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The Lakes and Lane Head Farm

Our 2 night stay on this trip was gifted but all opinions are my own.

The sun is shining and it’s making me want to plan another adventure up in the Lake District. If you haven’t already make sure to read my previous post on day 1 in Troutbeck and catch up on our visit to Aira Force and our wonderful accommodation at Lane Head Farm.

After another hearty English breakfast at Lane Head Farm and Country Guest House we packed the car up and off we went for the day.

We had heard from our b&b hosts that The Lakes Gin Distillery was only a short drive away so I definitely wanted to visit there before we left. On every trip to the Lake District so far I have managed to bring something back and most of the time it is mini gins for friends and family and always from The Lakes Distillery brand. As it was lunchtime we were a little peckish but with the large breakfast still maintaining our strength I chose to go for a chocolate tart and coffee. Mr C chose a cheese platter and we sat to enjoy the relaxing yet jovial setting. The food was wonderful and looked as appetising as it was. After a bite to eat we visited the on site shop where I simply had to get a branded tumbler. I mean I didn’t have to but I had to.

We took another stroll on our second day too. We had done the same walk with friends previously but somehow managed to get lost and miss our ferry back, (I know, don’t ask) so thought we should probably do the actual route. I wanted a steady walk with the distance but not the height and so that’s what we did at the bottom of Catbells. There were open spaces for Mia to run around – meeting plenty of dogs on the wayand as always, plenty of surrounding views. We made it to a fantastic spot on the lake where we spent a fair while before turning around. There’s something about being in nature with the water and the greenery that is so relaxing that everyone should visit a similar place if they can.

It was sadly time to head home after our antics but not without first nipping back to Lane Head Farm and Country house to say goodbye and a huge thank you to our wonderful hosts for the weekend. I honestly couldn’t recommend the b&b enough and we will certainly be back soon.

Featured

A Weekend In The Lakes

Part of this trip was gifted. Our two night stay and dinner at Lane Head Farm were kindly offered to us yet all opinions are my own of course!

Ok, ok we love the Lake District. It isn’t hard to see with it being all over my Instagram, features in my blog and now in prints on the walls around the house. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of the natural surroundings from the hills and beautiful slate buildings to the multiple lakes (or bodies of water, as I’m told) and we’re already planning our next break.

This visit we stayed at Lane Head Farm Country Guest House and we were warmly welcomed right from the start. We had never stayed in Troutbeck before so didn’t really know what to expect but for me it was one of the best locations we’ve ever been in. A short drive into Keswick can get you a day of retail therapy or that last minute walking gear and a little further along can get you to The Lakes Distillery. One of the major location bonuses was the fact that there are incredible views for miles, simple or long walks and you are close enough to choose your hill of choice for that day. Having previously walked Catbells, Blencathra is definitely a ‘to do’ on our next visit.

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Lane Head Farm is dog friendly so Mia also got a great greeting. A treat is the way to a chocolate Labrador’s heart and she is no different. Our hosts also thought about Mia in the room too and supplied us with a towel (for muddy paws), treats (for well behaved pups) and a bowl (for forgetful humans). I love additional touches like this and it really makes both us and pooch feel more at home.

Day 1

Well, what morning doesn’t start with a hearty breakfast? Especially one with lots of walking. This meant me and the hubby went full English, I mean we could have gone for fruit and cereals but that’s just not us *see shrugging emoji*. A good 10/10 for breakfast and we were on our way.

When we spoke to David and Suzette the Lane Head Farm B&B owners they were filled with walk suggestions and tips so we took their recommendation of going to Aira Force. Well, wow, I can honestly say it is now one of my favourite places. Being close to the B&B it is a beautifully scenic, National Trust cared for area with waterfalls and streams throughout. We will be going again and taking a different path just to see more of it next time.

After Aira Force, a wet dog and a wet bottom (yes I fell in, casual) we decided we needed food. Another recommendation was a visit to the Dog and Gun in Keswick centre to try their popular goulash. Very tasty may I add and we’ve had it in Budapest itself.

Our next stop was another frequent haunt. There is a garden centre in Ambleside that beats the garden centres near home. On multiple floors and supplying pretty much any gift, home decoration, clothing or garden furniture you could need the place is big and could be an afternoon in itself. It also had a ‘smallest house’ replica so I was content with the cuteness.

As it sometimes (regularly) does in the UK, it rained. This made us completely change our plans and instead of finding somewhere to eat out I pretty much wanted to head back to the B&B where there was a warm shower waiting. After a quick call to Suzette they were happy to squeeze us in for dinner at Lane Head Farm and it was the best decision! Local gammon and egg with chips was just what the day ordered after being out for so long exploring. The rest of the evening was spent with David and Suzette hosting at the bar whilst chatting with us and the other guests. We learnt so much more about the Lake District during that conversation and it was great to sit, chat and meet different people from all over the UK and further afield. I never expected the experience being at a B&B so it was such a welcome extra.

Keep an eye out for Day 2, there’s plenty more to come!

