Sunday in Sedbergh

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A Sunday well spent... renewing my car insurance, road tax, rearranging hotels in Chiang Mai and then finally getting out of the house for a stroll in the sunshine before tea. We had planned on doing a short walk with our friends, Kurt and Kelly but the weather forecast for the Lakes wasn't great, so we decided against it. It actually turned out to be an alright day and not a raindrop in sight - but hey ho, I got some important jobs done which I don't have to worry about for the rest of the week! I love the sunlight on days like today, especially just before the sun is about to set. It creates this beautiful golden light and it felt just like spring. After our stroll, we stopped off for a drink at the Black Bull before coming home to roast chicken, salad and chips. It's a easy and plain tea but it's surprisingly one of my favourites, especially with a bucket load of M&S coleslaw. Now, I'm actually ready for bed so I'm going to quickly hop in the shower and stick the tele on to catch up with the last SAS and Hunted episodes, apparently I'm going to be fuming with the last Hunted episode... I'm really hoping that the brother's win but I feel like I may be disappointed. Speak soon, L.

Secret Cocktail Bar

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Sometimes a girly catch up, good food and cocktails is exactly what a girl needs. Last night, Hannah and I had dinner at Comida - a spanish tapas restaurant in Kendal. We had camembert, chorizo, steak, roasted cauliflower and patatas bravas, washed down with a bottle of wine, which was all so bloody delicious. Hannah's sister had booked us in to this 'secret cocktail bar'... and it really is a secret. Not many people know about it and you have to ring a doorbell, hidden inside a letter box to gain access. We were greeted by a gentleman who showed us upstairs, where we enjoyed a porn star martini and an espresso martini before venturing into town. It's actually really cool to have somewhere like this in Kendal town centre, it's different, laid back and the cocktails aren't expensive either! Tonight I'm catching up with a few girls from school, over more food and drink (this time ginger beer) and then tomorrow we plan on a mini hike somewhere in the Lakes, so I'm hoping that the weather stays fine. Enjoy your weekend and I will speak to you soon, L.

Why Sunday’s are my favourite & life update

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This photo has no relevance to this post whatsoever and is a very good example of how I never leave the house to photograph or do anything much for that matter.

It's half past two, I'm still sat slumped on the sofa in my pj's. The cat is curled up next to me and Josh has just made a cup of milky coffee. This is what I love about Sunday's. There is no panic to get the food shop (I already did that on Saturday), the house is fairly clean and Gran is kindly making us all a roast beef dinner. I miss our Sunday adventures, wandering the hills but sometimes you need a few rested Sunday's to prepare you for the week ahead.

I've spent the majority of the morning outfit planning for our trip to Thailand in 8 weeks time... A little premature I know but not as premature as my mum who has already been packed for the past 6 months! I thought I had a lot more summer clothes than what I actually have, so I've created a little list to make sure I make the most of the items I already have by only buying staple pieces or accessories just to jazz them up on an evening. Negin Mirsalehi is my go-to to help inspire my outfits, she is always so chic and such a natural beauty and if you haven't heard of her (although, chances are you already have), then you need to check her out.

Work has been pretty exciting the past couple of weeks. Most of you may remember me leaving M&S back in September for a job closer to home and I've recently started learning the marketing side of the business - hooray! I'll also be attending Cruft's this year with the Travelling with Pets team, showcasing our products over the 4 days of Crufts! This is my first ever trip away with work so I'm a little nervous but also very excited to get to know some of my colleagues a little more... and also play with all the cute dogs. If you are attending the show then come say hi!

January has felt a little slow, it has been very full on which is why we haven't done much on our weekends off work so hopefully this month we can get on some walks and I can start updating my blog on a regular basis because I really do miss it! Anyway, enjoy your Sunday and I will speak to you soon, L.

