We bought a boat!

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Ok, so it's not technically a boat... more of kayak, which is also inflatable so we can bung it in the boot and go off for the day. Now all we need is a pair of split paddles, so I don't have to travel with a set of ores perched on my shoulder! We knew the weather wasn't going to be great from 1pm onwards so we woke up kind of early and set off to Ullswater with our new Aquaglide Colombia kayak. We chose Ullswater because it's so easy to park up by the side of the lake (for free) and get in to the water, whereas Windermere is pretty difficult to find somewhere to leave your car and then pump your boat up. We paddled over towards a little island, where Josh had planned on camping this summer, so we wanted to scout it out and see how difficult it was and if there was a good piece of flat grass etc. The only problem was goose poo but I guess we were invading their home so how can I complain really? Anyway, we cooked bacon and egg and enjoyed a hot chocolate, took some photos and then decided to head back to main land, as we could see the grey clouds rolling in and I did not want to get rained on, especially because I dressed inappropriately and wore jeans and my docs! *Note to self, get some water proof pants and some thick wooly socks because damn it is cold out on the lake*. Now, well I feel sleepy. I made a big pan of chilli con carne for lunches this week and turkey meatballs for tea tonight which we have with this delicious Moroccan sauce from our local fruit and veg shop. It's so delicious that I buy it in bulk, which is a little expensive but so worth it for something easy and tasty! Mum also headed out to Thailand yesterday but she has arrived safe and sound. I got to speak with my Thai granny via FaceTime this morning, it's so heartwarming and a little emotional hearing her voice. I can't wait to go, hopefully she will be able to join us in Chiang Mai so I get to see her. Anyway, I'm going to tidy my bedroom and hoover the carpet because it's bloody filthy, L.

Afternoon tea at The Black Bull

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What I am wearing: Jumper from M&S, Denim Jacket from Missguided and Dr Marten boots.

Hey loves! I am so happy to finally have a day off from work. I've worked 13 days in a row but am surprisingly not too tired, although an early night and a film is definitely on the cards. Yesterday a bunch of us enjoyed a savoury afternoon tea at the Black Bull, which was top class. The sandwiches were delicious, especially the pink roast beef which was perfectly cooked. I also really loved the sausage rolls, which were about the size of my head and the delicious calamari with spicy dipping sauce. Perfect day which ended with Josh and I waddling home at 11pm, after me saying that I'd only be out for an hour or two, oops! Anyway, I actually woke up without a hangover because I was sensible and had about 3 pints of water and a packet of crisps whilst I was out so we managed to get a food shop done, meet our friends for some lunch and get home and prep for the week ahead just in time for a roast chicken salad, mmm! Oh, I also ordered those suitcase dividers which I mentioned in my last post, so once they arrive I'll maybe do a 'what I'm packing and how I pack' video. I watched Marianna Hewitt's 'how I pack for trips' which you can see here and I found it really helpful, especially as I don't travel often. Speak very soon, L.

TMI? My experience of the coil

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Just reposting some photos from yesterdays shoot because I still can't get over how perfect my make up was!

I asked some of my wonderful friends and followers on Instagram what their thoughts were on the pill vs the coil a couple of weeks ago and wow, I could not believe the responses I received! Most were all in favour for the coil but there were a couple who mentioned alternatives, such as the injection and the implant.

I've been on the pill for around 7-8 years with a few brand changes in between, as well as a 3 month stint of the injection - which was not pleasant. I gained a shed load of weight from the injection, just like my Mum did so as soon as I could, I went back on the pill. I started with a contraceptive pill that I would take continuously which was in the beginning great, until I started bleeding irregularly and from what I remember around 6 months of spotting, which was obviously not ideal! I then spoke with my local GP who advised the combined pill, where you take it for 3 weeks and have a break for a period. This worked fab, I really loved having the break and feeling somewhat 'normal'. Then I started suffering with really bad skin on my face.. this isn't the eczema that I spoke about in a previous post but this was spots on my cheek, forehead and chin. To be honest, I never even linked it with my pill. I'd been on it for so long that I thought it must just be my hormones...and then I spoke to my best friend who had recently changed her pill because of really bad break outs.

So I went to speak with my Dr again and was prescribed the the combined pill, Yasmin. Since then my skin has been amazing and I didn't think much about changing my contraception until we were lying in bed one evening and Josh showed me this picture of a girl who had been on the pill for several years and an after picture from when she came off it. There was such a huge difference in her physique which got me thinking about all the effects I have had to put up with from the pill. Mood swings, bad skin, weight gain and the thought of all that medicine going into my body. I looked up the coil after hearing about it on a number of occasions and did a bit of research before asking you guys what you thought and what your experiences were of contraceptive. I booked in with a nurse the next day and consulted with her about it. She advised me that the coil is getting extremely popular, especially with young girls who are really sick of the mood swings and like I mentioned before, the amount of oestrogen and a progestogen being swallowed into their bodies, effecting them physically as well as mentally.

