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. 
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