Reminising

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The next time we visit Thailand it will be 2 whole years since we last set foot in the land of smiles. A whole month of sunshine, good food and easy living, how can I not be excited? I was browsing through my photographs and I don't think I shared these, so here they are! If you want to see the rest of them then you can view them by clicking here.

Obviously me being me, I have already planned everything so I can make the most of the time we have there, as next year we actually plan on starting to save for a house. Oh god, I was saying that two years ago and I still haven't saved a single penny! To be honest I'm really not that bothered that we haven't bought a house yet anyway, we will have the flat paid off next Summer and have plenty of time to save then. I'm just trying not to let anything worry me anymore because seriously what is the point? I've not been this happy in such a long time and it's all down to not worrying about money and life. Gah, I've totally gone off topic but it's true! Do not worry, it's a killer.

Anyway, I've told myself that I'm going to create as much content as possible when I'm away, so let me know if there's anything you'd like to see because I'd love to share it with you! Thailand is my favourite country in the world and I just want to share the beauty and simplicity it has to offer. I would tell you what I already have planned but I think I'll wait and show you when we're there. There is another 5 months to go but I'm hoping someone gives me some more places of interest. So if you're reading this post and you've spent a significant amount of time in Thailand, tell me what you loved about it!

Now, time for bed. I sacked the gym off this morning because this weekend absolutely ruined me but I'm back to it in the morning and will be training 4/5 times a week before our trip to get into decent shape - or one that doesn't resemble that of a potato. Just need to figure out a good diet because it's the amount of food I eat that lets me down! L.

Outfit

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Jumpsuit from PLT here, old Blazer from Stradivarius - others here, Bag Sophie Hulme.

Hey! Welcome back.. So, on Friday I turned 24 - wahoo! I worked all day and all evening so I didn't do too much celebrating but to be quite honest I didn't even feel like it. I've taken a few days off work next week to do something, although I doubt I'll do anything but sit in the house and watch movies. I might make a trip to the Trafford Centre and have a browse, seeing as though pay day is just around the corner. I need some inspiration to help get me into the Christmas spirit because I just don't feel excited this year at all. However, we've decided to spend Christmas day at Mum and Dad's, with a roaring fire and instead of a traditional roast we are going to have finger food and pick all day. Sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, cheese and biscuits, canapés, prawns, bread, you name it!

I've been trying to find an outfit for a wedding in February so I bought this black jumpsuit from PLT. I think it's perhaps more 'night out' than wedding so I wore it to a welcome home wedding night do for a couple who got married in Greece last month. I had to stick some tape to my boobs as it's a little loose but besides from that it's really flattering and made me look super tall! I wasn't going to wear a blazer but I think it made it so much more sophisticated.

Buttermere Edge

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I'm home, I'm finally warm again and my belly is full to the brim with roast lamb and roast potatoes. It's been the best day and I think this has to be my favourite walk, so far. Buttermere is beautiful and I love how tucked away it is from all the tourists and crowds, although we did arrive late morning and struggled to park because it was so busy. I guess everyone else had the same idea as us! A friend from work recommended Buttermere Edge and after completing Hay Stacks last winter, I knew I wanted to return and conquer another mountain. Buttermere is breathtaking and the views are pretty spectacular so with the weather supposedly meant to be fabulous this weekend we planned a hike! The weather wasn't the best (although I am warming to moodier days because they always come out better on camera than bright blue skies) but it was perfect hiking weather with a wind chill of -3, which felt so much colder! The ascent at the beginning is a bit of a struggle but once we reached High Stile it was a true breeze (literally). There are amazing views of Pillar, Pillar rock, Haystacks, Ennerdale water, Crummock water and Buttermere, the whole walk is just a perfect picture, which is why I took so many! Once we reached the descent from Red Pike my legs felt as though they were going to snap in half, going down hill is the worst! I hope you've enjoyed your weekend, whatever it is you've been doing. I now plan on eating as much lemon layer pudding drenched in single cream before I jump into bed. I swapped my summer duvet for my winter one yesterday too, so bed is even more desirable right now! L.

