Monday, 29 June 2015

A Secret Garden

Summers are definitely a time for adventures and I seem to be catching up on all the ones I couldn't do whilst at uni. One of my favourite places to go an explore is a National Trust and having been going to at least one every holiday during my childhood it only made sense that I continued this tradition into adulthood. It is also ridiculously cheap for a student yearly pass and so I decided to get one last year and even if I don't use it as much as I would like it still feels good to be giving money towards the upkeep of our heritage and beautiful landscapes.

So when my Auntie came to stay for a girly few days a couple of weeks ago we decided to pack up a picnic and make our way to Berrington Hall. We had a really lovely day exploring the house and grounds. There also happened to be a Jane Austen costume exhibition throughout the house whilst we were there which as an Austen enthusiast I loved! But my favourite part of the hall was definitely the gardens particularly the walled garden which reminded me so much of one of my favourite story settings - The Secret Garden. It was absolutely full of vegetables, fruits, herbs and so many different flowers and all set out in such a beautiful and decorative way that I instantly fell in love.

One of the things I love to dream about is my future garden and being able to grow all my own fruit, veg and herbs and this little garden gave me tons of idea's and inspiration. These are just a few snaps but I took ridiculous amounts of photos to keep and remind me of how beautiful my own kitchen garden could be one day. It was so peaceful and smelled so amazing that I didn't want to leave this is definitely somewhere I'd like to come back to.

Let me know if you've got plans for your own garden or future garden I'd love to read them in the comments below.

Bye for now!
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Friday, 26 June 2015

Ladies Who Lunch In Ledbury

As a foodie I am very lucky to live in Herefordshire as there is so much good food to enjoy. Herefordshire and Worcestershire are not that well known but to those who are in the know, these counties are little hidden gems of locally sourced produce and fantastic eateries. I've started to explore the local food markets and I've been to a couple of food festivals but one of my favourite things to do is try the restaurants, cafes and pubs around my new house.

Ledbury is a beautiful little market town not far from where I live and with cafes, books shops, an artisan chocolatier and a healthful shop selling organic local produce it is fast becoming one of my favourite places to potter around. Back in January when I was home for Christmas me and my boyfriend were introduced to this little gem by my mother and it fast became my favourite cafe for lunch.

And so when my friend came for a last minute spontaneous visit to Hereford I decided Ledbury and the Market House Cafe were a must do. The food here is unbelievably amazing! I have now been for lunch, pudding, coffee and cake and it has all been amazing. They use tons of locally sourced ingredients from jams to ice cream to the apple juice and they also sell it in their little deli next door. You can get the classic sandwiches, jackets and soups but they also have specials each day that range from quiche to bbq pulled pork bap and chips. The chicken and bacon club sandwich is my usual choice as it is the most delicious thing in the world. Three slices of chunky granary bread with hot chicken, bacon and lettuce sandwiched in-between each layer covered in lashings of creamy mayo. I am dribbling just thinking about it......

They also do the most fantastic hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows which is a definite must in the colder months. The cakes are all homemade and fantastically delicious especially the ginormous scones that they serve with clotted cream and jam.

If you are ever in Herefordshire I would seriously recommend a trip to Ledbury for shopping and to the Market House Cafe for a quick sandwich or scone!

Bye for now! 
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Monday, 22 June 2015

A Walk To Remember......

When I was little every summer we would go and stay with my Nana and Grandpa in Colwall in Worcestershire and one of the things we would always do over the two weeks we were there was go for walks on the Malvern hills. Now that we have moved to Herefordshire it is a lot easier for me to go for walks where I used to and so every chance I get I find myself off for a nice stroll on the hills. The hills themselves aren't particularly steep and you can do as many or as little as you'd like so its a really great place to walk whatever your ability. 

The day we went it was sunny but cloudy and surprisingly warm, having grown up my whole life by the sea I am used to chilly winds in the summer and so I am still getting used to it being warm in the summer and cold in the winter. But thanks to almost clear skies we had a fantastic view at the top, on a good day you can see 3 counties and apparently on a very good day you can see 5 counties.   

Hope you guys are having a good summer, I'm sorry for the lack of posts last week I've been having a crazy time this summer and I decided a week off was necessary. Let me know in the comments below if you've ever been to the Malvern hills.

Bye for now! 
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Friday, 12 June 2015

From Field To Fork

The other day it was my Dad's birthday and so in true country style we decided to spend it going to a local farmers market and then out for dinner at the pub. Where I grew up near Liverpool we didn't really get many farmer's markets and so I am just getting used to the beauty of being able to pitch up in one field or another nearly every weekend and buy some amazing local food.

The Field to Fork festival was designed to encourage people to support their local farmers and try eating fresh food that has been grown and sourced locally. There was everything there from cakes to fudge to gin and even a Land Rover to try out. The festival mainly celebrated what is currently in season - asparagus, strawberries and cider. It was really lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the stalls trying a bit of this and a bit of that. Needless to say me and Mum bought quite a lot of things including three tubs of strawberries, some freshly squeezed apple juice and a ton of asparagus. All in all it was a very successful day and I can't wait to go back to another one.

I think it's really important that we as communities keep on supporting our local businesses and farmers as it not only boosts the economy and helps keep our planet greener but the produce always tastes so much better. I am hoping to be able to find a nice farmer's market in Oxford when I go back in September, if you know of any let me know in the comments below.

 Have you been to any local farmer's markets lately? Let me know below. 