January

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Hey loves! It's finally, finally February and only 11 days until pay day. I don't mean to wish my time away but after paying off my flights to Thailand and spending my money on various other things, I'm skint, once again! I have a strategy this year though and I'm feeling good about getting some savings in the bank ready to buy our first home. Step one, open a help to buy ISA, something I should've probably done a long time ago but because I already had a saving's account I couldn't open a help to buy until the next tax year. Step two, well there isn't really a step two. Just save, wish for the best and try not to think too much about going out and enjoying myself. I keep saying life's too short but in reality all I want is a home to make my own. So, how was January? Well... It was a good month. I attempted dry January and managed 22 days without a single drop of alcohol, until I caved on Josh's birthday evening and had to sample the red (and white) wine which was complimentary from the FREE hotel we were staying in, how could I not? Besides from that, I didn't really miss it one bit. I survived 3 nights out on good old ginger beer, I didn't get anxiety which I thought I would and it actually brought me more out of my shell. I was thinking of giving it up for another month but I did kind of miss the odd glass on red of a Friday night and I also had a couple the other night for Josh's uncle Robin's 60th birthday bash. I  gave up biscuits for January and I'm proud to say that I completed it (as long as the chocolate fingers don't count, from Bodhi's Christening last Sunday). And, my proudest achievement... I gave up sugar in my tea! Something I will be cutting out now for the rest of my life. I didn't miss it and I grew to love (like) a cuppa without 100 digestive biscuits. I've also realised that sugar is so so bad for your skin and health, so cutting sugar out of my tea was really important to me. Anyway, I've just got home from my TAT class with Amy and Emma. We go to a class the first Monday of every month, so it's nice to catch up but also work out at the same time and push my self a little more than I perhaps would at the gym. The photos from above are from the weekend - we got driving licences done for Thailand because the Police there often set up check points.. and basically if you're a foreigner, driving a motorbike, they will pull you over and check if you have a licence. If you don't have one they fine you about 500 baht (roughly £10) which stinks a bit when you get pulled over several times in one week, so for the sake of £5.50 and the cost of some passport photos, we decided that we'd always get them done. Enough of me rambling, I'm going to bed! L.

The perfect night away…

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What I wore: Swimsuit by New Look from ASOS here.

You've probably seen the photos plastered all over my Instagram but obviously I had to share them here on the blog too. If you've been following me on Instagram and Facebook then you'll probably know that I surprised Josh with a night away at the Brimstone Hotel and spa for his 28th birthday. Not only did I surprise him but the one night stay was completely free, because I managed to win the #langdaleadventure competition that they were running just before Christmas! I still cannot believe how it happened but it did and I'm so grateful! I only found out a week ago today and I knew I had to get it all booked and sorted for his birthday. Like I mentioned in my previous post, it was super hard to keep my mouth shut about it because all I wanted to do was tell him so we could get excited about it together. I had the choice of 5 rooms, so of course I went for the duet suite with double shower and two roll top baths.. because why the hell not! When we arrived on Wednesday night the log burner was roaring and complimentary drinks and snacks were available from the reading room (about 5 steps away from our room door). I booked in for tea at The Stove restaurant, a short walk from the Brimstone and then we enjoyed a bath and... more wine before bed. The next morning I woke up and opened the curtains to see snow! I couldn't believe it, it was just so magical. We enjoyed a cooked breakfast on the balcony, watched the sun come up and listened to the birds tweeting before heading off to the spa for the day. There were a number of saunas to choose from but my favourite was the Himalayan salt rock sauna, the smell was amazing! I wish we could've stayed longer but Josh had to be home to speak with someone about work which was a shame but to be honest we were both shattered, even though we relaxed all day! Anyway, enough rambling and bragging... I know, I'm a very lucky girl! Thing's like this don't happen very often to me and I'm just a little overwhelmed with it all. Anyway, enjoy your weekend... be happy, be present, work hard, love even harder 🙂 lots of love, L.

Happy Birthday!