Autumn

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Autumn, you inspire me so much. The sunsets you have been creating lately have been breathtaking, as if the sky was set on fire. Slowly, the nights are beginning to get darker and by Sunday the clocks will fall back and the nights will seem so much longer. At the moment, I'm welcoming Winter with open arms. It's a breath of fresh air after a long hot summer and although I'm not excited for Christmas, I'm so ready for all the delicious food and the cosiness that Winter brings.

I started this week cycling to and from work because 1. I want to use my car less (less money spent on fuel and no fuel emissions!) and 2. because it actually made me feel so much better. I felt more focused and so much more energised. I love the feeling of the fresh air on my cheeks, listening to the silence of a cold frosty morning and the crunch of the leaves. It's actually so uplifting I can't describe it. Even if it does kill my legs!

I got in touch with Angela, my teacher about starting my Thai lessons again after a few months off. My cousin posted a photograph of my Thai Granny on Facebook which made me feel sad and incredibly guilty that I haven't yet been able to have a conversation with her, so seeing that was a lil kick up the arse to start learning again. No more excuses, no more laziness! Now that we have our flights booked, we are hoping that my Thai Granny will join us in Chiang Mai. It's somewhere she's always talked about going so I'm hoping she will be fit and well to experience it with us.

Anyway, I thought I'd come here and say hello. I feel so good lately so I'm hoping I can spread a little positivity or productiveness because that's how I feel, productive! Early night for me ready for an early morning. Josh will be home late from the Utd game so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a win, although I think I'm being a little hopeful... Enjoy the rest of your week, L.

 

Cinema Date

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Ok, so I knew A Star is Born was going to be sad but I didn't expect it to end the way it did. It's fair to say that my nose was pretty much blocked by the time the film ended from trying to stop myself blubbering out loud. I don't think there was a dry eye in the cinema - and if there was then what the hell is wrong with you? Anyway, I won't delve too much into what the film is about because if I were you I'd go and see it or you could wait until it's released on dvd. I've actually decided that I don't like the cinema all that much, I was so uncomfortable throughout the whole film and the woman next to me kept making gasps right in my lughole. Plus, there's nothing worse than holding a wee in because you don't want to disturb every one else sneaking past them to go to the loo and oh missing the film! Today.. well I'm not sure what the plan is because it's a stinking day which is a shame because we had some beautiful days through the week. We will probably walk Josh's dogs and I might (just might) make Malteser cake for work and because that doesn't need to go in the oven hopefully it will turn out ok. Speak again soon, L.

A Week Through My iPhone Lens

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On Saturday we had dinner at The Plough in Lupton for Josh's Mum's birthday. I was unsure whether to go because I was so full of cold but I'm glad I did because we had such a laugh.

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On Tuesday I got to meet my cousins first born who was only 12 days old! The tiniest baby I've ever held and what a dream he was. Life is so precious!

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On Wednesday I thought I would bake for my colleagues and seeing as we have planned to have November as 'bake-off' month, I thought it would be beneficial to practise but I'm not sure baking is for me?! Look at that gigantic hole in the middle of my lemon drizzle cake! How does that even happen?

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Thursday was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to dust the cobwebs from my bike and cycle to work, which is the whole reason why I bought the bike in the first place! (Josh keeps moaning at me about how it was a waste of money because all it does is sit in the shed). I actually thoroughly enjoyed it and I know this sounds cliche but it actually helped me think so much more about life and what I want to aim for in the next 5 years, amazing right?

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I got two of my favourite photographs from our trip to Santorini printed and framed, ready to hang in the hallway. Theo seemed to like them and curled right up next to them for a cat nap!

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Sunrise on Friday morning from the lounge window. I've grown to love early morning's so much and would much rather see the morning in than stay up late. Although this week we have spent most of our evening glued to the television watching 'The Haunting of Hill House' - brilliant by the way but I do have to pull the cover over my eyes when I know something scary is going to happen. We have about 5 episodes left which we will probably finish over the weekend!

