outdoors and a walk does wonders for me. Fresh air and movement really boosts my mental and physical health. This year I want to make sure I have a walk every day. Whether that's a day out at the weekend or a quick walk around the block after work I'll be making myself move. 
  • Explore new places As you'll know from my travel posts I love exploring new places and sights. 2020 wasn't a good year for travelling or visiting new places. This year I want to visit somewhere new at least once a month. I don't know what travel will look like the coming year, but if things are still the same there are plenty of new places to see on my doorstep. 
  • Make more time for me Again, 2020 as a healthcare worker wasn't the best for relaxation and me time. Whilst I can't see my work life returning to more normal levels any time soon, I can make sure I take a bit of time out for me. I'm thinking a scheduled weekly long soak in the bath, a night of reading instead of Netflix, finding an hour a fortnight to do my nails, even blogging however sporadic it may be. All the things that I love to do and have missed the last year. 
  • Make more time for the people I love Like making time for me, making time for family and friends has been hard too. I'll be scheduling in date nights, mum & daughter time and (more than likely virtual for the time being) time with friends and other family. 
  • Photograph everything I can't even tell you of one time I picked my camera up since the pandemic hit. So, I'm going to try take it with me when I'm getting myself outside. I've thought of a few photography challenges too that I can do to get back in to snapping all the things. 
  • Get a new skincare routine I don't know if it is just a general change, or if the pandemic change of lifestyle and full PPE 5 days a week has caused it but my skin is SO dry! I need to spend some time looking in to and trying out new skin care, for my face and body. 
  • All the wedding planning As some of you will already know, me and Tom are engaged. Trying to sort a wedding out in the pandemic and all the lockdowns isn't easy but we're hoping to get married in 2022. And there is so much to do! I'll be sharing our engagement story soon, and will keep you up to date with all the wedding planning and plans. 
  • Learn some new skills or hobbies I really enjoy learning new things so I'm on the look out for online courses and classes. I've recently been drawn to manifestation so I've signed up to a couple of virtual workshops but I'd love to find a few more new to me things too. 
2021 goals laptop, notebook and blue flowers flat lay


Monday, 30 November 2020

About November 2020

November has been a bit of a washout hasn't it! Between the second lockdown, short days and long nights, dreary grey and cold weather I feel like I haven't really done very much. 

About November 2020 - Things I've done

Although we haven't been able to do much this month I can say Christmas is officially sorted here! Presents are bought, quite a few are wrapped and we're pretty much ready to go. Christmas is looking like it will be different to normal but I'm still looking forward to it. 

We had a muddy walk around Kirkstall Abbey and along the canal. There's nothing like crunching through all the Autumnal leaves and getting a good blast of fresh air, especially when we're all spending so much more time indoors. 
Walking along the side of the Leeds canal in Kirkstall
I found a new (well new to me) second hand bookshop in my area that are doing a click and collect service. I've treated myself to a pile of new books and feel good for helping out more small businesses. 

Ellie has been learning to drive, but it keeps getting delayed due to the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. So, I bit the bullet and insured her on my car and we've been out together. It is going really well, I'm jealous of her parallel parking skills too!

This month has been Toms birthday (so he can finally stop with the I'm older than him jokes). Lockdown birthdays suck but we made the best of the day! Our local Indian restaurant is now doing takeaways so we had a lovely meal, a few drinks and birthday cake. 

About November 2020 - Blog posts I've loved

About November 2020
I love this post by Gina from Culture Bean on how to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Although we can't travel at the moment it doesn't mean we can't plan future trips, and I have my eye on Copenhagen for a mini break. 

I love being warm and cosy at home as often as possible once Summer is over so this post by Alice about cosy nights and hygge is the perfect read. I am SO jealous of that peach print bedding in the photograph too!

Cinnamon and apples are a staple Autumnal food so I love this recipe for Cinnamon apple french toast casserole by Amy from Accidental Happy Baker. It sounds like a delicious Sunday morning breakfast we all need. 

The big 4-0 is approaching far faster than I'd like. Instead of trying to hide from it I love the idea of Claires from Our Favourite Jar, 101 goals in 1001 days. I'm going to have a think about some goals to set for myself and count down to 40 in the best possible way. 

