A travel and style blog

I'm Engaged!

I Said Yes!!!

Well actually I burst into happy tears and blubbed, "Oliver! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oliver!" or words to that effect. 

If you follow me on Instagram then you might already know my big news. I'm engaged! Thank you if you left a lovely comment earlier this week! Yes, Oliver popped the question and I'm so excited to share the story with you.

Deliciously Ella's Warm Beet & Apple Juice

Hello hello! I promised you a more seasonal post didn't I. Something more befitting of chilly days and dark evenings, when parting with your dressing gown is that little bit harder and the urge to live off mulled wine alone is strong.

Well, I've been slipper sock clad and ferreting in the kitchen with my beloved Magimix making Warm Beet and Apple Juice from Deliciously Ella Everyday. 

Postcards From Mallorca; Puerto Pollensa

And the award for most unseasonal blogger goes to ... 

Please accept my apologies for one more post featuring sun, sea and ... sand, at a time when the nights are drawing in, the roll necks are out and it's very nearly acceptable to be drinking mulled wine again. Thank you for bearing with me.

I mentioned in my last post that I recently went to Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca for a blissful long weekend with Oliver. Well I've put together a (photo heavy) mini travel guide. Make way for blue skies... remember them?

Postcards From Mallorca; Valldemossa & Deià

Valldemossa, Mallorca

I've been unintentionally absent from the blog a bit lately with a busy but fun October that left little time to sit and write. But like the prodigal blogger I am, it's lovely to be back.

One of my excuses for the radio silence was a wonderful long weekend in Mallorca with Oliver. (Is it Majorca or Mallorca?).

I had pre-conceived ideas of what to expect from the island stemming from a hen do in Magaluf many moons ago. Namely Brits abroad tucking into full English breakfasts washed down with pints of lager. A sight that's stayed with me and triggers indigestion just thinking about it.

While this cholesterol increasing scene may be expected of 'the strip' in Megamuf Magaluf, thankfully it couldn't be further from the truth in other parts of the island which are beautifully peaceful and idyllic.

Suddenly You're 30 (+3) & Blogging About M&S (Why There's No Need To Panic)

Once upon a time at my boyfriends Mum's house... 

Boyfriends Mum: "Do you like my new dress from Marks and Spencer's?"

Me: "I do! I've seen some lovely things in there at the minute. Does that mean I'm getting old if I like things in M&S now?"

Exit stage left with foot in mouth. 

Why I'm Not Buying Frocks For A Month

As you read this post fashionistas are pounding the busy streets of Milan as fashion week is underway in good old Italiano. If you keep an eye on the social media channels of those stylish show goers lucky enough to be invited, you'll get an early look at what we'll all be lusting after soon enough.

Alternatively as you read this post, your gal over here will be pounding the busy streets of Preston, living La Dolce Vita in Lancashire. A phrase not commonly said. 

It's a far cry from the runway shows of Gucci and Giorgio Armani. More Morrisons than Moschino, but, for the month of September anyway, in my world, it's probably for the best. 

You see I'm at the tail end of a self inflicted fashion embargo. For 30 days to be exact, I'm forbidden from buying any new frocks. Or coats, shoes, tops, trousers, bags etc. Zero new clothes allowed. 
It's a garment orientated Lental sacrifice, just 6 months too late and 10 days too short. (Do I qualify for a halo?) 

Here's why.

Road Trip & The Best Until Last -Champagne

Vineyards in Champagne France

The final stop on our summer road trip was Epernay, situated in the Champagne region of France. Good for both quaffing Champagne and for taking your Facebook check-in up a notch.

Now between you and me, I don't have to cast my mind back all that far to remember summers gone by when I didn't make it on any summer holiday, due to having no chuffer to go with me (those summers when all your friends are whisked away by their fellas to get engaged in far off places while you mull over at what point between Gin and an androgynous dress code did you go wrong?) 

My point is I'm making up for lost time and summer in Champagne isn't a bad place to start.