Good morning! This is an early one from me. Unfortunately the sky looks nothing like yesterday morning which is a shame because I did fancy cycling down to work, even though my glutes are agony! I'm working a few hours this morning because I need to pay my flights off for Thailand, so I've pretty much nominated myself for everyone else Saturday's they can't do. Then this evening I'm seeing my friend Bethany who is home for the weekend! We have planned to go and see A Star is Born which I'm so excited for. I've not heard anything about the storyline so I'm not really sure what to expect but I know it's left many people in tears and pretty broken! I'll be sure to take plenty of tissues. I'm not sure what the plan is for Sunday but I'll take that in my stride. Perhaps I'll try to rectify my baking skills.. who knows! L.

What’s On My Mind?

I took a few days holiday from work thinking I would still be full of cold but thankfully it's shifted and I got to enjoy the Autumn sunshine today. I spent the weekend feeling pretty sorry for myself, my nose would not stop running and my eyes felt like someone had rubbed my eyeball with raw onions and now I've managed to pass it on to Josh, which is great because we all know that this now means he has man flu.. kidding, I will look after him when he's home from work! I've felt so busy lately with work and my mum's cooking business. Thing's just seem to be all go at the moment and I'm enjoying it! I love when I'm in 'all-go' mode because it means I get shit done and I start to see a change in many aspects of my life. Speaking of changes, it's been a month since I started taking the gym seriously and my legs are just a lil bit slimmer than they were. Even my Gran who arrived back from France over the weekend commented, without any prompting which makes me want to keep going even more now that there are small changes starting to appear. I still have to get my diet sorted and with Thailand in less than 6 months time there is nothing more motivating than getting the beach bod I've always wanted. Tip: If you can gym for 45min - an hour before work it is the best thing you can do, trust me! The endorphins it releases is incredible, I only wish I had started sooner.

So, Saturday night I woke up to find Josh propped up in bed, tele on, lamp on and a glass in his hand.. empty! Red wine everywhere! Thankfully it never made it's way on to the carpet but it did go all over my white Egyptian cotton sheets. Serious bad move from my other half but hey ho, such is life. I'm just happy I have him next to me every single night because that's what really matters. I'm learning to take life less seriously, to laugh more and appreciate little moments. Not sure what's triggered in my brain these past few months but I feel like I'm back to the old me, I'm more alive and more present. I don't even know where this is going, I've just felt an urge to come here and write. Anyway, this evening my Mum and I are going to speak with a client about a 50th birthday party we might be catering for which I always enjoy because I love seeing people's homes and I don't mean that in a nosey way but it gives me so much inspo for when we finally get our own home (whenever that will be).

Oh, I've also started purchasing a few bits and bobs for my holiday too. I know it's so long away but I thought if I buy a few thing's gradually then it won't be all one huge expense at the end. Would you like me to share with you? Plus I still have my flights to pay for and I need to save for my open water diving course too. Ah, I have so much I want to do! Now, time to get going. I guess I will speak to you very soon, love L.

Weekend Update – Climbing Blencathra

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Evening you lovely lot! I hope your weekend has been full of whatever it is you enjoy most.. for me it involved good food, good weather and a yomp out in the hills before chilling in front of my Mum and Dad's fire with a glass of red wine. I spent my Saturday afternoon cleaning, baking and oh I accidentally on purpose booked 3 weeks in Thailand for 6 months time! We were so unsure whether we should go or not as we wanted to save and perhaps do a holiday later in the year but we want to do our open water diving in Koh Tao and thought if anytime is a good time, then we would join my Mum and Dad in April, why the hell not! I'm probably going to be skint for the next 6 months to pay for it but I'm so bloody excited to go back and visit some places I've never been to before. We booked through Dial a Flight who we use every single year and we use the same agent, Oliver, who is by the way one of the most amazing, helpful people I have come across. This guy deserves an award for his customer service skills! We pre booked an amazing traditional Thai hotel in Chiang Mai, a 20 minute walk from the city centre, set next to the river with beautiful grounds but I'm not going to witter on about it because you will no doubt see all the wonderful photographs and videos to come!

