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.
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.
I've been feeling very inspired with fashion lately when it comes to transitioning into Autumn/Winter. As much as I love Summer, there is nothing quite like Autumn fashion, chunky knits, boots and layering, you know how the story goes! So, I've been trying to be clever with my purchases this year and have questioned myself before spending unnecessary money because quite frankly, it pisses me off when I buy frantically and then find I have a similar item hiding in a long lost suitcase under the bed or I just never know how to style it which is the worst! Ok, so I don't mind the occasional item that may only be with me for a short time - for example that leopard print khaki skirt which is perfectly hung on my new rail waiting to be worn. I do love it and I can't wait to wear it to a 30th birthday we have later next month but let's be honest, it's not one of those pieces that I'll have 5 years down the line. My style has somewhat changed this year, ever so slightly. Probably because I'm trying to save some pennies but more so because I don't want to be one of those people who buys cheap clothes, wears them once and then throws them away, because that ain't good for my bank account or for the environment either. Anyway, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this but I just wanted to share with you a few pieces I have my eye on, I'm also on the hunt for a big black puffa jacket to style with that &otherstories knitted jumper, a pair of black jeans and my Vans... anyone know of any that are ideal for the Winter months, hit me up! Love L.
2 x scrambled eggs on a piece of wholemeal
roasted falafel and spinach wrap & a black cherry low fat yoghurt
1 x piece of wholemeal toast
creamy mushroom & herb pasta with feta cheese, recipe here.
jam and cream donut
alpen with soya milk
left over creamy mushroom and spinach pasta with feta & an alpro soya vanilla yoghurt
roasted vegetables, jacket potato and feta cheese
piece of french boule toast with soft cheese and honey
2 x weetabix with honey and soya milk
roasted vegetables, ryvita cracker's and philadelphia cream cheese
jasmine rice stir fried in yellow curry with peppers and onion, topped with an omelette
Here's a little insight in to how my week being veggie began.. then by day 4 I totally forgot to note down what I ate, not that that's important but I thought it might have been useful for anyone thinking of doing a veggie week. So, starting with Monday morning, breakfast at home always involves some kind of eggs, usually poached or scrambled but that morning I decided to have scrambled which I normally have on toast with Bovril. Bovril is beef extract (I think) so obviously that was a no-go and I was a little disappointed that I hadn't thought about it before making scrambled eggs, otherwise I'd of had something else. Anyway, the rest of the week seemed to go okay, I was sent a recipe by Deliciously Ella which was good and I ate lots of vegetables. Just incase you're thinking of doing this, you'll find yourself wanting to go to the toilet so much more often which was a bit of a struggle for me as I work long hours and I don't think there's anything worse than having to use the work toilets to do your business... (Ok, too much info but I want to be honest and this is how eating lots and lots of veg affected my body). I then was struggling to find thing's to eat/snack on so would eat more cheese or thing's that weren't healthy so I actually felt like I put a bit of weight on during my week long veggie stint, FYI it didn't even last that long because 1. I had a piece of toast with cheese spread on which included ham and I didn't realise and 2. I gave up on the Friday night when we were cooking at a client's house to have one of my favourite pork wonton's that my mum makes. I realised veggie life was not for me but I will be doing veggie days more often and encouraging Josh to have a go too. Anyway, I switched from cow's milk to soya milk about 4 months ago and I will never go back to cow's milk because soya is amazing and you must try the chocolate soya, it's blinking delicious! I wasn't actually going to post this but here it is! Next time I give this a go, I'll share pictures and recipes too! Speak soon, L.
Plastic, it's everywhere. I've seen many articles online on how plastic is crippling our marine life but nobody seems to do much about it. Having grown up visiting Thailand and truly appreciating the beauty of the sea and the coastlines, the whole idea of 'single use plastic' really grates on me, especially after seeing David Attenborurgh's Blue Planet which was broadcasted for the whole of the UK to see. I recently saw a post on Facebook earlier this year which was a beach littered in plastic and rubbish which not only made me feel angry but also made me feel as though I needed to pass my passion for changing on to others.
Ok, so here I am pictured with a milkshake and a straw, if it was by choice I'd have never of had it but it seemed that every single drink I bought on holiday had a straw plonked in to it, so was I to use it or throw it away, I mean it's already been put in my drink so do I just use it and pretend like it never happened? I didn't even want to share this picture on any social media channel because it goes against what I try to preach to my friends and colleagues but I thought that perhaps writing a post on how we can all make a small difference would benefit us all (especially me because lately I've got a bee in my bonnet and everything is sending me raging, haha!).