Like pretty much everyone else in the UK this second lockdown has been a struggle for me so self-care has been more important than ever this month. This post from Louise Grace Blogs about setting a self care morning routine is a great read. 

Another self-care post I have loved this month is all about starting gratitude journalling by Lauren at Bournemouth Girl. I do keep an organiser to keep track of everything I'm doing but love the idea of jotting down things I'm grateful for at the end of each day. 

December plans

A homemade advent calendar for Ellie is one of our December traditions now, so this year Tom is getting one too. It'll be a nice little surprise for him as he doesn't know we do this every year. I'm quite excited to see what he thinks of it. 
5 homemade advent calendars lined up on the floor
Watching a Christmas film every day is something we tried last year ... and failed miserably at as we were just so busy. Given that no-one is really doing much I think this year will be much more successful. If you've got a favourite Christmas film let me know and we can add it to our list. 

I mean Christmas is the main one here, right? We will be having Christmas Day at home, usually my mum and brother come for dinner. At the moment I'm not sure if they will be able to or not, but either way we'll make the most of it. 

Depending on the rules and situation again we're hopefully going to my in-laws for a couple of days to do Christmas all over again. 

Eating, eating and more eating. I can't wait to eat all the festive food. 

How has November been for you? What do you have planned for December?  


Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Moonpig moments virtual event

*AD - PR EVENT* A few weeks ago I attended my first (virtual) blogging event in SO long. Between my illness and surgery then, obviously, coronavirus I haven't been to anything for well over a year! The Moonpig moments virtual event was a great night, virtually hanging out with other bloggers and finding out more about the world of Moonpig. I also have a great discount for you all, perfect for getting the Christmas cards in, at the end of the post. 

Moonpig moments - the app

If you're like me you're very aware of Moonpig already, you know they sell cards and like most people if nothing else sent birthday cards from them through the first lockdown. I had no idea they had an app (make sure you download it here) or the wide range of things, other than cards, they actually sell. Fortunately Jasper from Moonpig was on hand to talk us through the app and everything it has to offer. 
Moonpig app photograph birthday card

My favourite features of the app, that you might not know about are:

The ability to set reminders. A great way to keep up with everyones birthdays and special occasions. Add them all to the app (you can even import them from your phones calendar) and let the notifications remind you to buy a card. 
Moonpig app reminder screen

The handwritten message feature is great! Just write your message on a plain piece of paper and upload it in to the app and your handwriting will be printed inside the card. I love how much more personal the card will seem. 
Moonpig app handwritten feature

You can buy your cards and set the date you would like them to be sent. I am SO unorganised with cards so sitting at the start of the month, quarter or even year and getting them all done and sent out is a great idea. 

With lockdown 2 about to hit the UK I will be using Moonpig to design and make Christmas cards to send to the family I'm probably not going to see now. I know how much more my Nan will love a Christmas card with a photograph of us on rather than the generic shop bought ones. 

Moonpig Moments - the flowers

My favourite part of the Moonpig moments virtual event was a flower arranging workshop. I love fresh flowers but to be honest never really know how to "arrange" them. 
We received a Christmas bouquet from Moonpig and were talked through arranging them into a floral centrepiece. How gorgeous does this look? 
Moonpig Christmas flower bouquet

Moonpig Christmas flowers table decoration arrangement

Flowers are something I had no idea you can get on Moonpig but love that I now know I can get a card and bouquet sent out all from the same place in one go. Receiving a surprise bunch of flowers can completely change a day. At a time when families and loved ones are separated especially over the upcoming festive season a bouquet could be the perfect present to send. 

Moonpig moments - the cocktails

Another great gift idea (and again something I didn't know I could buy from Moonpig) is alcohol. From prosecco and wine to gin and vodka. At the virtual event we had a cocktail masterclass with Conor from Mix & Twist and were shown how to make 3 delicious cocktails with a bottle of Belvedere vodka. 
Moonpig Belvedere vodka

Again I love that I can send a Christmas card and a bottle of something to people I can't see at the moment. 

The Moonpig Moments virtual event was a great night and really informative too. If you want to order a card, flowers or gifts you can find Moonpig here and don't forget to use the discount code below. 

