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Blogging Giveaway

I have been blogging for just over two and a half years, where has time gone? I still can’t believe I’ve actually stuck with it, right from my very first outfit of the day post with just a few lines of waffle. So I thought I’d host a beauty giveaway to celebrate reaching 6k on Twitter and 1K on Instagram (and a long overdue blogging birthday, oops, sorry!).

I wanted to say thank you for supporting me, reading my blog and to those of you who’ve made my day by leaving lovely comments, retweets and interactions. It’s been a huge learning curve for me with so many things I never thought I could achieve, and there’s always been someone in the blogging community who has been able to give me some much needed advice. I’ve had some amazing opportunities and I’ve got to meet so many wonderful people through social media.

I began writing my blog as a hobby for myself, it’s been so reassuring to know there are people out there who not only read my posts but enjoy them too. So thank you, you’re the absolute best! Here’s to the next two and a half years.

Now let’s get on to the good bit!

Blogging Giveaway

Blogging Giveaway

The Prizes:

  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette
  • Urban Decay After Glow 8 Hour Powder Highlighter
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in shade Pillow Talk

This competition has now ended. Thank you to everyone who entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Things To Do This Summer

I know the feeling well. You’re scrolling through social media looking at what seems like everyone’s holiday photos, yet you’re going nowhere that requires a passport. I’ve often had to drag my weary butt away from the screen and do something that will stop me feeling sorry for myself, plus it gives me the motivation to carry on with the dreaded to-do list when I come back.

You don’t need to spend a fortune just to have fun, grab a couple of friends or choose something you’re happy to do by yourself. Doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship, there’s something here for everyone. Even your Granny will want to tag along.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Picnic In The Park – put together some of your favourite nibbles, make a flask of tea or cold juice, grab a blanket and your favourite book
  • Visit a museum or art gallery – great for inspiration
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Be a tourist in your own town – it’s amazing what little treasures you can find and you never knew they existed
  • Visit an animal shelter – both of my dogs, Sandy and Cassie, were rescue dogs  and I’ve made crochet blankets for Wood Green animal shelter to help with their fundrasing.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Go swimming at your local outdoor pool  and lounge on the sun lounger with a cold smoothie afterwards
  • Visit the nearest Lavender Farm – great for photos and picking up a treat in the gift shop
  • Visit the seaside for the day – collect shells from the beach, walk along the pier, have cake in a quaint tea shop, run away from the tide and laugh like you’ve never laughed before.
  • Plan a girls night out – drinks in the local or a trip to the cinema followed by pizza.
  • Start a new hobby – knitting, crocheting, baking, start a scrapbook, painting, you know you can do it if you put your mind to it

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Have a garden party – text friends and family, invite them round, get them to bring a different item of food or drink with them, it saves you doing the shopping as well!
  • Take a walk by the river or canal – if you go with someone, get them to take a few photos for your Instagram or outfit of the day
  • If you enjoy gardening, get outside and see to those forgotten plants, or pop to a garden centre to buy some new ones
  • Put up a parasol in the garden and get outside, listen to new podcast, read a book or play a summer playlist
  • Dig out a recipe book and try making a summer salad, just in time for your garden party

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Be a tourist for the day and take yourself off to the nearest city, check out all the places of interest, it would be London for me so I’d have to visit all the Royal Palaces, Tower Bridge and take a stroll down Oxford Street and Regent Street.
  • Take your Mum, Aunt or Nan to see a show at the Theatre and then for a meal afterwards, see how much they would appreciate that
  • Start an evening class – photography, writing, painting or learning a new language (just in case you need that passport next year!)
  • Have a pyjama party either by yourself or with a friend, catch up on the latest box set, enjoy a few pampering treats like an at home facial, and open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion
  • Have a room makeover – paint the walls a different colour, buy some cute cushions, trinkets and prints for the walls.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Visit a theme park – try those rides you’ve been too scared to go on and scream the place down, believe me, you’ll have so much fun
  • Start a new exercise  – at home or the gym, yoga, pilates, Spin session, whatever suits you best
  • Start a photo a day challenge – with all the exploring you’ll be doing, it should be a total breeze

Whatever you decide to do, have FUN and stop worrying about what other people are doing. You can bet you’re bottom dollar that they’re not worrying about you.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Bag: Guess

Dress: Debenhams

Bracelet: Lilia Rose

Necklace: Etsy

Shoes: New Look

White Sunglasses: River Island

Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Boots

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Tring Reservoir

It was one of the hottest weekends so far this summer and Adrian and I decided to take a short drive over to Tring. I’m so lucky to have such a beautiful place practically on my doorstep, it’s a wonder I haven’t been here more often. The walk by the canal at Tring Reservoir is a great place to visit for anyone, families, dog lovers, photographers and fisherman and it’s situated right on the boarder of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The path itself is also ideal for pushchairs and wheelchair users.