So, what can we all do to help? I've made a few small changes in my every day-to-day life and I think we can all try to do the same, even if you can do just one of those today. I started by buying one large bottle of water and refilling it every single day, carrying it with me to and from work and for the gym. This means I no longer have to buy a bottle of water or use a plastic cup at work (they have got rid of them now though, which I'm happy about, as well as plastic knives and forks!).
Straws.. Do not get me started on straws. Ok, I totally get it, some people really do need them. I didn't understand the importance of straws to some people until I was introduced to a lady from Milnthorpe to do a bra fitting, who had unfortunately suffered with a stroke. It was frustrating for her not get her words out properly as the muscles that controlled her mouth had almost stopped working. She asked for some water with a straw and I could see how much of a struggle it was for her. People like this do need straws but for anyone else, please, please, please stop using them! They take up to 200 years to disintegrate - that's not even in your lifetime! I saw this video which pops in to my mind every time I'm offered a plastic straw, maybe it will help you understand the severity of using them.
I've also started using shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush, I can't believe how long it's taken for me to discover this brand! I know they're popular already but I've never set foot in one of their stores before. When I visited the Lancaster store, I was so overwhelmed with all the scents and the colours. The lady who I spoke to was so helpful and told me which would be best suited for my hair and I ended up leaving with the 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner jasmine scented bar which you can find here and I absolutely love it! I will never go back to using ordinary shampoo and conditioner again, you have to give it a go! Plus, you won't be using 100's of plastic bottles a year.
And finally, my biggest pet peeve... plastic bags. I'm not going to pretend that I remember my shopping bags every single time I go shopping but I do make an effort to try. The only time when you'll catch me without a bag is when I've had to pick up some last minute bits on the way home from work and I still begrudge buying a bag, not for having to spend the 5p but for encouraging single use plastic. We can all try harder to fill our cars with a bag full of bags or carry some of those fabric ones around in our handbag. This is something I need to try harder with for this year and by next year I'm going to make it my aim to not buy a single carrier bag.
These are all such small changes which we can all introduce into our lives without so much effort. I'd love to influence at least someone in to making a difference to our world by helping other's understand what's going on. I'm not all as clued up as I'd like to be but I have a genuine care, especially for our marine life. If you want to learn more, there's a lot of information on this website, with facts and figures, where you can donate to a worthwhile cause. Let me know if you make any changes and how it goes, I'm interested to see how many people care as much as I do. Love, L.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
What I wore:
Sunglasses, Steve Madden from TK Maxx.
Top from Stradivarius.
Shorts are an old pair of Levi's from Ebay.
Sunday evening, the worst time of any weekend when you realise you have to go back to work in the morning.. Sorry, let me try to be positive! I've started jotting a few thing's down before bed on a Sunday to help me have a successful week. My list includes jobs that I'd like to have completed by the end of the week, my fitness goals which are to complete at least two 4km runs in the countryside. I went out on Saturday morning with Meg and I can't believe how well I managed and how much I loved it so I'm going to try and get back in to that again. I've also decided that this week I'm going to try being veggie starting tomorrow so I have a few ideas for meals noted down so that I don't forget or give up! I'm looking forward to it actually, it will be good to have a bit of a meat detox! If you have any ideas to share with me then please do 🙂 Now, time for bed, a bowl of cereal and Power, my idea of a perfect Sunday evening if you ask me! Love, L.
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.
The tallest piece of rock I have ever jumped off in my life and it's for sure that I will never be doing anything that high again.
I'm 23 and Josh is 27, we bought our first property last year where we currently live with my Gran and we had hoped to be looking at buying our own place in the very near future. However, since I returned from Santorini I've had butterflies in my stomach. Not because I want to return to the beautiful idyllic island but because I realised how much there is out there that I want to see for myself. I'm not sure I want to settle down right now and this is a conversation we keep going over and over, back and forth. I get it, he wants a sense of security, our own space, somewhere that's ours but with that comes a hell of a lot of responsibility, bills, cut backs, less of a social life and I guess some would call it 'the real world'. I have endless conversations with people at work and they tell me just to go travelling but of course you need money for that and if we ever returned (not that I'd plan on it), we'd be in the same position we are in now so would it really be worthwhile going? The idea of travelling and buying a house plays on my mind constantly. One day I can't wait to have my own space, an actual wardrobe, my very own pet dog, cooking dinner for friends etc. etc. and then the next day all I can think about is driving around on a motorbike with salty hair, eating street food, stroking stray dogs, not worrying about what time you have to get up for work because you need money so desperately to have a life but just having enough money to get by and live. I feel as though there is SO much pressure on us "kids" to settle down, get married, start a family, have a proper job and know what you want in life. The world has changed in so many ways, everything is so much more accessible and you could argue that's a bad thing but it makes that traditional mind set of settling down so hard to just accept. I'm sick of having to work to earn just enough to cover a roof over my head, to only go away and see the world once or twice a year. Why this is the norm I have no idea! Life isn't about making as much money as you can and coming home to watch Emmerdale. It's about so much more and I'm so ready to pack my bags and leave this way of life behind - just need enough money first, lol. The only thing that scares me about ever emigrating would be that I could never afford to return home to see my Gran. Sorry for the rant but I've had it playing on my mind for f*cking ages and I'd really appreciate your views on this situation or any interesting stories, regrets, bad/good decisions.... Lots of love, L.