*DISCOUNT CODE* Make sure you use the code APP20CA for 20% off cards

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Post pandemic wish list

Although lockdown is slowly easing here in England, if you're anything like me it has been starting to get to you. I'm obviously going to follow the government guidance and do what we need to for as long as we have to...but that doesn't stop me planning my post pandemic wish list. Have you been planning a list of things you're going to do as soon as this is over? Here is mine.

Post pandemic wish list - 1. Visiting the people I miss most

Me, Tom and Ellie are spending lock down together and I'm so lucky to not be alone through it. But, I can't wait to see all the other people I'm missing so much. My mum, my nan, my sister and my friends. Not seeing any of them recently on my birthday really heightens how much I miss them all. FaceTime and phone calls help us keep in touch ... but it's just not the same as a hug from your mum is it? As soon as we can I'll be visiting everyone.

post pandemic wish list - visiting family and friends, a selfie with my mum

Post pandemic wish list - 2 Go to the hairdressers

My. roots. are. awful. Like the worst they have ever been.
I had to rearrange my last hair appointment before the lockdown and I can't tell you how much I'm kicking myself now! As soon as they reopen I'll be there. I do have a bleaching kit here but I'm going to try not to give in and do it myself. (The memory of my bleaching horror is still too strong!)

Post pandemic wish list - visit the hairdressers - looking down at the floor with roots visible

Post pandemic wish list - 3. Go to the seaside

We have been getting out and about, walking in our local area most days. But, I can't wait to spend the week looking forward to a family day out at the weekend. And it's just got to be the Seaside. I want salty sea air, fish and chips, ice-cream and to walk around surrounded by the hustle and bustle of people.

post pandemic wish list Walking Whitby to Sandsend - view of Whitby from Sandsend

Post pandemic wish list - 4. Date night

It feels like forever ago since Tom and I went on a date. I'm looking forward to being able to plan something, look forward to it then spend a day getting ready. I'll be going all out for our first post pandemic date, tan, hair done, make up and a pretty dress.

post pandemic wish list - me and Tom walking in the woods - date night

Post pandemic wish list - 5. A shopping day with Ellie

Although we've been in the house together pretty much every minute I'm not at work, a day out with Ellie is very much needed. I'm thinking a day wandering around the shops, treating ourselves and lunch or coffee and a cake somewhere.

post pandemic wish list - a day with Ellie / A day in Barcelona - Place de Catalunya fountains

Post pandemic wish list - 6. Visit the pub

You just can't have a wish list that doesn't include the pub can you? The recent weather we've been having is total beer garden weather. That first cold cider, icy gin or cool cocktail sat in a beer garden is going to be amazing after all of this is over.

post pandemic wish list Gin Festival Leeds Tinker Berry Fizz cocktail

Post pandemic wish list - 5. Have a meal out

It will be no surprise to any of you to hear I'm a total foodie. Eating out is my favourite past time. I have a constant "to eat at" wish list and I can't wait to get back to planning my meals out and trying new places or revisiting old favourites.

post pandemic wish list Jamie's Italian Super Lunch truffle tagliatelle

I would love to know what things you have been missing during lock down? And what things are on your wish list?


Monday, 4 May 2020

Healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway

Happy May! I'm kicking off the month with a great giveaway by Wellbeck Publishing , a healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway.

Healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway

The first book in the bundle is Clean Sleeping by Lisa Helmanis. It goes through the lifestyle and medical reasons for sleep issues and the solutions to self-help them away.    

Healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway

Next in the bundle is The Easy Life by Lynsey Crombie. You might recognise Lynsey from This Morning, this book is an interactive, seasonal guide to running a home.  

Healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway

Lastly is Sort Your Sh*t Out by Caroline Jones. This book focuses on the "clean house clean mind" principal and it is part journal and part guide.   All three books are brilliant and perfect for reading and working through during lockdown too.

Healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle giveaway

Entry to win this healthy lifestyle healthy mind book bundle is easy, just click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

 Good luck!