Bye for now! 
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Monday, 8 June 2015

Camden Market

I am lucky enough to have lots of siblings, one of whom lives in Walthamstow a little town on the outskirts of central London. She only moved there a year ago but since then I have visited three times and discovered that although I am not a huge fan of cities and would never want to live in one (especially one as big as London) I do quite enjoy a short city break. And so last week me and my boyfriend went to stay with my sister and her husband. We were only really there for one full day and we decided to spend it doing Camden Market. 

This is the first time I had ever been to Camden and I absolutely loved it. Both me and my sister love anything handmade and a bit different so this was definitely the perfect place for us to go shopping. There were so many things there I could have bought but luckily I restrained myself and just bought a few bits I needed like birthday presents for friends and a throw for the end of my bed at uni. 

We got there at 10am just because we wanted to make the most of the day but it actually turned out to be the perfect time as there was hardly anyone there and we were able to see all the stalls and shops without having bump and jostle with the crowds. Camden is a really great place to go if you are looking to do something in London that is a bit different and the food there is also amazing. If you are looking to try something new and exciting the food court is definitely the place to go as you can get anything from Chinese food to stone baked pizza to Moroccan cuisine. We got some Churros with hot chocolate sauce for dipping and they were so yummy!     

We really enjoyed ourselves which is often something I find hard to do in crowded places. I would definitely recommend it if you're in London for the day with nothing to do. Let me know in the comments if you've been or anything other exciting things to see in London next time I go.

Bye for now! 
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Friday, 5 June 2015

Natural Beauty Products

 A while ago I decided to try and change all of the products I use to more ethically made products and so as each of them ran out I would replace them with a product I new hadn't been tested on animals, didn't have a huge impact on the environment and wouldn't be made using harsh chemicals or unnatural ingredients. I now have a good stock of products from Lush and The Body Shop all of which I love and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.


Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo - This shampoo is the most amazing shampoo I have ever used. I don't have a picture of it because I used it all up and we don't have a lush back at home (this needs fixing!) It left my hair so soft and voluminous and it also makes your hair smell great. It doesn't smell of beer don't worry but it does smell divine. Its a little expensive as the big bottle is £14.99 but I think its definitely worth it and you can always buy a small one to try at £4.50.

America Cream - This conditioner is great, it smells amazing like strawberries and vanilla and it leave your hair shiny and smooth but not too weighted down. You do have to use quite a bit to get a good smooth finish but it has such a lovely effect. Its the same price as the shampoo which makes it quite expensive but it is quality stuff.

Body Shop:

Tea Tree Night Lotion - This stuff is absolutely amazing! For some reason this year for the first time ever I started to develop acne on my face, this being something I had no experience of I panicked and had no idea what to do. I started researching online and tried loads of products like face washes, face scrubs and over the counter cream but nothing seemed to work. I then came across this product and it had such rave reviews online I thought it was worth a shot. I am so glad I did! My spots have nearly all gone and my scars are starting to fade away, my skin looks better than it has done in 6 months and I feel much more confident about it. It is expensive at £9 a go but for me that was totally worth it.

Born Lippy - I love these little lip balms, they are a great substitute for vaseline as they are nice and hydrating and they taste amazing, My personal favourite is Raspberry flavour and at £2 you can't really go wrong.

Tea Tree Face Wash - I had a similar experience with face washes as I did with acne creams but once the night lotion had such an amazing effect I decided to try this face wash and it has been amazing. It makes my skin feel really clean and not greasy which is great just before bed and just after I wake up. Its £5 but I got a huge bottle and it lasts for ages.

Satsuma Shower Gel - You actually end up smelling of satsuma's, need I say more? This shower gel smells so yummy and fresh that it really helps to wake me up in the morning. It also comes in lots of different sizes which is really helpful for travelling! This little one is just £2.

Rainforest Shampoo and Conditioner - I tried this Shampoo and the Conditioner and I wasn't 100% happy with the finished product as my hair didn't feel as good as when I used the lush shampoo however it does smell amazing and its a great cheaper alternative as its only £2 for the small bottles and £4.50 for the larger ones.    

What products do you use? Have you tried any of these? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Bye for now! 
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Monday, 1 June 2015

48 Hours Phone Free

The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful for quite a few reasons. I have moved house at home and am in the process of moving house at uni and on top of that my boyfriend is moving back to Scotland. All of these things mixed together have caused me to be very stressed and very anxious lately which is why the other night when I got home from driving 3 hours, packing up my uni house in Oxford and moving it into another one then driving 3 hours home again I decided to turn my phone off. I had been getting lots of messages and I kept on checking my emails and I would repeatedly do this throughout the evening and into the night just before going to sleep which then meant I would work myself up into an anxious state and not be able to sleep. I decided enough was enough and I switched it off and put it into a draw.

At first I thought I was just going to do it for the night so I could have a nice relaxing evening with my boyfriend but it ended staying in that draw for 24 hours and then when I needed to set an alarm on it I simply set it to flight mode and the next day when the alarm went off I turned it off again and put it back in the draw. The first night wasn't so great as I was still worrying but the second night I slept absolutely amazingly.

I really want to try and slowly wean myself off technology. I am already trying to stop looking at screens after about 10 and instead read and slowly wind down for bed. I'd love to be able to have screen free weekends or even weeks at some point. I just want to take out time for myself, to read, to write with a pen and paper, to bake and cook, to sing and play the piano and just do all the things I love to do. I think this will also encourage me to spend even more time outside which I think is so important to my general health. I'm hoping this 48 hours without my phone will soon become 48 hours without my phone, laptop or ipad. Maybe I will try that next weekend.

Have you ever tried a phone free day or week? Let me know in the comments below.

Bye for now!      
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