Today we climbed Blencathra in just short of 3 hours which was a record achievement for me because my little legs did just not stop walking, woo go me! The gym must be doing something right, haha! It was pretty windy and slightly unsettling being stood on sharp edge when the wind was that brutal. Thankfully we managed to get over it and eat our lunch before the rain came. Mum invited us for dinner and we had gammon, egg and chips which was well needed after being out in the wind and cold all afternoon. Now, I'm sat with the cat whilst Josh plays Fifa.. we're going to pop a film on the tele and fall asleep before a new week begins in the morning! Speak soon, L.

Weekend

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Hey loves! How has your weekend been? I feel like I've totally neglected my blog over the past couple of months and I contrary to what I said previously, I do want to update it as often as possible, even if it's just to say hello and to share a few photographs of my week, or even a couple of photos of myself. I enjoy that so hopefully you do too! Last night I went out with some friends to a young farmer party in a field.. I wasn't planning to go cause I had a bad head and I was so tired even though I hadn't done that much during the day but after a G&T I was totally up for it, shock. Today Josh and I had planned on mountain biking at Whinlatter forest but we both decided to have a lazy Sunday, watch films and eat, which I haven't stopped doing all weekend... Send help! My Gran is away at the moment so it's really nice to have the house to ourselves and make use of the living room instead of being confined to our bedroom! Haha, I make it sound like a prison but you know when you just want to watch a film and you have that one person who doesn't stop asking questions? Yep, well that's my Gran! It makes me excited to have my own home and I've realised I'm not a total slob now that the cleaning fairy isn't here to tidy up after me *sorry Gran*. I think we have 7 months left until the flat will finally be paid off, which means we can then start saving for our own home or travelling the world, we haven't decided yet! This evening we are dining at my Mum and Dad's as it's my Mum's birthday, I did offer to cook but she declined, not sure if she trust my cooking.. bit mean if you ask me! Anyway, I guess we will speak sometime soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I'm not sure about you but I actually like Monday's now, is that weird? It always goes so fast because you have to catch up with workload.. Tuesday's are the worst! Love, L. x

 

 

How To Survive In The Mountains As A Novice

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Pillar Rock with Ennerdale water just peaking around the corner.

I've wanted to write a mini guide on how to conquer the mountains for quite some time now but being a novice at hiking I thought, 'who the bloody hell would listen anyway?'. I decided I couldn't care less so here we are and if you're reading, well thanks, I'm guessing you trust my judgment when it comes to tackling the fells! Anyway, here we are fast approaching my favourite time of year for walking on the fells. There is nothing quite like climbing a mountain in the snow, eating your sandwiches with your fingers feeling as though they are about to drop off and then reaching the summit and laying your eyes on an incredible view. You really do feel on top of the world. So, when the forecast for the weekend was looking good, I couldn't wait to dust the cobwebs off my walking boots and get out there.

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From the cairn at Pillar Rock looking down to Ennerdale Valley.

The Do's

 

Always pack more than you think you'll need. Waterproof coat, windproof trousers, another pair of socks, an extra chocolate bar, your duvet, hot water bottle, toothbrush, you name it, throw it in your rucksack! You never know when you're going to need it. (I'm totally kidding by the way, think logically when it comes to packing but always expect the unexpected). Trust me, I know.. I ended up losing my footing and getting one of my feet completely soaked in ice cold water and quickly realised I had forgotten my second pair of socks. Thankfully, Josh had one I could borrow, my hero!

On a side note from the paragraph above, you have to be prepared for any quick changes in the weather. Suitable clothing, compass, map, foil blanket etc. Being up in the mountains can be pretty scary when you experience a quick cloud emersion that is so thick that you lose your sense of direction and what's worse (but also quite exciting) is when the heavens open and you end up being pelted by hailstones, you will struggle to find anywhere to shelter so make sure you have enough layers to keep you warm and obviously dry!

