Words for the Weekend…

When life gives you lemons…..get gin!

 

Here are some things that I will be doing this weekend….

  • Dressing up like a sailor and laughing with my beautiful friends.
  • Continuing to shake my bum like a crazy person to this song.
  • Eating garlic broccoli (which is a recent discovery in my house and we are OBSESSED.)
  • Enjoying actually being at home on a Saturday and pottering to my heart’s content.
  • Consuming the second Divergent book as Ben is ahead of me and is desperate to talk to me about it!
  • Focusing on calming my “messy’ mind and re-balancing after some pretty hectic weeks at work.
  • Bringing back my Ten Daily Mini Habits

I hope you guys have something fun/relaxing/awesome planned!

Big Friday Love,

Laura

xoxo

 

Exploring…North Devon

valley of the rocks, nr lynton

For our second wedding anniversary we went away for the weekend to North Devon. We stayed in Combe Martin, in a lovely B&B called La Gallerie, which I would thoroughly recommend. Tracey and John were such friendly people and Tracey makes a mean Eggy Bread with Cream, Strawberries and Balsamic Glaze for breakfast…yum.

We stopped off at Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum on the way there. It was a lovely little NT site, with beautiful gardens, sadly we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked, or done the 2 mile walk around the grounds as it was absolutely tipping it down with rain. We did manage to find a short break though for a walk through the walled garden and kitchen garden (Ben and I absolutely love a kitchen garden and everytime we think we should start our own veg patch!). We then went over to Combe Martin (which is really really long) and in the evening headed over to Ilfracombe to take a look and eat unlimited tapas at a nice little restaurant called Terrace Tapas, the service here was excellent and the food very nice! Then we headed over to see Damien Hirst’s ‘Verity‘ statue in the harbour which is pretty controversial (well it is Damien Hirst) but I liked it. Other than these though, we weren’t overly impressed with Ilfracombe.

anniversary - on the beach at woolacombe

arlington court walled garden

The following day we got up nice and early and set off for Croyde, which, despite being a bit grey and grizzly, was teeming with surfers the day we were there. We decided to walk over Baggy Point, on this walk which was lovely and not too difficult. The views over the Headland and to Woolacombe were lovely.

 

baggy point markerAt the headland of Baggy PointDry Stone Wall at Baggy Point

When we got back to Croyde, I had a quick coffee stop in a lovely little tea rooms and then later that day, we also headed to Woolacombe and had a mooch about on the beach, then drove to a pretty little village called Berrynarbor to see what was there.

In the evening we decided to walk down to the beach at Combe Martin from our B&B, and found many many charming little rock pools which kids could spend hours looking in, there were also caves to be discovered and rocks to scramble across. The light was beautiful, I love the shot below of it shining off the rocks. We thought it would be rude not to get Fish and Chips and eat them on the beach, so did just that. I ate possibly the best fish and chips I’ve had in a very long time, from the Black and White Chip Shop. If you visit it is highly recommended.

Caves at Combe MartinSunlight on the rocks at Combe Martin

On our final day, we decided we would head towards Exmoor (as it was on the way home anyway) and stopped off in Lynton and Lynmouth first. These are very pretty towns, one at the top of a hill and one at the bottom. It is EXTREMELY steep and there is a funicular train that can take you between the two, but as we were there so early and had other things in mind we didn’t do it this time. We hill was so steep though that we had to stop at the bottom as our brakes were smelling rather hot!!

Instead, we headed to the Valley of the Rock just outside of Lynton and we loved it! It was so beautiful, and it didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day. We scrambled up onto the tor/big pile of rocks and took some beautiful pictures of the coast. I couldn’t get over how blue and turquoise everything was.

View from the top of Valley of the RocksBlue sky and turquoise seaValley of the RocksUs at Valley of the RocksCoastal view from Valley of the Rocks

From there, we headed up over Exmoor and stopped to admire the views and the wonderful purple heather fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. We stopped off for lunch in Porlock (and again gave our brakes a rest) and then drove towards Minehead and back into Somerset.

Heather on ExmoorView from Exmoor

In our second National Trust visit of the weekend, we went to Dunster Castle, which was amazing. It had loads to do including extensive gardens, outbuildings, cellars and of course the castle itself, plus there’s lovely places for a picnic and lots of space to run around. If you are ever down this way, definitely add this to your list.

Dunster CastleTropical trees at Dunster CastleDunster Castle River Gardens nr the WatermillRedwoods at Dunster CastleView from Dunster Castle

So that was it, our whistlestop tour of North Devon. If you’re thinking of a visit and would like any more info, just give me a shout and I’d be happy to pass on more details.

Where have you been away recently? I love a mini-break, it’s a great way to refresh and reset that default mode!

 

Big, Staycation, Love,

Laura

xoxox

 

Spotted! Preppy Backpacks

I should LOVE bags, bags of every shape, size and colour. I get that they can lift an outfit and change up an outfit and are pretty and girly and stroke-able and create envy in fellow bag lovers.

But.

The problem is, I have weak, dodgy shoulders and carrying anything that isn’t properly on both shoulders causes pain, and I’d rather avoid pain. So goodbye to one shoulder, massive, impratical but oh so lovely looking bags and hello to boring old rucksacks. ugh.