Ever notice that the majority of stuff you actually pack for your holidays goes unused and sits in the bottom of your suitcase until you come back home and hang it back up in your wardrobe? Yeh, me too. For our last trip away I tried to pack smart, I planned my outfits weeks in advanced and tried them on several times to double check I was actually going to wear them (and fit in to them). However, there were a small handful of items that went unnoticed and a lot that I couldn't have survived without, especially in a super hot climate.
Let's begin with the obvious suitcase staple that is my go-to for almost any occasion, a good pair of high wasted, wide leg trousers. Did you guess that one?
It's no secret that I love a pair of palazzo pants, especially in the Spring/Summer months but more so when it comes to a summer holiday! I currently own 4 pairs that I adore and I am on the hunt already for our next vacation because I know I will get the wear out of them. They're the perfect item to dress down during the day with a bikini top as long as the material is lightweight enough to keep you cool and they're also great for dressing up in the evening with a cute little bralet or cami top. High wasted and loose fitting also means you can be bloated and not worry about anyone noticing 😉
I struggled to find a beach cover up I really wanted. I was on the hunt for a black and white polka dot midi wrap dress (very specific I know) but I never found one so I opted for this little playsuit from Missguided. It was super lightweight and perfect for throwing over my bikini instead of putting my denim shorts back on which is a nightmare when your bikini bottoms are still damp. There's nothing worse than damp denim rubbing the inside of your legs!
Denim shorts and a pair of Birkenstocks.
Every holiday I have been on I have always packed my trusty Levi denim shorts and my Birkenstocks (only recently with those but I'd never go on holiday without a pair now). I spent most of our days dossing around in this combination as I didn't mind them getting mucky plus the more I wore my denim shorts, the comfier they got! If you don't own a pair of Birkenstocks then you most definitely need to invest and although they're a little more expensive than the bog standard sandal, they're SO worth it for comfort 🙂
What I wore:
Dress from ASOS last summer
Sunglasses from Zara
Cute little summer dresses for days when you want to feel a little bit girly and more put together than just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I got this one last summer from ASOS and I still love it as much as I did when I bought it. It's such a flattering shape, I wish more dresses were this style! And of course a dress you can wear dressed down or dressed up on an evening. We don't often get too tarted up when we are away unless it's something super special so it's always good to have one outfit you can feel a million dollars in, right? I always pack a pair of heels too, always these pink ones because they're the only ones I own and the only ones I can actually walk in haha!
I love myself a good bodysuit, especially one that is thick enough you don't have to wear anything over your nips. I find that two good basic body suits like this black and white one work well with pretty much anything but I'm after a lacey one for my next vacay to go with a dressier pair of palazzo panties 🙂 ps: Josh plaited my hair this day, I never knew he was capable haha!
I tried super hard this holiday to capture my outfits during our week long stay in Santorini because I wanted to share with you all the pieces that I love and give you more of an insight into my style and what I really love to wear which is hard when I'm back here at home as I don't often get to wear much other than my work uniform or gym clothes. I have spent the past 10 days bra free and I can't tell you how good that has felt - bloody amazing! I envied having to put it on this morning for work, I really did. Even having to wear proper shoes, with my feet sweltering in socks instead of being out in the open.. ok too much info. So to cure the holiday blues, we're planning our next trip to Thailand to visit my family and to complete an open water diving course in Koh Tao which I have wanted to do for so long! I want to do and see lots of new things that I haven't before so if you have any suggestions please leave them below or send me a message because I'm interested in all sorts. Hope you enjoyed this post, speak soon, L.
Location: Ammoudi Bay, Santorini
Swimming costume from ASOS by Missguided, here. (Perfect for tucking your tummy into if you've eaten too much)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.