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Blogging my way through the pandemic

Hi everyone! How are you all? Staying safe and well I hope? As I'm writing this I imagine most of you are in lock down. Maybe working from home, maybe furloughed, maybe even trying to home school too. I've taken a good few weeks to think about blogging my way through the pandemic. I'm a part-time / hobby blogger so my blog is not my income and I just couldn't make my mind up as to whether it seems a bit inappropriate to carry on right now. There are more important things we're all talking about.

As an NHS worker I'm still working but, as you can imagine, I am surrounded by the talking about / meetings about / planning for the Coronavirus. There are times it's completely overwhelming, emotionally, mentally and physically. It's not something I want to discuss on here too after a days work.

I am missing my creative side though and blogging is a great way to unwind and switch off and think about something else for a while. And I know a lot of people are still reading blogs for similar reasons too.

blogging my way through the pandemic / flat lay with laptop flowers and notebook

So I have decided to keep on blogging my way through the pandemic and I would love for you all to keep reading, when you can. Please do let me know if there are any particular types of posts that are taking your mind of things at the moment? Or helping you plan for when you're out of lockdown?

What I will say about the virus before I go is stay safe, stay indoors and follow the government instructions and please do clap for the NHS workers, it really is appreciated right now!


Thursday, 5 March 2020

About February 2020

I mentioned in a previous post taking my blog in a new direction and todays post is one of those. A little chatty round up about what I have been up to and what my plans are. I always love reading posts like this and finding out more about the people behind the posts. Letting you all in to my life a little more is something I want to do more of so this is a great way to catch you all up. Here is my about February 2020.

About February 2020 - Things I've done

It was my first follow up appointment this month with the Surgeons who operated on me last year. I am so grateful for what they did for me but going back to the hospital is so anxiety inducing! It was good to sit down and really talk through the biopsy results and the future though. I will be having a colonoscopy (camera test) yearly and seeing the team yearly, staggering them 6 months apart. I feel good about that, they're keeping their eye on me but I won't be going to the hospital too often.

Me and Ellie spent a night in Manchester seeing the Jonas Brothers. Ellie loved it and I have to admit I secretly enjoyed it too.

Tom took me to Cob House Country Park in Worcester. It's a nice walk outdoors with animals and a cafe too. (Which fyi serves amazing hot chocolates perfect for warming back up after a February walk) Why is it even at 37 years old reindeers still seem a little bit magical?

Cob House Country Park reindeer / about February 2020

The 14th February 2020 was the first Valentines day for me and Tom. It is still so surreal that almost 18 years after we met and all this time as friends we're a couple now.

I saw The 1975 for the first time, and they were brilliant. They are well worth battling storm Dennis all the way to Nottingham. Speaking of storms ... why has there been SO many this month? It is wild out there at the moment.

Both me and Ellie managed to arrange a day off together and had a mum and daughter girly day. Shopping, starbucks lunch and Netflix films.

I took Tom for his first bottomless brunch (why don't boys do brunches??) at the Hilton Sky Lounge in Leeds. The food, drink and views were fab and you can read all about it in a post soon.

We've booked three holidays so far for this year. A big family holiday abroad in the Summer and two mini UK breaks. I love having things in my diary to look forward to through the year and feel like I'm definitely off to a good start here.

February 2020 = vintage postcards on a floral background

About February 2020 - Blog posts I've loved

Getting back in to writing my blog again means I am getting back in to reading blog posts too. Here are a few posts I have loved in February 2020.

February 2020 - notepad, pens and keyboard flat lay

Victoria at Doorways & Dresses recently wrote about Forever Aloe vera gel drinks, perfect timing as aloe vera drinks are something I am thinking about trying.

Jennie at Lifestyled by Jennie shared a Swedish Kaddkaka recipe that I am dying to try. Swedish food isn't something I have eaten but this dessert sounds heavenly!

I love this post by Bee from Queen Beady about Bolton Abbey. I read it a few days after we visited and instantly wanted to go back again.

March plans

March has our first mini-break of the year to Stratford-upon-Avon. It's somewhere totally new for me and I can't wait to explore and see the sights.

I'm planning a career change in the not too distant future so I want to spend a bit of time this month looking in to that in more detail and seeing if doing any courses or training now will help me along.

