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.

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.

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!

On my mind

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Scrolling back through all my blog posts at all the recent photographs, showcasing a huge smile in every single post, I suddenly realised how I am a part of making everybody believe that life is great and all is good. I try to be as open and honest as possible and I do share a very large proportion of my life here online but sometimes I don't share the down times. This week has been one of the worst weeks for me mentally, in such a long time. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, I didn't gym once, I was eating shit, I was unhappy, I didn't want to talk anyone when I came home from work and I was so down that I broke down in tears on Thursday night and I didn't even know why. I've tried to clear my head this weekend by writing thing's down, tidying the flat and trying to get organised with paper work etc. and I do feel a lot better today after getting back to the gym and just spending less time on my phone. Josh is out walking with his friend today and right now I kind of wished I had gone along too because the weather is incredible but instead I'm going to spend my afternoon on Pinterest and watch The Holiday. I've also made a long list of all the thing's I'd like to achieve in 2019 so perhaps I'll share that with you soon. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, L.

 

Image from Pinterest.

Staff party

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What I'm wearing: Dress from SilkFred here, shoes from Public Desire similar here

Ah, I love this dress so much! The ruffled sleeves and the wrap over style is my go-to, even though it's taken me forever to find it. I initially spotted in for a family wedding we have in February but decided it would be perfect for a winter party instead, what with the long sleeves but a bit of leg too. It's a lovely heavy expensive feeling fabric and silky too so I thought it would be great for an evening abroad, like our month long holiday to Thailand in April, eek! Although for Thailand it would probably too warm, as April is the hottest time of year.

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The Roof Box company Christmas do took place last night and it's fair to say it got a little messy. We had so much fun and I ate too much I was almost sick. I also had work today but I don't feel too bad, so fingers crossed it doesn't kick in later today... We have another 'proper' works do on Friday at the local golf course and I'm hoping that one will be a little more tame than this one but knowing this lot probably not! At the moment I'm lying on the bed watching the rain drizzle down my windows so I'm sensing a pretty lazy day is on the cards, although I might venture out for a Christmas tree, then again I also might not. The Netflix film Mowgli has just been released too so I'm itching to watch that this weekend - it looks incredible! Anyway, thought I'd come say hi and update you with a few pictures. Speak soon, L.

Christmas dinner with the girls

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Outfit: Blazer and shorts from Stradivarius, bodysuit from ASOS, heels from Zara and necklace from Tiffany's.

I had actually planned on writing a little post here yesterday but I must admit that after a walk in the rain with Amy, to try and wake me up and shake off my hangover, I ended up back in bed with the worst headache EVER! Do not mix your drinks folks! So, here we are with a slightly different Sunday post to my usual hiking ones. It was so nice to meet up with the girls I went to school with, it feels like too long ago that we did something like this. We had dinner at the Mason's Yard, followed by the obvious White Hart and Bootleggers. It involved lots of shots, laughs and me making a fool out of myself, dancing hideously once again! Today we have food shopping to get and we are going to visit Dan and Meg's new house! I'm so excited for them. What do you get as a house warming though? Speak soon, L.

Reflecting on 2018

At the beginning of the year I purchased my first diary since high school. It was pink and sparkly, everything that is the total opposite of what I would normally go for. It was a notebook, with no days or dates and so I wrote them in by hand, on every single page. I've spent the past year scribbling reminders, important dates, birthdays, bills and all sorts in this little book. It comes to work with me every single day and I've loved having it around (as cheesy as it sounds). I never thought I would have been so attached to something but here we are, almost 12 months later and it still remains with me. (This is really unusual for me, as I usually get fed up with notebooks, especially if I change my handwriting style or write something I have to scribble out). On the very first page I wrote down a couple of bullet points and reminders to myself of what I wanted to achieve throughout 2018 and so, those words and goals are what I'm going to share with you in this post. Oh and I may as well share a couple of my favourite moments I captured too! 

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My first bullet point was 'don't give up'. In my family I'm the one who's well known for starting something and giving up at the first hurdle. I hate that I'm like that and I tried so hard this year not to be. I gave up a little with learning my Thai but I'm back learning. I guess booking flights to Thailand has given me the kick up the bum that I needed. Then again, it shouldn't take a holiday to make me want to learn but after a little misunderstanding and me believing that my Thai granny may be unwell, it was then that I decided to start again. After all, I would be truly disappointed with myself if I never tried to have a conversation with her, out of pure laziness.

'Work your arse off' comes second. Not really sure why I wrote this because I've always worked hard (or at least so I like to believe) but I wanted to work towards my own goals. I wanted to photograph more, write more, read more, learn and be physically fit. I don't think I accomplished as much as I'd have liked to this year but I'm definitely on track to achieving great things - or so I hope!

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When I started writing these bullet points it was a time when I was very unsettled and unsure about what I wanted for the near future. I wanted a house but then I wanted to see the world at the same time and so I decided that seeing the world was more important. I wrote 'save those pennies for travelling' and guess what? I never did save those pennies for travelling, nor for a house or anything else for the matter! So, with this I failed but I'm totally beginning to save for real in the new year and who knows, we may even have our very own home by this time next year... *fingers crossed*. 