We parked the car right near Bluebells Tea Room at the start of this particular walk and all I could smell was delicious food, I wasn’t hungry yet somehow I just wanted to sample a large piece of carrot cake.

Tring Reservoir

It was actually quite busy, yet it seemed so peaceful,  a really lovely place to visit and feel almost as though you’re on holiday. It reminded me of the time I went on my neighbours canal boat for a champagne boat naming ceremony, the boat was christened Blue Moon. I would love to have gone on one today, but still I appreciated the calming, relaxing stroll by the canal instead. Even the swans came over to see what we were up to.

We made sure we stopped to take loads of photos, I think you’ll agree it’s such a beautiful place, especially if you live or work in a busy area during the week.

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

We carried on up the canal towpath, taking in the stunning scenery, wild life and of course the barges which were prettily decorated with flowers and some had such lovely names. Thankful I wore one of my many hats as it was an extremely hot, sunny day. The dress I chose was an off the shoulder, flowing maxi wrap dress. The material is lovely and soft, feeling cool against my skin. I thought my straw cross body bag went perfectly with the floral design on the dress.

Tring Reservoir

We’d taken a mini picnic and a huge flask of tea, it wasn’t anything fancy as it was literally a last minute decision to go. We’d stopped off at the supermarket on the way and bought a cold pasta salad, fruit salad and a pack of chocolate chip cookies, perfect for dunking in our tea, haha.

Tring Reservoir

I honestly didn’t want to go home, it was lovely to just sit and watch the world go by, I was so relaxed I could quite easily have closed my eyes and gone to sleep. Everyone who went passed us was extremely friendly, saying hello or stopping to have a chat. They were complete strangers, and that’s something you don’t normally get in a big town or city.

We continued walking past the pub at Bulbourne and on for another 3 miles, before deciding it was time to turn around and come home. I’m sure it won’t be too long before we return for another walk by the canal.

Tring Reservoir

I couldn’t end this post without sharing these two excellent shots of a Grey Heron taken by my husband, who is a keen wildlife photographer. I’m sure he won’t mind.

 

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Cromer Pier

We’ve been having such gorgeous weather, so what better place to be than by the sea. Adrian and I decided to take a trip to Norfolk, which is a lovely area of the UK and holds a special place in my heart as my Nan used to take me there on holiday when I was a child.  

I have family living in Norfolk and it’s always great to go and stay with them for a short break. We travelled up there extremely early on the Monday morning, packing a flask of tea and some snacks to stop me getting hangry!  Luckily I fell asleep for the first hour of the journey, meaning Adrian was able to drive in peace. Feeling like a child again when I caught my first sight of the sea as we pulled into Cromer I gave a little “Whoop, Whoop” and had to take a photo. There are definitely benefits to having a Staycation, but to honest I’ve never been abroad and absolutely love exploring the UK.  Norfolk is a wonderful place at any time of the year, with the birds for company, beautiful scenery and the sea breeze in your hair.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

Cromer is a traditional seaside town on the Norfolk coast and is an extremely popular place for family holidays and day trips, it’s like stepping back into the Victorian Era. It’s not far from Sherringham, which is where we went last year. Cromer has a lovely beach, a fun fair on the promenade and a museum on the beach front. It’s also known for it’s iconic Pier with a Pavilion Theatre and lifeboat station at the end. There’s also plenty of little seaside shops if you fancy picking up a souvenir or two.

After freshening up at my Aunt’s house we took a stroll along Cromer Pier, which is Grade II listed and still puts on a show at the Pavilion Theatre, sadly we didn’t get to see this time.

We found a quaint little  seaside cafe at the beginning of the Pier and I had the most delicious Vegetarian breakfast to keep me going throughout the day. We walked right to the end of the pier and we were able to get some stunning views of the coast and out to sea. Thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny day without a cloud in the sky and I had remembered to put on the factor 50. 

I had forgotten I’d got this lace off the shoulder top, it was one of those things I’d bought in the end of season sale from New Look last year and forgotten about. It’s loose and flowy so made the perfect choice for today.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

The following day we took a drive up the coast, stopping at a few quaint little vilage seaside places and we finished up at Wells Next The Sea. Doesn’t matter where we go in Norfolk, we always end up at Wells as they have some of the best seaside fish and chips. There are so many pubs and places to eat but we always choose to take our chips and sit watching the boats come into the harbour.

And of course, a visit to the seaside would not be complete without an icecream!

We had the most amazing few days, it was great to get away from our daily routine and catch up with family again. I love being by the sea, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the feeling that all my stresses are being carried away by the sound of the waves or just the slower pace of life in this part of the country. Whatever it is, I can’t wait until the next time we go.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

You may also be interested to see what else I’ve been up to in my Monthly Chatty Post.

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Chatty Post

When I came to write this post I suddenly realised there has been a lot of coffee and cake involved over the last month. If you follow my Instagram stories you’ll probably know a lot of what I’ve been up to but I thought it would be nice to have it all in one place. I’ve been exceptionally busy getting out and about, plus we’ve had a lot of repairs and maintenance done to the house, which has meant it’s felt like I’ve been living in a building site. We’ve had new windows fitted and a new downstairs toilet put in as the old one was practically hanging off the wall.

