Hitchin Lavender

A few weeks back Adrian and I spent the most relaxing afternoon at Hitchin Lavender. The last time we visited was back in 2014 and considering I only live a short distance away I can’t believe this is only the second time I’ve been. This year we made a conscious effort to go and make the most of the beautiful flowers over the last few weeks of summer.

I’ve never been one to just pack a bag and go anywhere on the spur of the moment, I’m the kind of person who needs to both mentally and physically prepare for an outing, even if it is just down the road. Since I started my blog I won’t relax until I’ve got the photos I’m after. The visit to Hitchin Lavender was going to be more of a challenge than normal. I’d seen everyone’s gorgeous photos pop up all over Instagram,  I began wondering how on earth I was going to get any kind of content without having a bench to sit on and not include my wheelchair. Thanks to my very kind husband and an old picnic rug I think we managed quite well.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

I’ve been to a couple of lavender farms before but none quite as large and beautiful as the one in Hitchin. There are around 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. I had forgotten the amazing smell that hits you the moment you arrive, then you are immediately greeted by a sea of purple as the views from inside are quite simply stunning. The farm is well equipped for all visitors, including a gorgeous cafe and gift shop, which I obviously had to pop in before we left.

I hadn’t realised how many other bloggers came to visit Hitchin Lavender, there was a number of fashion bloggers taking photos for their Instagram and parent bloggers taking photos of their little ones collecting lavender. I was determined to get my shots too, however difficult it was.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

It was a boiling hot day when we visited the lavender farms and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to stay. I’ve been taking a white umberella out with me to use as a parasol, I’m sure people wonder what on earth I’m doing holding a brolly in the middle of a heatwave but it’s one way of keeping the midday sun from directly beating down on me. There are a couple of shaded seating areas right near the entrance, on the day we came it was full up with people sheltering from the heat, but it is something to bare in mind if you are planning to visit.

The first place we headed for was of course the rows of lavender, after all that’s what we came for. The entrance fee to Hitchin lavender costs £6 for each adult (£4 for wheelchair users) and £3 for a child, the price includes a brown paper bag which you can fill with lavender cuttings using a pair of scissors you’re loaned for your visit. We collected two bags full of gorgeous lavender and it’s now in a vase in my bedroom, the smell is absolutely incredible. Once it’s dried out I plan on making little lavender bags to go in my wardrobes and chest of drawers. I still have a bowl of potpourri in my living room from lavender collected on my last visit and it still smells lovely.

The farm is wheelchair accessible, however the ground can be a little uneven in places but you are in the middle of a field. We were both laughing ay how I was bouncing around in my wheelchair, that’s just our sense of humour, life’s too short for taking everything seriously and I want to make the most of every moment while I can. I’d taken a large bag with me and made sure to pack sun cream, my large flask of cold water and a few other essentials.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

The view of the lavender and sunflower fields were absolutely stunning. Adrian pushed me up the slight hill to where it was a bit quieter. Being the gentleman that he is, he laid the rug down amongst the lavender and lifted me down onto the ground. These are the kind of experiences I would never be able to enjoy without him and not a day goes past when I take him for granted.

It felt wonderful to be rolling around amongst the lavender, I felt totally free. There are more than one type of lavender and you can see all the different colours as well as some wild flowers. We took loads of photos and, let’s face it, the backdrop is pretty amazing. I think we both enjoyed a little time relaxing for a while, the farm was very busy yet still peaceful at the same time. Despite the heat we headed up to the field of sunflowers, however the ground was much more difficult to get across so Adrian cut me two beautiful sunflowers to take home (which you are also allowed to pick.) For about a week afterwards they were in a vase on my desk and made me smile every time I saw them. It’s always the simple pleasures in life that seem the best.

Hitchin Lavender

Adrian and I both needed a sugar boost before we went onto the next part of the fields, I had to sample a slice of one of the delicious cakes in the cafe. I was really impressed with the choice there was, not going for my normal chunk of chocolate cake, I sampled the passion fruit sponge instead and it was rather yummy. We both sat outside the cafe under a parasol and enjoyed the views, it was too lovely to sit indoors even on a boiling hot day. It really did feel lovely being with nature, even the bees didn’t bother me too much, just be careful if you are planning on walking amongst the lavender. You can literally hear the buzzing where ever you go.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender is such a dreamy place to visit and close to both London and Cambridge. It’s open later in the evenings on certain days, how amazing would it be to watch the sunset over the beautiful fields of lavender. Can you imaging how amazing the photos would be? Well there’s always next year.

It really was the perfect summer’s afternoon collecting flowers from Hitchin Lavender. we felt so relaxed when we got home, not sure if it was from the gorgeous fragrance or that we’d both switched off from everyday life. I recommend this place to anyone planning a visit over the summer. On certain days throughout the year there are workshops, events and cinema nights, so you really do have a little bit of everything while you’re there.