Take enough water because after a lot of scrambling, panting and sweating your body needs to rehydrate itself! I use a camel back which has been great but lately it's tasted vile and I daren't drink it anymore so I'm going to find a metal water bottle to keep my mouth from feeling like the Sahara. (I also take a flask of hot chocolate to keep me warm when we stop for food).

Tell somebody where you are going and how long you are expecting to be because if you're ever caught out in a storm and lose your way or you fall and have no phone signal to call for help or if you get struck by lightning, attacked by wild animals, at least somebody can notify mountain rescue that you're missing. Obviously it's better to go out hiking with others but if you all get lost in fog, basically you're screwed, unless you can navigate yourself using a map and a compass. Which admittedly I can't!

Lastly, just enjoy it! Get off your phone (unless of course you use them for taking lots of photos, like me) and just take in the tranquility of being outdoors and away from all the bullshit everyday life throws at you. Talk to someone, appreciate mother nature at it's finest, listen to the wind as it blows and feel the cold air on your cheeks. You really should try it, it's great for the soul, trust me! Plus, looking forward to sitting by a roaring fire in a cosy little country pub, ordering a strong g&t and bowl of cheesy chips is what keeps me going when I think I ain't tough enough to handle it.

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A very unflattering photo of myself but I was so happy when we reached Pillar Rock where my late Grandfather had fallen in 1965. 

& The Don'ts

 

I've heard of and witnessed people hiking in totally the wrong gear, jeans are a no go especially when it begins to get cold and snow, or just anytime of year for that matter. They are not going to keep you warm, plus if they get wet which is very likely up in the hills, your legs will chafe and won't dry out until you're home and in front of the fire. Please, save yourself now and just don't do it. I recommend a breathable pair of sports leggings, comfy and super stretchy! And the same goes for trainers, they do not have enough grip to stop you from slipping like a proper pair of walking boots do. Invest in a good pair and get fitted for them, this way you shouldn't experience any nasty blisters, they will prevent you from twisting your ankle and you'll soon realise it was the best expensive purchase you ever made, especially if you're well into your 20's because your feet should've stopped growing by then!

Do not kick start your journey wearing every single item of clothing you have hanging in your wardrobe, even if it's the middle of Winter. I used to do this all the bloody time and within 10 minutes of walking (if that) I'd have to stop and strip and re-pack my bag. Of course the cold will hit you, especially if you leave the comfort of your car heated seat but once you get going you will be fine. I start with a base layer and a jumper usually and normally add my down jacket and another layer at the top or when we stop for lunch.

Don't litter. Take your crap home with you. You brought it, you take it back! So bloody sick of coming across cans of pop and crisp packets littering these beautiful places, does anybody care about anything nowadays? Seriously though, just have a little thought for the next people or even the effect it has on the wildlife.

Don't expect it to be easy because most likely it will be tough, especially if you haven't done a long hike before. You'll learn a lot about yourself and the people around you when times get tough, so just remember to stick it out - that feeling of doubt is all in your head.

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Looking down to Wasdale head from Pillar summit.

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From Pillar Rock over to Buttermere, Red Pike and Haystacks.

Spending The Weekend In Northumberland

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What I wore

Cardigan from M&S, here.

Bodysuit from ASOS, similar here.

Mom jeans from Zara, here.

Converse, here.

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What I wore

T-shirt from ASOS, here.

Mom jeans from Topshop, here.

Vans, similar here.