Picture Perfect in Birmingham

I am always up for anything Christmassy, well by the first of November anyway, so really an evening of being surrounded by Christmas decorations, cocktails and food sounded like fun. Also having been to Dirty Martini before in Birmingham I half knew what to expect and knew where the best photo spots were (thanks sis!).

I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about my camera, how to take the best photos or a lot about anything else but Viking Photography were our hosts and I was determined to get a question or two in which Elouisa happily answered. In photography lighting is always a biggie and with the darker months it’s like an uphill battle trying to get photos taken whilst there is a fraction of daylight. It’s true to say that bars are not known for their bright, perfect selfie taking lights and so it was of course darker in Dirty Martini. To get the most from our photos at the event and during task one Viking Photography shared with us their light bars. Quite literally a game changer during winter and I’m definitely going to get myself something similar whether it be a ring light or bar style. The white light is exactly what I’m looking for to take clear photos even when the outside isn’t looking too great. We were also able to use coloured acetate sheets to give the images a different mood or wash of colour.

The second task consisted of a little more roaming. Using prisms we were able to create more abstract images, playing with different sides and edges of the glass to get the shot. I have included a few of the images but there was so much more that you could do with them and other girls had really shown these off.

Of course when the Instagrammable cocktails and food came out it was hard to resist a few more photos and by this time, if anything, I was more confident to just play around with the options on my camera to see what they did and what gave the best results. The food itself after picture taking was very good and personally the pigs in blankets and brownies were the best of the evening.

The event absolutely flew by and it was great to meet and speak to people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It was also so good just to take the time to learn and find out more about my camera instead of the usual point and shoot and hope for the best by taking a hundred photos. I found this extremely helpful simply because I believe sometimes pictures need to be captured quickly and in the moment rather than posed.

There was a competition later on in the evening with our entries being photos we had taken during the event and as I’m a huge fan of interiors and decor my entry was just that. After all of the photos and camera swapping in the evening I thought this image was taken on my phone but this was with my camera and I love the result, very Christmassy.

Elouisa was the judge with the final vote and a deserving winner, Little Blonde Blog, took a great photo winning a great printer from Viking Photography.

Luckily the evening for me didn’t end there and my sister showed me more sights of Birmingham to be seen on my Instagram soon.

Thanks for reading and a huge thanks to Viking Photography, Elouisa and Jennie for organising the event #VikingPicturePerfect!

Changing Tack

Hello. Fancy seeing you here. Well if you’ve been here from the start, Thanks for sticking around! And if you’re new then, Welcome!

I haven’t been here myself that much recently. Without going into crazy detail I’ve changed my career twice, been away twice and had a hallway colour change, you guessed it, twice. Actually the hallway is three different colours right now but more on that later.

In all honestly I’ve been in a blip. Self confidence was all but forgotten, the pressure to do it all was heavy and the pressure of the future can be even heavier. Right now, I am (hopefully) crawling out of this blip on my hands and knees with one eye on the prize and the other tight shut in case of tigers. And if that made no sense I’m not sure the rest of it will, I’d leave now, thanks for trying though.

Just before my birthday in September I started to feel like I was getting back to myself. I’m not sure there will ever be a solid kill or cure reason people have these feelings and no one could ever be sure as to know they will never return but the effort is in pushing back.

That’s why I am writing this. I am pushing back. My free time is mine and with those who I wish to spend it. My sanity is mine and the people around me who keep me sane and I am me, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.

So, amongst my rambles and Pratchett-esque bafflements, what am I on about?

My blog is my space and I have decided to write whatever, whenever. There are too many rules about what you should and shouldn’t do with your blog and I’ve grown tired of it. I want to see a range of everything and I want to write about a range of everything. That includes my weird tri-coloured hallway, my random thoughts on the way to work and probably (highly likely) too many stories about my dog.

I do hope that this makes no sense whatsoever and you carry on reading my blog like you did before, enjoy!

Disney x Mad Beauty

No matter where I am in the world if there is a Disney shop I will go in it. From the last two years I have not really actually purchased anything and once my family even commented that they were focusing mainly on the children’s toy market. More recently however there has definitely been a noticeable shift with more adult products.

It was at a trip to Birmingham, when I was shopping with my sister when we headed in to the Disney store but I was not expecting to buy anything. That was until I spotted the Disney x Mad Beauty face masks taking up a tiny section of the shop.

My first impression was that I loved the packaging; Disney princesses with a modern twist. I personally think the product package design is a great idea, I mean who doesn’t want to imagine themselves as a Disney princess? Perfect skin, none of them seem to apply make-up and not a hair out of place (bar Anna in Frozen. If you know, you know.)

There were three face masks available and a set of refreshing eye pads. I decided to purchase two of the masks for different treatments and the eye pads to hopefully ease my under eye circles.

Belle

The Enchanted Rose face mask states that the rose water ingredient it includes has calming effects on the skin and gives a healthy glow – something I am always after. I am waiting to use this one before a night out or event to give me that glow so will let you know how it works when the time comes.