There are two different types of coil which you can read more about here and here.

I was actually booked in for my fitting (oh it sounds like a dress fitting, maybe one day ha!) shortly after discussing this over on the gram and I know a few of you were curious about the procedure and if it hurts, if I can feel it etc. so I thought I'd stick it all in a post, rather than Insta stories where I'm sure all the lads cringe at the thought of it (but seriously though, why is it us girls that have to go through all this shit?). Basically, it did not go as planned.... Please do not continue reading if you are going to be grossed out, feel sick, faint etc. This is your warning now. Do not go ahead. It is dangerous territory. Ok, so you managed this far. I believe you're in it until the end so I will continue... I was working myself up all day long for this appointment. I had to wait until 4pm and the plan was to nip out of work for half an hour and go back into the office as if nothing had happened. So, I go in and the Dr and I go through all the side effects and statistics of the coil. She said that she wanted to fit the smallest coil which had around 16% of hormone but I can't remember all of the details as my head was just on another planet. The reason for the smaller coil was because I hadn't had children so my womb wouldn't be big enough but she said that if she could fit it then she would. The procedure starts, I'm butt naked laying on the bed with the lamp glaring *down there*. At this point, all I'm thinking about is how it looks. Oh god, did I miss a bit shaving? God, I hope not. I had my head in the crease of my arm. I couldn't look. I didn't want to look. Anyway, so she feels my stomach and then inside.. I'm guessing for any cysts or unusual lumps but I didn't ask, I was just trying to imagine myself on a beach somewhere. Then the speculum goes up and I just hear this ratchet sound - to hold me open. This isn't too bad, I had a full STI test around this time last year so I knew I'd be ok with this. Then she tells me that I'm going to have a local anaesthetic, ok fine. I've never had one before, I don't know what it involves and then woah. It kills and when I say it kills wow, I nearly kicked my GP in the face. I even said "I am never having children after this". We wait 5 minutes for the 'local anaesthetic' to kick in. I don't feel any different and then the speculum goes back in. From there on in I'm not really sure what's going on. After around 10 minutes of who knows what, apparently my cervix is too small and wouldn't open. I was asked if I wanted to continue and I said no, although apparently they did have 'metal clamps' which would've held me open better, as the one she was using kept slipping. So we aborted mission. I came to terms with the fact that I'd probably be on the pill now for another good few years and then I sat in my car and cried. My stomach was in agony and I had started to bleed. I was advised to go home, so I text my manager and went home to a hot water bottle and a hot chocolate. I'm not sharing this info with you to put you off but I'm sharing it because I want you to know that if you do go ahead with this then there is a small chance that you will be just like me. Apparently I'm like 1/10 women that this happens to and sometimes they just aren't suitable. I'm sorry if this has put you off but please don't let my bad experience change your mind. Chances are you'll be fine and I'm just a weirdo that bad things happen to. If you want to ask me any more questions then please do feel free to privately message me, I don't bite and I will try and help in any way possible. I just wanted to be as honest as possible and obviously had it all gone well, I would've shared that too - which was initially the plan! A very different post to the norm but I hope you enjoyed the read, L.

Behind the scenes from today

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What a week it's been! Cruft's was insane and I feel like I'm still so tired from that. Then today with Rachel Galley, Aimee Chorley and Ian Wood, shooting Rachel's latest jewellery collection, everything just feels so overwhelming, I think I just need to sit down and take it all in or have a good nights sleep and a day off, haha! Here's a few snapshots of 'behind the scenes' today. I didn't manage to capture many at all, which was a shame but I'm super excited to see the final shots. I've never done anything like this before, so to be asked by Rachel to do this for her very own brand came as quite a shock and obviously I felt extremely flattered. Then to be made up by Aimee and photographed by Ian was just like the cherry on top of the cake, I mean, since when did I get so lucky? Anyway, I am ready for a good nights sleep. If only it was the weekend already because I could sure do with a full day of rest but hey ho, only 4 weeks until Thailand and then I can have a whole month off. Oh, I was looking at the suitcase dividers on Amazon yesterday and was thinking it would make packing a lot easier. Have any of you guys used them, what are your thoughts? Does it actually help or just give you less space to pack more unneeded outfits? I'm literally falling asleep so I'm going now, L.