Road Trip - Second Stop Antwerp

Leaving Amsterdam we headed south to Antwerp, the second stop on our road trip and the diamond capital. Risky business taking your girlfriend of four years if you ask me but hey what do I know? 

It was quite the treat to check out of one hotel and head straight on over to the next. Something I could get used to (damn you restricted annual leave).

I'd never been to Antwerp before so we had plenty to go at for our two nights there. I've put together a few recommendations if you're heading there yourself, nudge nudge wink wink to the ladies who've been in relationships for a little while.

Road Trip - First Stop Amsterdam

Sometimes the first line of a blog post comes easily. Other times your mind is clogged with croissants, waffles and day time drinks, and in these cases the first line is harder to find. You see I've had my head blissfully in the clouds while on a road trip, concentrating only on which turning did iPhone Maps mean, that last one? and/or where shall we eat next then?

Without a clear plastic bag or weight restriction in sight, my liquids mingled nicely with my non liquid toiletries as we took the 35 minute crossing on the euro tunnel (blink and you're there) before driving on to our first stop. The land that maintains a satisfactory turnover for manufacturers of red neon lights. Amsterdam.

Bath & Bradford-on-Avon - 2 Nights, 3 Woodlice & 1 Amuse-Bouche

Every photo has a story behind it. The one of me grinning inanely over a teacup and saucer like a proud Granny taken for a Sunday drive is no exception. 

Shortly before this photo was taken the unexpected scurry of a wood louse over the duvet of the bed in which I was laying called for a sudden scrap of a treasured lazy start to day. The second and third  appeared in short succession (one under the bathroom door and one under Oliver's foot - worse luck!!!) and prompted me to change in record speed - think Clark Kent in a phone box - and head out for a very early breakfast. It doesn't take a critter expert to know that when a wood louse becomes woodlice (plural) it's time to get the hell out of there.

And so we found ourselves in a cafe in Bradford-on-Avon at an ungodly hour (for a Sunday morning) taking a quick photo (ruddy millennials hey), while we waited for the clock to tick round until orders for breakfast were being accepted. As I said we were up early. I ordered a fried breakfast as a treat having already earned three stars for food in a round about way. No YOU watch to much ITV. 

Sunnies & A Summer City Break

Ray-Ban New Gatsby Sunglasses

This post is brought to you at the tail end of a weekend break in the beautiful City of Bath. I'd never been before so Oliver and I set aside two days to eat our way round explore the picturesque streets lined with honey coloured stone buildings and endless pretty coffee shops. Give me a selection of homemade cakes, serve me tea in a pretty cup and I'm all yours.

I Didn't Mean To Dress Like Julie Andrews & The Perfect Country Pub

The hills are alive with the sound of "quick take it before somebody comes." Yesterday I donned a summer frock, inadvertently dressing as Julie Andrews, and headed to the Forest of Bowland for pretty views and a slap up lunch ... after a few quick photos and asking Oliver to hold my stuff while I climbed over a gate that he then opened and walked through. You can take the girl out of Preston, but you can't take the Preston out the girl.

We'd had our sights set on the Inn at Whitewell since Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon paid it a visit on The Trip and thankfully it lived up to the hype. In fact it's exactly what you'd expect from a rural inn, traditional, homely and unspoiled.

A Toilet, a Tap & a Tarn - Camping at Tarn Foot Farm Ambleside

I don't know what it is at the moment but I've got very itchy feet, of the non-literal kind. If I had my way I would be checking into a new hotel every other week (staying at home the week in-between to  keep myself grounded and put a wash on - I'm not the rinsing my smalls in a sink kind).

There are only two small things preventing this life of excess, work and funding it. Coincidentally however it was while at work that I over heard some office chatter about a new tent and an idea struck. We should go camping. Cheap as chips and only an hours drive to the picturesque Lake District.

Googling campsites we found Tarn Foot Farm in Ambleside, advertising all the amenities one would need for a night under the stars. A toilet, a tap and a tarn. Sold!

Escape For The Night at Stanley House Hotel & Spa

Whoever said 'it's grim up North' had clearly never frequented Stanley House Hotel and Spa. Nestled in the Ribble Valley countryside you could easily forget that you're just in Lancashire, 'by eck you could be anywhere lass when you're lounging by the pool enjoying panoramic views of blue skies and rolling hills.