Sleeping Beauty

This face mask, True Love’s Kiss, says that it includes lavender and if you have been coming to my blog for a while you know that I love anything lavender scented. Again this mask states that it is calming on the skin and that, other than the fact that they look super cool, is why I purchased a second. I have since used this mask and very much enjoyed the experience. It is definitely cooling on the face and relaxing just to sit and do nothing for a while. The product is a sheet mask so easy to apply by taking the film off and laying onto your face taking note of where the eye slits are. The lavender wasn’t as strong as other products I have tried but it was enjoyable all the same.

Ariel

These were the products that I couldn’t wait to try the most. Years ago I tried the cucumber eye pads and cannot remember the result so thought I would give the Disney x Mad Beauty Cucumber and Green Tea Sheet Eye Mask a go. The packet includes 3 treatments so I believe worth the money if they make a difference and comes in a re-sealable pack so it is easy to keep the remaining pads fresh. They also look adorable in the purple shell design so what is not to love.

The Mad Beauty Disney range does include another mask which is the Princess Jasmine version and Minnie Mouse eye masks and even goes into more Disney ranges to include Winnie the Pooh body wash, Beauty and the Beast lip balms among other products.

To end, I would definitely re-purchase. Not for the face mask results as I believe you can achieve better skin treatments with other products (which from the packaging they know) but simply for the fun of it. I have Disney fan friends, including myself, who would just love the theme and design of the mask with its related images.

Have you tried any of the Disney x Mad Beauty products? What did you think?

Celebrating Valentine’s*

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Whether you are out celebrating with your loved ones or having a chilled evening in enjoy it.

Myself and the hubby will be relaxing tonight but luckily we got to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day with an evening out at Lost City Adventure Golf. Having been invited to try out their golf course and taste their delicious cocktail menu we were looking forward to a night out having fun.

Having been a couple of times before I was excited to try a different 18 hole course as they now have two. You can even combine the two courses and play all 36 holes if you’re feeling super competitive, something I will definitely think of doing next time.

We chose the Sacred Skull Pass course and started straight away. For a Friday evening it was fairly busy but we were never waiting too long and enjoyed watching the people before and after to seeing how they did too. For a while I was doing very well but as it tends to do when you say it out loud I lost my winning streak soon after! Hubby won the game overall but I was still incredibly happy with my hole-in-one on the 13th hole!

After totalling our scores and catching a super non casual outfit of the day photo complete with a photo bomb we headed upstairs to the Tiki Bar.

It was again busy as it was the weekend but we were served quickly. I chose an espresso twist which came complete with a chocolate palm tree sprinkling and the Mr chose a Tahitian Torch. Needless to say they were super tasty and I will certainly be trying some more at their 2-4-1 times in the near future.

With the evening complete we headed home saying that we had a great time and should definitely return, next time taking others with us and upping our competition. We will be recommending it to friends heading to Nottingham and keeping it in mind for another date night and if you’re heading there for Valentine’s Day, enjoy!

This post is a collaboration but all opinions and views are my own.

Our Tuscan Honeymoon Part 2

Welcome Back for Part 2! If you’re not caught up you can also read Part 1 and see more places we visited whilst on our honeymoon.

After seeing some parts of Siena we had booked a three night stay in Florence. On arrival we found that the city is surrounded by high walls as with most of the areas and how they were built. We were staying at Hotel Baglioni and when we arrived left our car with the attendant to park as we could easily get around the city on foot. This hotel was again booked on recommendation and when we arrived could see why. We were given one of the top floor apartments on an outdoor terrace which looked out over the rooftops of Florence. A beautiful view of the Duomo made our stay a little more special. The hotel is right in the centre of the city and we were only a few minutes walk away from the shops, restaurants and tourist spots. There was plenty to see in a short space of time and we had made a plan to relax so we didn’t spend our time queuing, thankfully. If we went again we would probably plan ahead to get our tourist attraction tickets, minimize queue times and pay the right amount as there were ticket touts around.

Wherever we ate whilst in Florence was incredible and being sat outside looking up at the Duomo eating pizza was one of my favourite times. We also visited the Magnum store to create our own topped ice cream which was worth it.

The city is completely alive all of the time. The shops are open until late and there was always people walking around or sat outside restaurants. Another place we ate was the …. which included great service and really well priced to say it was in the centre of Florence. The most expensive place we happened to come across was close to the museums and statue of David where we sat and had a coffee. The menu didn’t have prices so we definitely learnt the lesson of always checking.

From Florence we moved back into Siena and to our last hotel. It was friendly and had its own pool which was warm enough for me to swim in and around the pool was the perfect place to sunbathe. There was a shop poolside to charge ice creams and drinks to your room so basically it was perfect for me. On one of the days where we weren’t poolside we drove to San Gimigano which was a very old city housing the bull racing arena filmed in James Bond. It was also one of the easiest cities to park at which doesn’t sound like much but they don’t have parking like we know it. The restaurants were packed in the arena area so we went back a few streets to eat which is something I would recommend to anyone.

I bought most of the gifts for people back home and myself from Florence and San Gimigano, mainly magnets as I like to cover my fridge in them.

If you have any recommendations of Italian cities where we should go to next let me know!