 

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'Grab every opportunity by the nuts!'. Not sure I've had many opportunities or at least I can't think of any right this moment but I'd say my total mindset has completely changed. I've tried to be a lot more positive, to make every situation something I could learn from and I guess that's grabbing every opportunity by the nuts, turning something maybe not so great into something great! Ah god, I don't make sense but you get what I mean, right?

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A biggie for me and something I've had engraved into my brain since the beginning of the year is 'be more confident'. I don't know where this vulnerable and insecure feeling comes from sometimes and I often care too much about what other people think. I've told myself that 'if it won't matter this time tomorrow or this time next week, then don't let it ruin your day today' and believe me it works! It takes a lot of drilling in to make you realise but once you've done it a couple of times, it gets easier.

'Do more' and 'drink less', I think these coincide together pretty well as I spent a lot of weekends hungover doing nothing but lying in bed and wasting my day, as well as a lot of money. I'd say I've done pretty well this year! My weekends have been spent wandering the mountains and we got to visit some amazing places this year, from Romania to Greece and places a little closer to home.

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'Get a new job', I did it, I got a new job. After months of searching, 100's of interviews to help me gain confidence and endless knock backs, I finally found a job that works for me. Ok, so it's not my dream job (how do I become a photographer and travel the world?) but I get to work with some fabulous people, I'm 5 minutes from home and I also get my weekends free. What's not to love? I told myself I would do it this year and I did it, with 3 months to spare!

'Don't buy unnecessary shit!!!!' I think I failed, in fact I know I failed. However, I am so much better than I used to be. I plan my outfits now to ensure that the stuff I do buy is money worth spending. Sometimes I buy the odd thing and wonder what an earth was I thinking but it's something I'm definitely learning about. Next year, I'm doing it for real. If it's not money well spent, it's not being spent at all.

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And last but certainly not least, I wanted to 'be inspired by everything'. Nature, lifestyle, travel, work. I'm sure there's something I come across every single day that inspires me in some way. I'll be sure to take this little memo into 2019 with me, or even throughout the rest of life. I want to grow, every single day and learn from my mistakes, help others and help protect the world we live in.

Did you stick to your new year resolutions? Let me know if you did or didn't!

Landscapes from Bowfell

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I've neglected my camera lately and even though I try to take it wherever I go, I always end up using my phone because it's handier and I don't have to take the lens cap off, *excuses, excuses, excuses*. I did manage to snap a few on my Sony a5000 though from the weekend, not many but a handful and I do love the quality of the pictures so much more than my phone. I really need to get out of the habit but it's so much easier when you're uploading videos to Instagram - something I also need to snap out of because I wanna start vlogging so I can't upload onto Instagram as well as vlog because what would be the point in filming it twice? I'm thinking of doing 'my top 5 walks in the Lake District' as a round up for this year, what do you think? I think it's a good idea so that anyone who's stuck for somewhere to go can chose one and not be disappointed. Although, come to think of it I don't think I've been disappointed by any of the walks I've ever been on. Some are a little long and some don't have the best views but they all offer something a little different from one another and plus on a nice day it's the best and cheapest way to experience the Lake District, away from the crowds. Right now we are both tucked up in bed, I have the hot water bottle resting against my back, Josh is playing Call of Duty (he has until half past) and then it's time to watch Tales by Light on Netflix. It's a documentary on different photographers which I highly recommend if you love photography and travel. We both find it really inspiring and after completing our open water diving in April (providing I actually manage to go through the training), we both want to go diving with sharks after watching this. I can't believe how tame and friendly they are, it's incredible to see. Anyway, speak soon L.

Bowfell, Esk Pike, Pike of Stickle and Stickle Tarn / 12.5 Miles in 7 hours

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Scafell and Scafell Pike in the distance.

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Oh god, I sense that this post is going to go a little something like last weeks... Good morning! I am so so tired. Really though, I thought I was tired last week but it was a hell of a struggle getting out of bed this morning. I debated lying in until 15 minutes before work but then I thought better of it and decided to come here and share my Sunday post with you. I like Sunday posts, it seems like the only day we ever do anything besides from work or the gym! Yesterday we walked so far or shall I say too far. My little legs could just not take it anymore. We hiked up to our first peak of Bowfell, onto Esk Pike back down and up to Pike of Stickle and back down and around Stickle Tarn (where we cooked bacon sandwiches earlier in the year and the water was so still and quiet). Anyway, we had planned on going for a strong drink at the Brittania in Elterwater, FYI probably the smallest pub in all the land but has the cosiest lil bar area which is super snug after a long walk. Although, not good when you have to be home for a certain time for a roast dinner because I never want to move. Ah, I also had the most horrible dream last night.. It was time for our trip to Thailand and I couldn't find our passports, our car wouldn't work, Josh was still working and we missed our flight, it really was a nightmare! No wonder I woke up tired. Anyway, time for some chocolate porridge, with banana and chia seeds. Have a good week, speak soon. L x