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We decided to escape last weekend, away from Cumbria and to the North East coast. Northumberland is somewhere I've wanted to visit for such a long time and with us promising each other to see a little more of the UK this year we thought that a short break whilst the sun was still shining would do us some good before I started my new job. We booked an Air BnB the night before, packed a box of food and drove up on Friday evening. There were a number of thing's I wanted to see, Alnwick castle & the garden's were top of the list but it was SO expensive and we just didn't have enough time in the day to make the most of it (and if I'm being honest, I'm f**king skint) so we decided against that and just visited a few local towns/villages. Alnmouth beach is beautiful, it runs right alongside a golf course and is a must-go if you're visiting Northumberland. We enjoyed fish n' chips in Alnwick and explored the cute little shops in the town as well as finally visiting the Treehouse Restaurant for Sunday lunch before heading home. It is a bit overpriced for what you get, I was still hungry after my roast beef dinner but it's a nice place to go and see, perhaps they can work on their portion sizes or maybe I'm just greedy (most likely the latter). I would recommend booking too as it gets busy fairly quick! There's been a few people asking where we stayed so I'll link that here for you guys! It was lovely, the hosts were welcoming and it just felt like we were away from everyone and everything even though the Shepard's hut was at the bottom of the garden, don't get me wrong it's probably the longest garden I've ever seen but still a garden nonetheless! Also, I never got chance to VLOG, god dammit. We were so exhausted so we just took each day as it came and made the most of each others company before getting back to work and I wanna focus a little more on my photography and I do enjoy updating my Instagram stories more often. I feel more connected and in the moment that way! Anyway, now I know I am rambling so I will end this post here. Have a lovely rest of the week and I will be speaking to you again very soon. Love, L.

Life Update: Self Confidence, Leaving The High Street, New Job & Vloggin’ Schedule

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Saturday was my final shift at M&S before I start my new office job in sales next month which I am so excited for! Three years on the high street taught me a lot, about the public, business but more so about myself. You probably look at a retail job and think it's easy, anyone can work in retail but let me tell you, it takes balls. You meet so many different people, most of which are lovely and I've been incredibly lucky to build such fab relationships with both my colleagues and with regular customers. However, there are a small few who can leave you feeling pretty rubbish about yourself, get your blood boiling or just simply make you want to throw your hands in the air and say 'fuck it, this is not what I come to work for'. Yes, I have had many of those people who will look right down their nose at you because all you are is a servant to them. You've got to remember that you're so much more than that and you cannot please everyone. Bite your tongue, smile, be even extra charming and try not to dwell on it too much, some people are just rude, which unfortunately they will never grow out of, you'll learn this the older you get.

When I first started at Marks & Spencer back in 2015, I was unbelievably shy, I thought very little of myself (believe it or not) and had no confidence whatsoever. Thankfully my amazing manager noticed this and did her best to help me grow, she pushed me at times when I thought I was incapable and I'm so proud of where I've got to today. I began bra fitting which was super scary but was such a good step in bringing me out of my shell as I had to be confident so that the women I was fitting felt sexy in their underwear. So if I wasn't confident, how could they be? I took on as much I could, I was so open to learning and delving in to thing's I knew nothing about which I also think played a huge part in me gaining more self-esteem. I applied for as many jobs as I could, not because I was looking for something new but because I thought the interview process would help me stop being so god damn shy, which it most definitely did. I had numerous knock backs and at times felt really disheartened but as time went on I learnt how to sell myself and hold a conversation which eventually led to me turning down job offers which was a very satisfying feeling. I'm still a long way off where I'd like to be but looking back at the person I was this time last year just shows how far I've come.

On a lighter note, now that I will have my weekends free, I was thinking of doing weekend vlogs and finally using my premiere pro that I've been paying for for the past 6 months but still haven't used! I love watching weekly vlogs and watching other girls everyday mundane life and as much as I'd like to do my own weekly vlog's, I don't think there is much point as I will be working 9-6 through the week! I'm going to give it a go next week and try and get to grips with premiere pro, which could take some time so bare with me! Anyway, I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life and even more so getting so spend my Sunday's with Josh! We've actually booked a few nights away in Northumberland so I'm trying to get sorted for that today, although I hate being indoors when the weather is this beautiful outside! Follow me over on my Instagram stories to see what we are getting up to, hugs L.