We were lucky enough to be treated to an "Escape For The Night" package as a Christmas present and decided to tag it on to the end of our week in Cornwall. The perfect antidote to any holiday blues.

Cornwall, Cliff Tops & Cream Teas

It's been a while since I've put pen to paper for Not Your Nine To Five. Something to do with a photography course and a looming deadline had my attention focused elsewhere, but you were never forgotten. 

A change is as good as a rest and it's lovely to be dipping my toe back in the water. Speaking of dipping toes back in, I've just returned from a relaxing week in the beautiful seaside town of St Ives.

A Weekend In Berlin

Soda magazine shop in Berlin

Sit yourself down and make way for a lovely little cliché of an opener ... Guten tag mein freund! Yep, I think that worked well. 

'A Weekend In Berlin' is brought to you by one frauline who celebrated turning 33 years young by swanning off to Berlin for two nights with one significant other. As with most city breaks there was a lot we hoped to see in a short space of time so comfy shoes and spare change for currywurst was the order of the day.

The Bloggers Market

Sequined dress at The Bloggers Market
Well hello. How's the week been treating you? Hope you're all loving the lighter nights (finally) yes to having what can remotely be called a social life mid week again. 

I wanted to tell you about last weekend and my jaunt to London for #TheBloggersMarket, also known as a chance to rummage through AND SHOP the wardrobes of some preeetty exciting bloggers. 

If the get-up of regular hosts KristabelCarrieOlivia, and Lucy, doesn't entice you, firstly, is everything ok? and secondly, worry not, because bloggers ReemKim, and Zoe joined the hosts in flogging their wares.

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Dr. Oetker Pud In A Mug

Dr. Oetker Sticky Toffee Pud In A Mug

Have you ever had the bright idea that you'll do a spot of home baking and started tearing away at parchment paper with reckless abandon, happy as Larry for the first five minutes until you reach ... the baking point of no return?

You're half way through creaming the butter and sugar, with eggs still to beat and flour that won't sift itself. It all needs folding together with a large metal spoon until a mixture of dropping consistency forms, but, the only thing dropping is you. As for the washing up that's still to be done, that's a whole other ball game.

Book Giveaway - Everything That Remains

"It's a dark apartment, stocked with brand new furniture and my own sullen disbelief. My mother's death still hangs in the air around me, and now, during the same month, my six year marriage is ending. Shit. Looking around, it's hard to determine which way is up. 
But even while Rome is burning, there's somehow time for shopping at IKEA."

You know that feeling you get when you buy new clothes, not the excitement while you're picking them out and trying them on, but that feeling you get the minute you walk away from the till with your new purchase(s) in tow, that slow sinking feeling. 
It rears it's head seconds before you start justifying why you needed the top/dress/skirt/bag/all of the above, and rains all over your 'shiny new things' parade?

How To Spend A Day In Liverpool

Well hello there. What a windy week that was. How are your toupees after Dorothy's visit? Still in tact? I do hope so.

Dozza might well have blown the roof off the local train station (or blown a small part of it loose) but she didn't get in the way of a day exploring the city that gave us, and in no particular order, the Fab Four, The Grand National, Cilla Black, and the courage to leave the house on Saturdays with our hair still in curlers. Yes, I went to Liverpool.

Here's how I reckon you could, if you felt that way inclined, spend a day in Scouseland... (lah) 

New Bloggers & Brands - Tips For Girls That Can't Say No

With the risk of being the dullest ever opening to a blog post, did you know that, according to www.worldometers.info there have been 1,803,597 (and rising) blog posts published today? How do they know? I've no idea, but for the purposes of a flowing intro I won't be asking too many questions here.

With so many eager beavers tapping away at our keyboards, using our blogs to communicate to an audience, be it big or small, it's no surprise that brands have jumped right on in there and asked you, dear blogger, to spread a message on their behalf. 
Professional Blog Designs by pipdig