Another month another bottomless brunch! This time at Revolution de Cuba in Leeds with the girls. With being so unwell last year it will actually be a year since I was out with them all so it's definitely long overdue.

I have THE biggest pile of clothes, shoes and bags from our wardrobe clear outs that need sorting. I sat and listed a few bin liners full and I want to set myself a task of a section a week to get on eBay (unless anyone has a better place to list things?). They can get a new lease of life with someone else and I can hopefully get some extra money in my holiday savings.

Whilst I have been on my blogging break I have still been taking SO many photographs. I need to make some time to sit and go through them and edit them all. I would also love to start scheduling everything a good week or two in advance like instagram and my other social media to get back on top of it all.

February 2020 Kodak camera on grass

What did you get up to in February? What are your March plans?


Thursday, 27 February 2020

A new direction

My time away from blogging has given me plenty of time to think about what I want to do with my blog. What I enjoy writing about and the things I haven't been enjoying. Coming back to it is a perfect chance for a fresh start and a new direction.

A new direction - What to expect

My blog has always been pretty niche-less. There has always been a bit of everything on here, from food to travel to beauty to fashion. I want to narrow that down more. From now on I am taking this in a new direction and my focus will be more on the thirty plus lifestyle, after all it's what I know best!

I will be concentrating on the things I (and most people my age) do, buy and think about. Things like general lifestyle stories and advice, day trips, skincare especially for thirty plus skin, home pieces, family friendly holidays and all the brunches. Since my recent health issues and surgery my diet has completely changed, so expect to hear more about that and see what I'm eating now.

A new direction - Brunch at Hyde Park Book Club Leeds breakfast bagel

I am making a conscious decision to move away from fast fashion as much as I can to more "staple" wardrobe pieces. I'm not saying I'll never buy from the fast fashion sites but I'll make sure the pieces I get aren't the short trends we all wear a couple of times before they're out of fashion and in the charity bags.

I have also been having a think about the impact I am having on this world. We all know we need to be doing more than we were. So you can expect some eco-friendly switches and talks.

As well as a slight switch in what I am writing and the way I write it, there will be some new locations. Whilst I am still living in Leeds at the moment I spend a lot of time in Worcester with my boyfriend. You just know I am taking full advantage of a new base to explore from, finding the new sights and the new places to eat at.

A new direction - why the changes

My life has been slowly changing over the last year. Some things in the way you expect and some not.
Home life is a lot different now. Ellie has left school and is usually out and about somewhere. I bought our house in the Summer and getting it just the way I want it is keeping me busy.
At the start of 2019 I lost my way with blogging and the burn out was creeping in. Changes in what I'm writing and making a decision to do it for me is what I need. No more worrying about numbers, the page views or likes just don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

A new direction - laptop, notebook and flowers flat lay

My bowel tumour has been a life changing thing too (I know how cliche it sounds but it really is true!) After something like this your entire outlook on life changes. I don't want to spend my time doing things I don't enjoy anymore ... so I'm not!

Most importantly I'm in a relationship now. I am spending a lot of time in a new area. And I'm busy doing all the couply things like eating out and day trips.

A change was much needed and I feel really motivated to get back writing and taking my blog in its new direction.

A new direction


Thursday, 30 January 2020

Returning to blogging

2019 was quite the emotional roller coaster for me and for a while became completely overwhelming. I had to disappear and you might have been wondering where I've been.

The highs of the year were amazing, Ellie has left school now, looked stunning at Prom, smashed her GCSE's and has started college and her first job. I couldn't be more proud of her.

Ellie standing in front of tall flowers in her prom dress

I bought our house and we had an amazing holiday together in the summer.

I'm with Tom, a holiday romance from 17 years ago who has been one of my closest friends since and he really is the love of my life.

Me and Tom together

But all of the highs were overtaken by health issues. After a routine examination I was told they had incidentally found a suspicious tumour in my bowel. And my whole world crumbled.There was four painstakingly long months of tests, scans, MDT meetings and meeting different surgeons before major surgery to remove it. It's out and I got the all clear once my biopsy results came back.
I regret not being able to use my (albeit tiny) corner of the internet to spread awareness and share what I was going through but, I had to do what I needed to do to get through it. For me that was hibernating away. Concentrating on the things that really matter in life when it comes down to it. And, after the surgery, healing all the trauma my mind and body has been through.

