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.

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.

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.

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.

How I Spent My Thursday

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Started off the morning with a 5km run, at least I think that's how long it was, I paused my strava half way through and forgot to resume it again. Ps, you ever seen a neck this long before? 

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Okay, wow.. my new breakfast favourite! M&S chunky guacamole with poached eggs, fucking delicious. I will make my own again though when I can be bothered. Convenience and all that.

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This lil tiger literally lives outside now so I don't get to see him that much 🙁 he greeted me back from my run when I was trying to catch my breath on the back door step, too cute.

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I sat in mum and dad's garden from 9am til around 12pm doing a little work, in a pair of shorts and a tee - yes it is that hot here in the North, I can't believe it. This is the summer weather I used to remember us having when I was a kid. Love it!

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Me and mum went for ice cream <3 We are working together a lot more for her cooking business which I really am enjoying and she loves that I've also taken an interest. 

I did a poll not long ago on Instagram asking whether you preferred to read daily blog posts or less posts in more detail.. the verdict was pretty much 50/50 and as much as I'd like to post as often as possible, there's not that much for me to talk about, besides from my usual moans and groans about how tired I am and how I have to wake up at 5:30am for work, lol, poor me. I've decided that I'm not going to stick to a schedule, in fact I've rather liked just coming here when I've felt a burning desire in my stomach to reach out to you guys and talk about it. I love getting feedback and it's nice to know that I have people of all ages reading the blog, which is something I always hoped for. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I think my writing has come on a tremendous amount since I first started back in 2016, which I'm super proud of.

So today I thought I'd share a few snapshots of how my day went! I woke up very early and headed out for a my second run this summer. It felt so good and I didn't come across anyone, it was pure bliss (besides the beetroot face and sweat dripping down my chest). I spent the morning baking slowly under the sun putting together a menu for my mums cooking business, go give her a like on Insta @nooleksauthenticthai or here. We'll be sharing lots of delicious pictures! And then we went for a food shop, had a stroll around town, ate ice cream and then I had a lie down in the garden because the weather is just so beautiful I felt like I needed to make the most of it!

Tonight, I guess we don't have much planned although I really want to go for a walk and take some photos! I couldn't sleep last night, my stomach was full of butterflies and I had SO many ideas running through my mind which is a good feeling but I really wanted to sleep, so it's a catch 22 but I'm just so happy I feel back to my normal happy self. Anyway, much love and I will speak to you again very soon, L.

Santorini On Film – Making Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

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How hard is it to introduce you to a post? I've decided that I hate saying 'Hey guys', it's so not me and a little goofy 😉 So, today I picked up my film photographs from Boots, which I've been so excited to collect for almost a week now. I'm sure we took a few selfies of the two of us but they aren't here which is strange and very disappointing as those were the ones I was looking forward to seeing the most.. Maybe we didn't or maybe we just thought there were some films left, hmm interesting. Anyway, I decided to purchase a little Kodak with my Boots points before our hols as it's something my Mum and Dad used to do when we were kids and I adore looking through our childhood photographs, even if the quality isn't great. It's really exciting not knowing what the photographs are going to turn out like and you totally forget about what moments you captured so I've been reliving our week in Santorini all over again this afternoon. This is the last of my holiday photos so you'll be happy to know that I will no longer be bombarding you with turquoise waters, white building's and quad bike pics, until next time, whenever that may be! These are going to go in to my first photo album that I'm going to keep as up to date as possible. Hope you've enjoyed the holiday spam, speak again soon, love L.