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Us at Balea Waterfall in Romania <3

Josh turns 28 today, twenty flipping eight. He was 22 when we started chatting via Twitter and when we went on our first date. Seriously, where does time go? I feel like nothing much has changed, he's just a little hairier, wiser, more charming but still the same old Josh. I think it was 3 years ago we were jetting off for a 4 night stay in Rome, which was supposed to be his birthday surprise, which soon turned into him finding out and us planning our trip together. It wasn't even me that let it slip, in fact it was his Grandma, thanks Marie! Although, she probably did me a favour as it was killing me inside not being able to tell him. Today, we are both finishing work a little earlier and I have a night away planned in a secret location. Ok, so a few close friends, family and colleagues know but I've actually kept it a secret from him and he keeps telling me he's super anxious because he doesn't know what's coming. I know he's going to love it but I think I might love it just that bit more... and no it wasn't planned for myself, ha! Ah, anyway, all will be revealed once we're back. I'm going to be taking the DJI Osmo Pocket with me to capture some of the moments there so.. dare I say it, be prepared for a vlog coming soon! Now, I'm not promising amazing things and I'm not promising vlogs weekly or monthly but I am wanting to film more so I'm hoping this lil DJI camera, which is literally the size of my palm, might help me get into the swing of things. Speak very soon and keep your fingers crossed for me that he doesn't find out before we get there! L.

My top 5 walks in the Lake District

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Kicking it off with number 5 of my top 5 walks in the Lake District and although this took a lot of thinking about, I've decided to go for Wainwrights favourite and where his ashes were scattered, Haystacks in Buttermere. We completed this walk back in February and have plans to revisit and stay in the bothy overnight. I had planned on visiting for the New Year, although we don't have good enough sleeping bags and as we were out on New Years Day, it's best we stayed close to home.

If you're planning on completing this walk then I would advise arriving early because the car park is only small and get's full pretty quickly. I would also suggest bringing a bag of change because you do have to pay for parking and there is also a little hot drinks kiosk open on the way back down, by the carpark, so it's nice to get a hot drink before setting off home, or an ice cream if it's the middle of summer!

You can view the walk here.

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Crinkle Crags in picturesque Langdale takes 4th spot. It stood a firm favourite of mine for a very long time, however after doing far too many walks in the Langdales, I did get a bit sick of the same sight. Don't get me wrong, the views are great but for me, it takes a lake to truly woo me (if you can be woo'ed by a walk, lol).

You can start this walk by parking in the Sticklebarn National Trust carpark, which you can sign up for around £5 something per month so as long as you have your National Trust card with you, you won't need any change to pay for parking! There are quite a lot of spaces here and I've never actually seen it full so setting off at anytime of day should be fine.

You can view the walk here.

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Stickle Tarn

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Ok, so I know I mentioned earlier that I was a little fed up of the Langdales but I couldn't get to my top 3 and not mention The Langdale Pikes. Even if you just head up to Stickle Tarn and enjoy a bacon sandwich and a hot chocolate. And, if it's peak summer time then you could even take a swimming costume and go for a dip, followed by a drink or even some grub at the Sticklebarn pub. I've never actually eaten there but I've heard good thing's and I know they're trying their best with the environment and sustainability.

I actually never managed to do any wild swimming this year which I'm pretty gutted about but next year, Stickle Tarn, I'm coming for you! 

As I mentioned above, the car park here in run by the National Trust so if you're a member there is no need for change! If not, then keep a pot on coins handy in the car.

You can view the walk here.

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Rolling in at number 2 has got to be High Street. The secludedness of it, less people, the views, oh man the views. You can see so many other mountains from the top of High Street, it's actually quite magical reaching the top which is perfectly flat and weirdly the grass is so soft, there doesn't seem to be any stones dotted about which is a weird thing to notice but for some reason that's what I remember most!

The day we completed it was so weirdly quiet. We enjoyed our sandwiches and soup after just reaching the top and found a stone to sit on and bask in the sun before setting off again. I always find it difficult to set off again after lunch, it's like my body seizes up! Anyone else?

If you are into mountain biking, this is also a great mountain to tick off. I wouldn't take the route we did on a bike but I'm pretty sure there are alternative routes up. Once you are up there the terrain is perfect for bikers and we came across a lot of them during our walk along the top.

You can view the walk here.

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At number one *drum roll please*, Buttermere Edge. Located in... well, Buttermere! I love this one because you get the views of Buttermere and Crummock water, Haystacks, Great Gable, Kirk Fell, also Ennerdale water to the West, and an incredible view of Pillar Rock to the South West, which we hiked to earlier in the year from Wasdale. You can read about that one here as it was a fairly special walk for me and one I'd like to do with both my Dad and brother Alex.