My journey the last 6 months is something I will talk about soon. We need to catch up on the new direction my life and consequently blog are going in and we'll do that soon too.

For now though I am back in my happy place, typing away and sharing things with you all. Returning to blogging at last.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Helping my healthy kick with Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks

*AD - GIFTED* For the last few months I have been quietly trying to clean up my diet and add more fitness to my day. I walk so much more than before, aiming for at least 3 miles a day. Whilst I am not dieting I am trying to eat more healthier and looking at the nutrition of what I'm eating. My breakfast, lunch and dinner are all much healthier (with the occasional treats here and there of course!) one thing I am struggling with is snacks. Fruit just doesn't cut it sometimes does it? Luckily for me the Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks have me covered!

Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks with kettle bells and trainers

About Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks

Health Lab was born from a kitchen in Australia in 2015 when Jess, the founder, saw a gap for actually healthy snacks that satisfy the sugar craving.
There are vegan protein balls, hemp energy balls, collagen protein balls and probiotic gut health balls. They are all made from natural ingredients with no surprise nasties in there.

Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks laid on table

My Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks experience

I have been sent six different snacks to try.
  • Mixed berry probiotic ball
  • Choc brownie protein ball
  • Espresso hemp energy ball
  • Salted caramel protein ball
  • Choc matcha probiotic ball
  • Peanut butter choc hemp energy ball
Each 40g ball is individually wrapped and I really love the different colours. They are girly and if you have a few in the cupboard you can easily see which one you want. The labelling is great, you can easily see the ingredients (I can confirm there are no hidden or unusual things in there) as well as the nutritional information.
All of the Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks taste great. (Though I can't comment on the espresso energy ball as due to my caffeine intolerance I daren't try it). They have are firm and chewy with occasional crunchy bits. They are not gritty or powdery.  My favourites are the salted caramel and choc brownie protein balls. Which is great as protein is definitely something I need to up in my macros.

Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks unwrapped on a plate

Each ball, although small, is full of flavour and really hits the snack craving spot.

Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks cut in half on a plate

There are some collagen protein balls on the Health Lab website that I am super interested in trying. Upping protein, healthy snacking AND boosting collagen definitely sounds good to me!

What are your go to healthy snacks? Are the Health Lab wellness and beauty snacks something you would eat?

Thursday, 2 May 2019

April favourites

Can you believe we are in May already? It seems like this year is just flying by for me. I am starting a new regular series on my blog today and sharing my monthly favourite things starting with my April favourites. Things I am obsessing over. Things I have been doing. Things I am eating a lot of. And bits and pieces that don't need a full blog review but I want to share with you all.

April favourites - Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker book

April favourites - Hashtag Authentic book

I got Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker in the pre-order but have to admit I am only just reading it now. With not being well and having no energy reading definitely goes out the window! I love this book as it is full of useful Instagram and photography tips as well as gorgeous pictures to look at.

April favourites - Game of Thrones

I am SO happy Game of Thrones is back on our TVs again. So far it has been its usual shocking and stressful self and I can't get enough of it! I have a prediction table going on with my friend Linda and we have weekly, super long, phone calls after each episode. There are only two episodes left now (sobs) though. What we will all do or talk about afterwards?

April favourites - Wild and Game pie

April favourites - Wild and Game pie

Game isn't something I have had before as I am never very sure what I will think of it. I have been gifted the Wild and Game award winning pork, pheasant and caramalised onion pie and man is it good! After a good nosey at their website I have my eye on the pheasant and pear sausages to try next.

April favourites - Stocks flowers

April favourites - stocks flowers

I always thought tulips and daffodils were my favourite flowers. Until my friend Holly sent me a bunch of stocks. Now I have to fill my entire house with them. Not only do they look pretty and eye catching but they have such an amazing fragrance that is so strong it fills the room.

April favourites - Easter chocolates

April favourites - Easter chocolates

Lindt bunnies and Cadbury Mini Eggs are my all time favourite chocolates and it makes me sad you can't get them all year round. Do you know what you can do though? Stock up in the post-Easter sales and hoard enough to last the year!