Santorini | Why It Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List

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Location: Ammoudi Bay, Santorini 

Swimming costume from ASOS by Missguided, here. (Perfect for tucking your tummy into if you've eaten too much)

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Did I mention that Ammoudi Bay was my favourite place on the island? This was our 'spot', the place we loved and returned to even if it was a long ride away from our base in Kamari. On our first trip we ventured down from Oia, walking very steadily down some very steep steps, avoiding donkey poo but coming across some of the most stunning views and cafe's. After spending the entire afternoon at Ammoudi Bay, the climb back up outfaced us and a Canadian couple convinced us to take a donkey each to the top with them - so we did. It was €6 each and although a little scary I loved it. The day after, we found there was parking closer by which we took full advantage of because it would mean no leg burn on the way down and no donkey ride back up to the top. However, I fully recommend the walk and the donkey ride just once for the experience!

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Location: Unknown but it was along the North East coast on route to Oia. 

Renting a quad bike for three days during our time in Santorini was the best thing we did, even if it was a little pricey. We paid €90 for the three days and filled the tank up with petrol for €25, which we thought was rather steep. We explored the whole island, visiting Red Beach on the first day, Thira for lunch and then Ammoudi and Oia on the second and third day. Just remember to stay topped up with sun cream as you don't feel the heat so much driving around on them!

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Location: Oia, Santorini (Pronounced ee-ya not oi-ya) 

I heard SO many people pronouncing Oia as oi-ya and I'm not going to lie, it really annoyed me haha! Anyway, besides from the pronunciation, Oia was beautiful. It was more than I imagined it would be, the white washed buildings, the marble floors and THAT view. It was breathtaking but far too many people for my liking, it was merely impossible to enjoy it as there were photoshoots going on everywhere.

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Location: Santos Winery, Santorini

We had two recommendations on where to watch the sunset. One being Oia and the other Santos Wines. As we had visited Oia earlier in the week, we only imagined how busy and crazy it was going to get for sunset so we booked a table for 7:30 at the winery. The menu is a little weird so if you don't like wine then I don't recommend this place for you. We opted for the set menu for two which included 5 wines to compliment each dish, starting with salad, then some kind of octopus mousse dish, pork and then dessert. It was pricey but SO worth it for that sunset. Honestly, I've never seen a sunset so beautiful before.

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Location: Kamari beach, Santorini

We spent our last day chilling on Kamari beach, a short 5 minute walk from our hotel. I much prefer the sea to a swimming pool and found the sea to be warmer! However, you will need some sort of footwear as it's very stoney and the sea bed is rugged which makes it difficult to get in and out with the waves hitting you. Most shops sell them there for around €9-€12 but you might find it cheaper buying them at home before you go.

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Location: Somewhere in Oia on the way down to Ammoudi Bay.

The main thing about Santorini was that there was a bloody fantastic view around every corner. You really don't need to go and spend a lot of money at Santos Wines or an expensive cafe in Oia. You can drive and park up somewhere, take some water and something to nibble on and just take it all in. I can never sit still when I'm on holiday as I always like to be doing or seeing something, otherwise I feel like I haven't made the most of my time there but it's so important just to take it all in, relax and just enjoy where you are with who you're with. I can't wait for the next destination!

Love Happy

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If you're wondering where the title came from, it's from The Carter's new album and is my favourite song of theirs FYI. If you didn't know Beyonce is my favourite artist so I didn't hesitate to buy the album when it came out on iTunes because she will never disappoint me! Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this British summer time? Wow, I've never known it so good! Little bit gutted that it's going to be nice whilst we're away because there's nothing more uplifting than seeing rain at home whilst you're lying on a beach, sipping a cocktail.. haha, I'm cruel, I know! I really hope I haven't jinxed it now. Yesterday we celebrated Marie's 81st birthday in her garden, with plenty of G&T of course.. (one too many might I add). I ended up playing rounders with a group of people I had never met before who most likely saw a little too much of my lady bumps bouncing around *note to self, next time there is a family gathering, wear a god damn bra!* Tomorrow I have my first ever Brazilian wax booked in which I'm super nervous about so I'll update you all about that experience when I've recovered 😉 I probably won't post now until we're away in Greece, so I guess I'll catch you in the Mediterranean! Love, L.