Crufts: day 1

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Good evening folks! I have just got back into bed, actually that's a lie, I am sat on the bed drying my hair whilst typing this, so therefore I am a multi-tasking genius. What an experience Crufts is! We were there from 8:30am until 6:30pm and I must say, my legs and feet have never looked so forward to sitting down. I got to meet some beautiful dogs, and some not so beautiful but the best thing was is that I met Mable the Hungarian Vizsla and her owner who was in fact a breeder of Vizslas, so of course I got her details because it's decided that no other dog will do! Isn't she beautiful? She is literally my dream dog and she had such a lovely temperament. Anyway, I'm going to keep this short and sweet because after a very large glass of red wine (even though I asked for small) and pasta and tiramisu, I am ready for bed. Although, my bedroom is right above the dining room and there is some cackling witch who will not stop laughing and the people above are making the floor boards creek, oh and to top it off I forgot my ear plugs! So, I'm going to stuff some cotton wool make up pads in my ears and shove a pillow on top of my head and try to get a good nights sleep before tomorrows 6:15am wake up call! Speak soon, L.

Checking out of the office… I’m off to Crufts!

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Urgh, I've woken up feeling slightly snotty so I'm really hoping it's not the start of a cold as I'm off to Cruft's later today with my colleague Kerry and my bosses, Martin and Lucy for 4 days in Birmingham. I've been so excited for this little adventure, even though I know I'm going to be absolutely shattered by the end of it, but I really don't care because it's an experience and I would have never gone had it not been for work.. so, here it goes! I have no idea what to expect, besides from the obvious that there will be a lot of dogs and a lot of people, showing off their fabulous pets. What I'm most excited for is the gun dogs, I'm going to scout out the kind of dog I want to have when we eventually get our first home together (which will hopefully be this year!). I'm still set on Hungarian Vizsla's but I did see a gorgeous Doberman the other day, so I guess seeing the best of breed at Cruft's will make my decision! Did you know that Cruft's is the world's largest dog show? I actually didn't know this until I started researching it a few weeks ago! I still can't believe I'll be on our trade stand there but if you are after any products such as dog cages, beds, seat covers then do pop by or just come and say hello.

Speak tomorrow perhaps, L.

Sunday: life on the farm and a sunday roast with the girls

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Happy rainy Sunday... God, what a droll day it's been! After my Thai lesson this morning, we had a girls day where we all brought a dish or two for a Jacob's join Sunday roast. I made cauliflower cheese and mash potato, we also had roast potatoes, swede and carrot mash, roasted parsnips and carrots, green beans, peas, pigs in blankets and a roast chicken, yum! Bethany also made sticky toffee pudding for dessert which was absolutely bloody delicious and now I feel the size of a house! We had a little walk, or shall I say drive, to see Kristina's alpacas, how cute are they? One of them actually spat on Emma, which stunk and was like bright green, gross! Probably best that we didn't get too close but I just wanted to stroke them. We also got to see all the new born lambs and calves and I got to sit on Alfie the horse and ended up getting a very soggy bottom, and not the kind that Mary Berry goes on about. I always wished I lived on a farm growing up, there's so much to see and do and the thing's you can learn about life and farming is actually really interesting but I don't think I could force myself out there in the cold and the rain every single day, it's a tough life! Now, well... now I guess I will prepare myself for the week ahead. We will probably watch a film on Netflix and get an early night! Speak soon, L.

Saturday: meetings with Rachel Galley & packing for Crufts

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Vans hoody here.

Hello folks! What a miserable weekend it's been so far... I can't wait to get away for a few days, even if it's only to Birmingham for work. I've just started packing my new Rab duffle bag for our 4 nights away. It was reduced by 50% last weekend and I happened to stumble across the last black one so I bought it because I don't actually have a suitcase for Thailand. I was unsure whether to go for a bag or an actual suitcase with wheels but for £55 I decided to go for it as I knew it was good quality and a brand I trusted. If you're interested, you can view it here. I'll let you know how it goes though, as I'm just so used to using a suitcase and I'm hoping it doesn't annoy me that everything will be in one big compartment, rather than split into two...

This morning I met with Rachel Galley for coffee, or shall I say a hot chocolate. I'm doing a photoshoot with her in a few weeks time, which I am super excited about. Her jewellery pieces are simply stunning and I cannot wait to wear it all - what a talent, I feel so honoured to be working with her on her new collection. I will most definitely be sharing the photos with you guys because of course I will want to remember such an amazing experience but for now you will have to wait, as the shoot isn't for another week yet! Anyway, tonight I think I will make Jamie Oliver's speedy spinach curry with paneer cheese. We haven't had it in so long and I just fancied it, even though we had a delicious Indian takeaway from the British Raj last night. At the moment I am obsessed with roasted cauliflower, drizzled in olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. It's delicious, filling and healthy! What's not to love? I'll probably make a little portion of that to go on the side rather than having rice. What are your plans? I feel like the best thing to do on days like today is put some comfy clothes on and stick a good film on. Enjoy the weekend and I will probably speak with you tomorrow, L.