What things have been your April favourites? Tell me what you have been using, doing and eating. And I would love to know if you have any Game of Thrones predictions for the final two episodes too!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

A life update

Hi guys! I feel like it's been ages since we had a life update hasn't it? I also kind of owe you an explanation as to what's going on for me at the moment. I know some of you have noticed I haven't been around. And I am so thankful to the people noticing I haven't been posting here or on social media and who have got in touch to check I'm ok.

A life update - my health

My health is the main reason for todays chatty life update. Having autoimmune disease is something I have spoken about before. Since my original diagnosis two years ago my hypothyroidism has been really well controlled with my medication. But in January I started with a flare and by March it was in full swing. After eight weeks on my new medication I am feeling SO much better. It would be nice if my eyebrows grew back soon though!

A life update - notepad and succulent flat lay

A life update - Ellie

Just as I am feeling well again Ellie became ill. After a trip to the Doctors one Wednesday afternoon she was admitted in to hospital. No matter how old your kids get hearing a Doctor say you need to take them to hospital is always the worst. I was tucking her up in bed the next lunchtime but she has been needing a lot of rest for a couple of weeks.

A life update - card and succulent flat lay

A life update - behind the scenes

Behind my blog, apart from recovering and then looking after Ellie, things have been happening. My house purchase has just about gone through now (which is equally exciting and terrifying) and I can't wait to share it with you all. I have lots to write about too from before my flare and things I've done as I've got better.

A life update - keyboard, flowers and succulent flat lay

So there you have it. I am back blogging and couldn't be happier to be back up and running again.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A guide for the best relaxation time

Oh how I love when it comes time for the weekend. It is a time to catch up on some sleep, but more importantly it is a time to relax and unwind as much as possible. Here is my guide for the best relaxation time. Full of tips and things to do to rest, relax, and have quality time with yourself over the weekend.

A guide for the best relaxation time - at home

Watch a great movie

I love to settle in and watch a movie. A great movie to me really just lets your mind get absorbed into a story and escape your own daily stresses. I do prefer a movie night at home, streaming a film via sites like rather than going to a theatre. That way I can really relax just being in my own space, with my favourite mug of tea and cosy blankets. 

Catch up on that book you never managed to finish

I will admit that there have been plenty of books that I do love and fully intend on finishing but don’t get around to doing so. So the weekend for me is the time is to get to that book I haven’t quite had the time to finish and give myself permission to do so.

Have an at-home spa date with yourself

My daughter and I both love to have an at-home spa date. It is the ultimate way to relax, unwind and treat yourself by taking care of your body and mind. To create the ultimate at-home spa experience, light some candles, diffuse some essential oils, play some calming music, make a mug of hot herbal tea, and bring out those face masks, hair masks, exfoliators, jade rollers, nail polish, and any and all pampering products you love
Tip: clean up your space first! It is absolutely worth it so you can relax in a clean and calming space.

A guide for the best relaxation time - aromatherapy oils

A guide for the best relaxation time - Activities out of the house

Treat yourself to some shopping

I am quite keen on retail therapy every now again. I don’t even need to go out and buy anything, but I do love to go out and just look around. Of course sometimes, I do love to treat myself to some purchases! 

Go to the movies

I know I mentioned I prefer movie nights in, but some movies with dramatic effects and scenes are fun to go out and see on the big screen. Plus, if you want to go out and do something relaxing but don’t have the energy to chat, a day at the theatre is the perfect option! 

Go see an art exhibition

An art exhibition is a wonderful, technology free way to spend time during your weekend. Find a show or exhibition that you connect with the style of and make a day out of it! You can go solo, or call up a friend or family member to join you! 

Meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while

I wish that I had more time to spend with friends! Unless a friend lives close by or has a lifestyle where our timetables can overlap, it can be hard to get together! During the week, it’s just not always feasible. So the weekend is a wonderful time for many to meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or perhaps one that lives farther away.