Chatty Post

I finally decided to take out a Blogosphere magazine subscription. For over a year now I’ve been going into my local WH Smith’s store whenever I saw a new issue was out and they never had it in stock, it would be at least 8 weeks after the release date before it was on the shelves, by which time the new edition would soon be on sale. Yes I could have gone to another store but I literally live a 10 minute walk from the WH Smith’s in Hitchin. At least now it will be delivered straight to my door.

Chatty Post

Chatty Post

Chatty Post

Chatty Post

It doesn’t matter how many times I visit the Swiss cottage gardens at Shuttleworth it’s still my favourite place to escape from everyday life. Whatever time of year you go the gardens always look different with beautiful displays of flowers and shrubs. It’s also extremely peaceful, with only the sound of the wild life and the odd vintage aeroplane flying over, I can spend hours there and totally get lost in my own thoughts.

We’ve been a few times this month for what was initially a place to take photos for an outfit post, but ended up taking a picnic and having a walk round the beautiful gardens. Naturally, we finished up in the cafe at the end of the day and enjoyed the most delicious piece of Victoria Sponge and a large mug of coffee.

Chatty Post

Chatty Post

Chatty Post

At the beginning of the month we went to Biggleswade Retail Park where there are a lot of large high street stores like H&M and River Island. One of my favourite places to shop for a bargain is TK Maxx and I managed to pick up quite a few items on this trip. I couldn’t resist this gorgeous velvet quilted cross body bag by Marc B, it was reduced from £45 down to £20, considering it’s size it actually fits so much in and it goes with a lot of my outfits. I also came home with a pair of peachy pink wide leg trousers which had been reduced down to £10, I don’t normally wear trousers but these will look cute with so many of my lace summer tops and a pair of strappy heels. If you’re anything like me then you’ll not be able to go in TK Maxx without checking out the  beauty section. I was like a child in a sweet shop, especially when I saw this Too Faced lip gloss for £3 and Stilla Lip and cheek palette for £4, luckily they hadn’t been opened to use as testers. Next I popped into Matalan to check out their nightwear section as I was in need of some new summer pyjamas. I found this cute set with a tassled edge and flammingo print on the shorts for £10. I like to size up with my nightwear as I hate being restricted when I’m in bed. No surprise that we had to stop in at Costa for a caffeine fix, shopping is a physical workout, you know.

Another place I love to escape to is  Jordan’s Mill, again there are beautiful gardens and a woodland area which is so peaceful, we don’t even get a mobile signal meaning I can totally switch off. Adrian and I take the long walk all the way past the river and farmer’s fields. It’s extremely over grown but great fun trying to duck under the over hanging branches and work our way through the long grass.  And yes,we did stop in at the riverside cafe for coffee and cake.

Chatty Post

I couldn’t resist showing you these beauties which I won as part of a beauty competition which was run by Tessa Holly over on Instagram. The Princess Powders Eyeshadow palette from Technic has 4 gorgeous, sparkly highlighting colours, perfect for a glowy summer day or evening look. I wore the shade Cosmic Cotton Candy in my recent makeup post and it looked absolutely stunning. I wasn’t sure whether to eat or use the Miss Patisserie Vanilla Bath Melt as it smells absolutely divine. It looks so realistic I want to keep it forever.

Chatty Post

There have been two recent weddings, one I actually went to and the other I blooming well wish I had. My friend Emily got married and talk about fairy tale princess, she looked absolutely beautiful. The service was so lovely and yes I cried when she said her vows. I shared my outfit and a few snipets on my Instagram stories, so hopefully you will have seen them. I felt well and truly honoured to have been invited to share in their special day.

And how could I forget to mention the Royal Wedding and yes I am not ashamed to say I am slightly obsessed with Megan Markle, or The Duchess of Sussex as she is officially titled as now. On the day we had our own mini Royal wedding Party with cakes and nibbles. A few close friends came round to join in the fun so of course I had to dress for the occasion and wear my crown. I’d even painted my nails in the shade Party At The Palace* by Leighton Denny, which is a gorgeous sparkly purple shade and very regal indeed.

Chatty Post

Last but not least, I live in the beautiful little market town, Hitchin, and my friend Izzy had come to stay with her parents for a few days. It was a great chance for us to meet up for lunch and have a good catch up. She works in London so we don’t often get to see other but she had some very exciting news to tell me. She’s expecting her second baby in December and I couldn’t be more happy for her. After lunch we took a walk by the  river and treated ourselves to some flowers, roses and peonies are my favourites (in case my husband ever reads this!)

Hope you enjoyed seeing the highlights from this last month. I can’t wait until my holiday to Norfolk, I’ve already started packing. What have you been up to recently?

*PR Sample

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