Have you been to Hitchin Lavender or another farm just like this one? Are you planning on visiting one next year?

Top: Izabel

Broderie Anglaise Culottes: Topshop

Shoes: River Island

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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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Norvell Sunless Tanning

I’m not one for laying around in the sun to get that holiday look so I love a good fake tanning lotion. Summer is just around the corner and my pretty short sleeve dresses will be getting an airing. There are so many tanning lotions on the market now it’s hard to know which one to use, the last thing I want is to have an orange glow or streaks down my limbs.

Too much sun exposure can cause real damage to your skin, UV rays can increase signs of ageing, discoloration and loss of elasticity, which is why I’d rather use a fake tan to achieve a gorgeous summer glow.

Norvell have designed a range of sunless tanning products, which have added skincare benefits and DHA to maximise results for a more natural tan. They are perfect to achieve a bronzed look without any orange tones or streaks, and not a whiff of a nasty smell.

Norvell Sunlees Colour Extender

Venetian Sunless Color Extender* is a rich moisturiser mixed with an effective amount of DHA, it’s buildable formula gradually develops intensity over multiple applications, perfectly prolonging your tan.

I absolutely love this stuff, I began by applying the Colour Extender every night for about two weeks and couldn’t have been happier with the beautiful, natural sunkissed look it gave my skin. It took a few days to build up a colour at first as I’m really pale and I started off using this on it’s own. I’ve tried gradual tanning products before where I’ve ended up with orange patches, my skin tone looks “fake” and the texture feels drier than ever. This one has a  violet and brown tone formula to counteract any orange, and it doesn’t dry my skin out at all .

Then I used my normal self tan and applied the Venetian Sunless Colour Extender every evening. After about 3 hours my colour started to deepen, my skin looked really bronzed, you could almost believe I’d jetted off to the Maldives (I wish!). It made my self tanning product last for about a week longer than normal before I needed to reapply.

This is a beauty must. No orange patches, streaks and no marks left on the bed sheets. It’s so easy to apply using a small amount on a tanning mit and it blends in evenly. It’s not only moisturising but it’s packed with vitamins and anti ageing ingredients such as beetroot, tomato and cranberry. For me, the Sunless Colour Extender is literally an all round winner.

Norvell Sunless Tanning

Throughout the summer I usually apply a tinted moisteriser and loads of bronzer to give my face a sun kissed look. I know some people apply their self tan to their face as well, something I’ve never done.

Norvell Venetian 4 Faces* is the perfect answer for a gorgeous summer glow that will match the rest of my tan. It’s a self tanning spray that made my complextion look as if I’d spent all day on the beach. It couldn’t be easier  Spritz some onto a makeup sponge then gently apply to your face and neck, carefully blending it into hair line. This one also doesn’t leave you with orange patches or streaks, just a gorgeous a deep sun-kissed colour. It’s so gentle and is designed especially for the delicate skin on your face. It’s Non-Comedogenic, so it won’t clog up your pores, and it’s enriched with natural enzymes to help repair weak dehydrated skin.  I’m sure this is the one product that has been missing from my life and will definitely be buying another bottle when this one runs out, just what I need for an all year round glow.

Norvell Sunless tanning products do not contain SPF, so you will have to remember to apply your usual sun cream before going outside. They are Cruelty Free, Paraben Free and 100% Vegan.

6 Tips For Applying Self Tan

  1. Shave your body in the morning (don’t apply tan directly after)
  2. Exfoliate well, using a gentle body scrub and exfoliating mitts
  3. Moisturise well, concentrating on areas like elbows, knees and ankles
  4. Use a well lit area
  5. Apply the tan using a tanning mitt (I apply mine before bed so it develops over night and never directly after moisturising)
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards

All that’s left to say is Happy tanning!

Do you prefer self tanning or are you one for basking in the sun to get your golden glow?

* These products have been sent for the purpose of a review, all photos and opinions are my own.

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I’ve been wanting to visit Brighton for as long as I can remember, but somehow never made it there. A few months ago my blogging friend Holly invited me down for the day and of course I jumped at the chance, so we arranged a date and counted down the days until we met each other for the first time.

I got up ridiculously early, like a child on Christmas morning, as I was both excited and nervous to be going somewhere and meeting someone new. Although Holly and I had been chatting on line for about a year and we had sent insta stories to each other, we hadn’t actually seen each other face to face. We decided to meet at the Railway Station as it was a busy public place, just to be on the safe side, but when Holly arrived we clicked instantly and we got on so well, it felt as though we had been friends for years.

Holly showed me around all the exciting places that until then I had only seen on the internet. One place I had wanted to see was Brighton Pier, so we had a wander round, stopping to look at all the stalls and amusements, not just once but twice, only the second time we decided to have an ice cream as it wouldn’t have been a trip to the seaside without one! I had to guard my ice cream from the huge seagulls, they weren’t going to take this beauty from me!