A guide for the best relaxation time - coffee with friends

A guide for the best relaxation time - Time spent outdoors and being active

Go explore a new town

The weekend is a wonderful time to get away from your normal routine and environment so you can unplug and recharge. Take advantage of the area that you live in, and go explore a new town or setting. One of my favourite things to do is check out local eateries in new places. 

Go for a hike or walk in nature

Getting out in nature is a sure way to relax. You can go for a hike that rewards you with a gorgeous view or for a simple and lovely walk in a setting of your choosing.

Go for a nice long bike ride

A nice long bike ride, preferably on a bike with a basket that I can ride down to the market, is something I automatically associate with the weekend. It mixes up a typical way of being active and can even become a wonderful weekend tradition! 
A great way to relax during the weekend is to disconnect and take a break from social media. So challenge yourself to unplug and truly focus on yourself rather than the digital world around you.

A guide for the best relaxation time - stretching on a hilltop

What would be in your guide for the best relaxation time?

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Dirty Dancing at the Victoria Theatre Halifax

This month you can catch the West End Show, Dirty Dancing at the Victoria Theatre Halifax. Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favourite films. What's not to love? The music, the dancing and the storyline are all amazing and I can watch it time and time again. Whilst I've seen in on video (yup, I'm old), DVD and even shown at an outdoor cinema I haven't seen the live show before.

Dirty Dancing at the Victoria Theatre Halifax Seen by millions across the globe this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two  fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

Featuring 35 hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.

The cast includes Kira Malou as Frances "Baby" Houseman, Michael O'Reily as Johnny Castle and Simone Covele as Penny Johnson. They all have some iconic dancing shoes to fill and I can't wait to see how they all take on the roles.

I am really looking forward to watching Dirty Dancing at the Victoria Theatre Halifax. And if you are there the same time as me I promise to try not to sing along too loudly!  

If you haven't got your tickets yet get them here and do let me know if you are going to see it.  

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Roundhay Park with the Tesalate towel

It is the school holidays here in Leeds and in typical British style the weather and road closures have been spoiling our plans! We have been sent a Tesalate towel and a day out at the Seaside with it would be perfect. Fortunately, Roundhay Park is nearby and saves the day.

About the Tesalate towel

The Tesalate towel is a large, absorbent, quick drying towel that is sand free too. They come in a huge range of vibrant designs that both women and men will love.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor

The towels are lightweight and compact. Despite being a full size towel they fold up neatly into a tiny bag.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor with bag

Tesalate towel - rolled up in bag

My Tesalate towel review

I have the Paradise Found design Tesalate towel, a super bright tropical print towel with flamingos, flowers and palm leaves. The colours are gorgeous and they instantly remind you of summer holidays. I do like that the reverse of the towel is a monochrome geometric print. It's almost like two towels in one! When it is inside its bag it is small and lightweight, the kind of thing you can throw in your bag and forget about.

Tesalate towel - laying it out on grass in park

Although I couldn't try my towel out on the sand I could use it as a picnic blanket. Roundhay Park is the perfect place to take a seat and watch the swans on the lake or the world go by. It's a windy and cold day but the ground is dry, so no damp soaks up in to the towel. The towel keeps me clean and stops that annoying grass tickle that you think might be a spider every two minutes.

Tesalate towel - sitting on towel in park

A quick shake and all the grass and gravel falls straight off. I obviously can't confirm the towel is sand free but definitely think it will be after using it in the park.
Our towel has been through the washer and out on the line to dry. The colours are just as vibrant and it dries really quickly.

Tesalate towel - shaking towel by lake

I love how small and lightweight the towel is it won't take up much room in my suitcase or beach bag and definitely won't take up much of the luggage allowance weight either.
I can't wait to take our Tesalate towel on holiday. It is going to be perfect to lay on in the sun lounger or down at the beach. As it is so absorbent and quick drying it will be great for the in and out of the pool days. There is nothing worse than laying on a soggy towel is there? I'm really looking forward to not having a beach bag full of sand too.

As well as being a great beach towel it will make a great picnic blanket for dry days here. I can picture us sitting in parks for a picnic with it or pulling it out at festivals for a sit down between bands or while we eat.

You can grab a Tesalate towel here and they are £49 or £79 for a towel for two.

Is a Tesalate towel something you would like for travelling or days out?

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