As I mentioned earlier, parking for Buttermere isn't great. It's a fairly popular place so make sure you get there early with plenty of change.

You can view the walk here.

And there we have it, my top 5 walks from 2018! I'm not sure there are many more that will top these here in the Lakes so I'm planning/hoping to complete both Snowdon and Ben Nevis at some point this year. Josh is actually doing the three peak challenge this Summer with a bunch of friends to raise money for a charity, so completing them together first may be best for him to get a feel for it. Don't forget if you do plan on completing these this year, pack the right gear, check the weather forecast and don't go alone. There have been so many call outs for the Mountain Rescue team this year, don't risk your own life and someone else's too. On that note, I hope this post inspires you to get outdoors. Love, L.

Happy New Year!

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It's 2019! I can't believe I started blogging almost 3 years ago. Time certainly does fly! Here we are with a lil mirror selfie from NYD. We celebrated with family in Kirkby Lonsdale and yes I am wearing that SilkFred dress again, for the 5th time this Christmas. I'm sorry, I cannot help it, I just love the shape of it. You can find it here if you are still interested, although you're probably sick of the sight of it.

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Me, Alex, Josh and Dad on NYD in Plato's. I cannot believe how busy it was! There was a lock down at 4pm and we were stood like sardines for a good few hours.

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Bumped into my old science teacher and met this lovely lady too. Still can't believe she was my teacher, we look the same age, haha!

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Another blurry polaroid with an incredibly long pointy tongue..

Well, I hope you all celebrated the new year exactly how you wanted. I'm totally ready for a detox and some time off the pop, so I've set myself a challenge.. no alcohol until the day we fly to Thailand (that's 96 days from today), because obviously it's compulsory to have a glass of something at the airport to celebrate the holiday's. I'm also wanting to change my diet dramatically over the next few months and stick at it for, well the rest of my life. I thought if I don't change my outlook on fitness and nutrition now then I never will. It's only day 2 but something in my mind has changed completely and I'm excited to start seeing some results, lol wish me luck. I'm going to share my new years resolutions with you once I've jotted them all down. I feel like when you write it down it helps engrave it into your mind. Maybe that's just me but it helps! Anyway, Happy New Year folks. Lots of love, L.

Christmas!

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This top is now in the Zara sale which you can find here.

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Merry Christmas folks! Christmas just comes and goes doesn't it? I love the festive period but I'm quite glad it's all over. I cannot stomach anymore food or wine... or gin for that matter. I'm thinking of going sober from January 2nd until April 9th, I think I will feel so much better and focused! Although, we do have a couple of shindig's organised next month so I'm not sure I can just be driver for all of them but we will see! I'm currently browsing through the Zara sale and although I have zero money to my name, there are a few bits in there that would be perfect for holiday. Ugh, I cannot wait for pay day! I definitely over spent this Christmas and there is nothing to show for it! It's so frustrating. Money literally goes nowhere. I've been a little MIA over social media for the past week because I wanted to make the most of Christmas with my family. If I'm being deadly honest, I did not miss it one bit. I guess waking up to eat and sip some wine to then fall back to sleep doesn't leave you with much time to mess about on your phone but I truly enjoyed this Christmas. It was quiet, it was warm and cosy, happy and just everything that Christmas should be about. I got 3 presents, probably the least I have ever received but they were all awesome presents and stuff so practical for me. Now, I would say that I feel well rested but that would be a lie, in fact I've never felt so lethargic in all my life! I'm actually excited to get back to work and into some sort of routine. But first, we must celebrate the new year and for that we will be spending NYD in Kirkby Lonsdale with close friends and family. Perfect! Wishing you a very happy, healthy, fulfilling and inspiring new year. Lots of love, L.