Holly and I explored round some of the old streets of Brighton, she was my guide for the day and pointed out all the exciting, tourist places. We stopped to look in  a few little gift shops and one of my favourites was Sass & Belle, which you may have already seen on Instagram. I bought myself a mug with a gold letter S on the front and Holly very kindly treated me to a pretty pink and white trinket dish as a special reminder of our day together. There were so many cute bits that I’d fallen in love with, I mean just look at the pink flamingo, but sadly I couldn’t have everything.

We were both in need of caffeine and sugar, so Holly and I stopped at a quaint cafe near the Pavilion gardens where I had the most incredible piece of carrot cake. I was so excited to eat it that I completely forgot to take a photo!

We then took a walk around the beautiful gardens, stopping to look at the Pavilion, the history of this place is absolutely fascinating and it’s such a stunning building that I had to take a few photos. Unfortunately it was a really cloudy day until much later on in the day when it eventually turned into a gorgeous hot summer’s evening.

Brighton is honestly one of the prettiest cities I’ve been to with so many beautiful views, a day really isn’t long enough to see everything and visit all the amazing places, I really would like to go back there. Parking is an absolute nightmare, next time I go I think it will be much easier to take the train as the station is right in the city centre and only a short walk from the sea front.

I hardly wore any makeup but my day trip to Brighton did give me a chance to try out these rose gold sunglasses, which are a slightly different style to ones I normally wear.

It was wonderful to finally meet Holly, she is so lovely and we had the most amazing day together. We talked about everything from blogging to life in general, next time I see her I won’t feel half as anxious before hand.

Where is your favourite seaside town?

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My feet are the one area of my body that I seem to neglect the most. After months of wearing thick tights and boots I wanted my feet to be in better condition for wearing my new  sandals* from Vionic. They were definitely in need of little pampering. With Summer just around the corner I thought I’d share my tips on how to get your feet ready for the warmer months with my At Home Pedicure.

Foot Scrub

I’ll start off by using Bare Foot Peppermint and Plum Foot Scrub to help get rid of  any dry flaky skin, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want on show in your summer sandals. This one smells divine!

Foot Soak

I’ve been using a foot pack from Beautifully Scrumptious, they fit over your feet like a pair of socks. They are enriched with Tea Tree, Peppermint and Vitamin E to help dry, rough skin and cracked heels. It looks a bit strange at first sitting there for 20 minutes with a foot pack on, but believe me it feels amazing.

Moisturise

I use a deep moisturiser, like Bare Foot Lavender and Mint Foot Cream, to give intense hydration for extremely dry legs and feet, it is enriched with Tea Tree Oil to help soothe tired, aching feet, whilst the smell of Lavender will help your whole body feel relaxed.

File and Polish

I can’t stand wearing open toe sandals without having my nails painted, so the final step for getting my feet Summer ready is to give my nails a quick file to give them a nice shape and paint them in my favourite nail polish, at the moment I’m wearing a peach shade called Bohemian Gypsy by Itsy Nails, followed by a top coat to make my nail colour last a little longer. I’ve also been putting on a cuticle oil just before I go to bed.

 

Having wide feet I’ve always had trouble finding summer sandals that not only fit and feel comfortable, but that look stylish with any outfit. These faux leather, black strappy sandals* from Vionic are good quality sandals and fit my feet perfectly, they are so comfortable it actually feels like I’m wearing slippers. These summer sandals look feminine enough to be worn with my summer dresses or casual jeans.

 

Years of wearing high heels and ill fitting shoes haven’t done my feet any good at all, it wasn’t until I had my feet properly measured last year that I discovered I was a size smaller than the shoes I had been wearing, just because I had wide feet. I searched around for a pair of wide fitting summer sandals but most of them were unflattering, so you can imagine my delight when I tried on these sandals* from Vionic for the very first time. I instantly fell in love with them.

They have been designed with the help of a Podiatrist. the foot bed is shaped so it will hold your foot nicely in place so they wont slip about. It also helps prevent pains in your feet, knees and back The straps have a velcro fastening meaning I was able to fit them to just the right size around my ankle without any pinching. These sandals are lightweight so they won’t tire your legs out but still give your feet the support they need. They are the kind of footwear you need if you’re going to be on your feet all day, great for long walks in the woods or along the beach.

I’ve already worn my sandals so many times, they looked beautiful with a knee length floral dress and my denim jacket when I popped into town on a shopping trip with the girls, I had quite a few compliments from my friends asking me where they were from. They are so adorable that I’ve worn them with a long maxi dress when I went to my neighbours garden party and still looked pretty when I styled them with my jeans and a stripy t-shirt for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

They look fabulous with any summer outfit, so I know what sandals I’ll be wearing on my day trip to Brighton in a few months time!

What are your go to shoes during the summer months?

Items marked with a * have been gifted for a PR review

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