Sunrise

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After turning my 5:50am alarm off and choosing an extra hour and a half in bed over a sweaty gym session, Josh woke me up to ask if I fancied a morning stroll to watch the sun come up. Of course, I leaped out of bed.. only kidding, it did take me a moment or two but once I was up I was so glad that he asked had me. It was so peaceful. There's something about early mornings that make you feel as if you're the only people in the world, it's just magical. We sat for a couple of minutes on the bench at the top and just sat in complete silence. I could've stayed there all morning with a cup of hot chocolate but we were in a rush to get showered and ready for work. Anyway, I wanted to share these with you because it's a new week, a fresh start, make the most of it and go do you. Love, L.

Helvellyn part 2

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Date accomplished: 23rd February 2019

Time: Set off at 7:30am from the car park.

Duration: 5 hours roughly, including lunch break.

Parking: Opposite the Inn on the Lake in Glenridding, costs around £7 for 6 hours or more and you can pay by card.

 

Good morning! Here are the last of my photographs..lol, that's a total lie, I have loads more but I'm not going to bore you with several posts on Helvellyn. After we completed Striding Edge and made our way to the trig point, the mist well and truly set in. It was a little disappointing as it would've been good to see the view from the top but I think we got the best views on Striding Edge. I slept like a baby last night, it was as if my bed was a huge cloud and I just sank into it. You know it's been a good day when that happens, especially when you can just switch off straight away. This morning we both decided to miss the gym and walk along the fell wall to watch the sunrise. It was so beautiful! We listened to the birds and we even saw a fox! Now I need to dry my hair and make myself presentable for work. Hope you enjoyed the photographs, I'm hoping I'll have more to share with you next weekend! Lots of love, L.

Mum’s first time up a mountain: Helvellyn, part 1

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Hey lovelies! How has your Sunday been? We planned an early morning hike today because the weather was supposed to be fab, which evidently it was. I've been wanting to get out and on the mountains for quite some time now and what better way to start my first hike of 2019 than with a hike up Helvellyn, over striding edge and down swirrels edge, with my Mum. Yep, my Mum joined us for the first time. She's never done much walking before as she has a bad knee from a motorbike accident she was involved in when she was younger but from what I gathered, I think she loved it! She was on all fours pretty much over striding edge, and she didn't tell us of her fear of heights until I saw her shuffling across the rocks like a little spider monkey. Ah goodness, it felt so good to be out in the fresh air, listening to the birds tweeting and to feel the sun shining on my face - it makes me so much more excited for our trip to Thailand soon. I always say this after every good walk but we are so lucky to live where we do. We can get out early and still be home in time for a 2pm football match - not that I care but with 3 Man Utd fans with us, there's no wonder we whipped around in good time. We have so many photos from today, I've decided to split this post into part 1 and part 2 and perhaps part 3 if I find some more I want to share with you. I also plan on getting the photo of the 5 of us printed and framed for when we eventually get our own house, I think it would look really good as an A2 photograph in a really simple frame, what do you think? Right now, I think I'm going to bath, shower, get in my pyjamas and get an early night. Speak soon and enjoy the rest of your weekend, L.

If you want to see the route we took, you can view this here.

A Day of treetop adventures: Whinlatter, Go Ape

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So, after planning a day climbing Snowdon and then waking up at 5:45am to find the Met Office weather forecast for Snowdonia expecting heavy rain from 2pm, it was pretty gut wrenching, as we had all our bags packed, ready to set off for 6:30. Never mind though, there's always another time! Plus, I think we'd be better camping or finding a cheap B&B and staying the night, as the 3 hour journey there and back was a little off putting. Instead, we booked a treetop adventure for 10am in Whinlatter forest and it was glorious. However, I did not expect to be so nervous doing some of the activities! What you don't realise is that you show yourself around the course, so you (yes you) are responsible for your own safety. This means that you need to ensure that you clip yourself on properly. If you can manage that (I just about did), then you are all ready to go. Now, the worst thing I came across was the hoops that you have to slot your feet into. They just dangle and swing around so I was basically doing the splits in front of all these other couples trying to enjoy a peaceful morning in the forest. If you want to keep your dignity then I'd recommend avoiding them and taking the slightly easier route to the right... And no, it ain't a cop out, even though Josh told me it was! The zip wires were fun though but you will land in a pile of wood chip, that's for sure. So, wear some old clothes and I'd also recommend taking a spare set of clothes in your car to change into, especially if you plan on going into nearby Keswick or any of the other towns in the Lakes. There's a video over on my Instagram to show you how not to land when you're flying through the forest... After a packed lunch in the sunshine, we ventured into Keswick, covered in crap, hair bedraggled and a little worn out. I found a 80litre RAB bag for my holidays in the sale and we enjoyed a G&T in some posh bar or should I say expensive bar. Now, well... now nothing. We have had tea, the bags are emptied so there's nothing much to do. We do plan on a short walk tomorrow before the Man Utd game at 2 so of course I'll be checking in here later in the day. Speak soon, L.