Fresh cut for Christmas

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Good morning! How are ya? It's almost Christmas! I've finished work until Thursday, which is the longest break I've had during the festive period, the food shop is complete and all my presents are wrapped and under the Christmas tree. I think this is the first year that I actually feel organised and ready for Christmas and it's such a good feeling! I got my hair cut earlier this week at Colman and Colman, my second visit of the year. The last time I had my hair cut was way back in April, so it was in need of some serious TLC. I didn't want much off, just a tidy up and some thinning out because my hair is incredibly thick. It feels so much better and I'm already booked in for my next appointment in March, just before we jet off on our holidays! Last night we joined my Mum and Dad for a few drinks to celebrate their 25th silver wedding anniversary, such an achievement haha! Today the plan is to hopefully get to the gym before we go to Shaun's leaving do, he's moving to London to join his girlfriend Molly. I'm hoping it doesn't get too messy as I don't want to be hungover for Christmas eve drinks with my bestie Bethany (oh god, it seems like all we're doing lately is going out drinking!). Anyway, speak soon and enjoy the run up to Christmas!

How to wish your friends and family a Merry Christmas, the modern way

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I thought about perhaps writing a couple of Christmas cards this year, for my nearest and dearest and then I thought better of it. The thought of the cards being thrown in the bin shortly after Christmas, the waste of paper, the time and effort it took to write every single person's name down and not forgetting the long heartfelt messages letting everyone know what we've been up to lately, etc. etc. Nothing that you wouldn't know by logging on to Facebook or Instagram or even perhaps my blog every once in a little while! Then there's also the dreaded feeling of missing someone out and I don't want to be one of those who hands out Christmas cards to a number of colleagues in the office and not others.

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I was recently approached by a company called Paperless Post, one of the first companies to approach me where I actually felt like this is for me! They asked if I could review their site in exchange for a budget to use on their Paperless Post website, so I've not been paid to do this but thought I'd share my experience and introduce you to an brand that perhaps many of you had never even heard about.

You're probably wondering what on earth is Paperless Post and what does their company do? Well, I'd say their name kind of gives them away just a little and they do exactly what they say on the tin! They create paper-less post. You design a card or invitation online, using their templates and you send them to your contacts via email. There are a huge selection of designs to choose from and different occasions to use as your template. I absolutely love playing around with the prints and the colours, which is obviously more tailored to your taste than going into a card shop and choosing a card from a shelf. The names, dates and messages can all be personalised so that it makes it that extra special and I guess if your friends/family did want to get the card's printed then you always could, especially if you manage to capture some beautiful family portraits of kids and pets, then it's a lot more sentimental than your standard blank card.

We now all live in a world where emails are exchanged on a regular basis and the digital world is a lot more prominent than we'd maybe have hoped. Plus, I'd like to think we are all making small changes in protecting our world, even if it means using less paper, less plastic and of course less money on postage fees! Can you believe it now costs 67p for a first class stamp?! That's a whopping £6.70 on just 10 Christmas cards! Ps. aren't I just great at maths. So, after figuring out how to use their website I sent Josh a Christmas card via email. First thing, it is not the same as receiving a 'proper' Christmas card. It perhaps doesn't feel all that personal and to some it could perhaps feel as though not much time or effort has gone into it. However, saying that most people do not have the time to sit and write a dozen Christmas cards now, do they? I think the whole idea is great for the younger generation but I'd stick to pen and paper when it comes to your Grandparent's, unless their super tech savvy.

You can find their website here www.paperlesspost.com.

Note to self, spend less time on my phone and be more creative

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Did you know that I used to work in the local florists part time? I loved that job so much! The best part for me was creating the wreaths, which were usually for funerals but I loved putting them together. I would start with larger leaves underneath and fill it out using all different types of foliage and then my favourite part would be to add the colourful flowers and it would all just come together. You may have read my last post about feeling a bit under the weather lately, and I think my Gran noticed that I wasn't feeling too great. So, she tried to lift me up by getting me to do stuff, like creating a wreath for the door and collecting all the foliage for it. I'm so glad I have people around me who notice and help, even though I know I'm one of those people who doesn't want to be helped and act as if I can do it all on my own. Sometimes we need a little lift, even if it's as simple as this. FYI, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, I just hope this may reach someone who needs lifting up or needs to know that they're not on their own. So if you do feel like crap, take some time away from your phone or from whatever it is that makes you feel like shit and go do something creative or something that you love.

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A couple of wreaths I made during my time at the flower shop which were my favourite pieces of work and I was super proud of them. Can't believe this was more than 3 years ago!