So I was as pleased as a clam (what does that even mean?) when “fashion backpacks/rucksacks” starting appearing on the shelves, gone were the days of sports rucksacks (although don’t get me wrong, these are infinitely better if you are carrying really heavy loads like baby changing bumpf or trekking) and hello pretty preppy backpacks! Think fresh, back to school, with heaps of enthusiasm whilst carrying your lovely new pencils and notepads…

These are some of my favourites…

Herschel Classic Backpack in Cobalt Polka Dot

image1xlOk, it’s Herschel, but for a Herschel bag it isn’t (too) expensive at £45.  And it really hits that back to school vibe on the head and Herschel is such a cool brand. And it has spots! I love spots!

ASOS Tan Leather-Look with Double Buckle Detail

image1xl(2)I really like to look of this one, as it’s smart enough to use at work and still chunky and practical enough to carry all my bits and bobs. Cute.

Accessorize Colour Block Backpack

Capture1

Sticking with the schoolroom-chic, I really like the two-tone tan colour of this one. The straps look a little on the thin side for my liking, but for short bursts this would be fab.

 

Of course, in a way these are a bit redundant as my husband is such a gent and generally carries my bag whenever I’m with him. (I know I’m lucky) but for the times I step out on my own, I’d like to do it with one of these!

Which do you like? Are you a bag person? Can you wear pretty shoulder bags unlike me or do you have dodgy shoulders too?

 

Big, Preppy, Love

Laura

xoxo

Two…

wedding1

This weekend is our second wedding anniversary.

Two years since this.

Two years since the best day.

Two years since that face-splitting grin.

***

I don’t know what our future holds, I don’t know what else there is to learn, I don’t know what tough times or amazing times, or difficult times or happy times lay ahead of us, but what I do know is…

I know why double sinks are the dream.

I know what it’s like to spontaneously burst into a fit of giggles together for no reason and not be able to stop.

I know what it’s like to hear/see something and already know to the word, the joke he’s about to say about it. (so predictable!)

I know why couples argue in IKEA.

I know what it’s like to hear something and want to tell him about it so much that you have to call or text or email right that very second so you don’t forget.

I know what it’s like to still be surprised at his kindness and thoughtfulness.

I know what it’s like to still be frustrated about things he does that I can’t change.

I know what it’s like to still feel loved, no matter how disgusting I look or feel.

I know I want him to stick around with me.

I know what it’s like to marry the one you love.

I know what it’s like to still have that face-splitting grin.

531117_10151142423078297_236839954_n

***

I talk about our relationship a bit on this blog and as a result it would appear that we are this super happy, cute and wonderful couple. And we are, most of the time.

But.

We’re not all of the time. And I would never want anyone to think that. Because it’s not real. I get grumpy and lazy, he gets unsociable and sullen. We argue, about silly things like toilet-roll usage and putting rubbish in the bin – and about more important stuff – money, friends, family, values. However, the arguments are nearly always resolved quickly and we apologise to each other when we’re wrong. We both feel like we’re on the same team, we trust each other, we encourage each other to grow and we try (some times more easily than others) to accept each others flaws. The other day I was chatting to a friend about relationships and said something off the cuff like “oh relationships are so complicated” and then immediately realised, our relationship isn’t complicated. It isn’t perfect either, but it just feels right.

Ben, on our wedding day I made you a promise, to never to think that we are perfect, invincible, or that we know it all. I swore to keep trying, and keep learning, and keep adventuring with you, in order to make our marriage work. I promised, above everything, that I will always have your back, that I will always be your biggest fan, that I will always put your name down on the “Who to Contact In Case of Emergency” form. I promised that I will try my very best to make this marriage work, to make it flourish and make it the best decision of our lives.

Ben, thank you for choosing me. I love you.

wed10

***

You can read all about our wedding here and because I’ll take any excuse to show it off, here is our wedding highlight video made by my very talented brother!

***

Big, soppy wedding, love,

Laura

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

A Recap…

Today my little corner of the internet turns 1! It was exactly one year ago, that I started this thing and boy has that year flown! For everyone that has read, commented or shared anything…THANK YOU. You are awesome.

You can view my first post here.

Since then I’ve posted 76 times, discussed our wedding, waffles, Dr Seuss, romance and words (among many other things!) and although I’m not always the best at posting regularly, I enjoy it when I do and feel like I’ve settled into something manageable for me.

My most popular post of the year was the letter I wrote to my 16-year old self, so thank you for reading it.

It’s funny, having a blog can often feel quite self-indulgent but what I continue to tell myself is, you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. Nobody is forcing you. If checking out cat videos on YouTube is more your thing, then do it, fill your boots (everyone loves a cat video!). Ultimately, I write this for myself, I like to write stuff down, it gives me the chance to talk freely about whatever I want to, what is in my head and if you want to read it too, then high five! If you don’t that’s cool too. Just move along.

So to celebrate this little milestone, I’m handing out some virtual cake, blowing out some virtual candles and sharing one of my favourite videos.

I’ve been a fan of this little guy for a while, but wanted to save posting his videos for a special occasion, have you seen his stuff? He’s pretty YouTube famous and has his own cult following. It’s so hard to pick which one his videos is my favourite and gives you the best introduction, so I’ve plumped with starting at the very beginning (of life) with a Letter to a person on their first day here. (Love, Love, Love!)

A couple of my other most favourites includes An Open Letter to Moms (so blimmin’ awesome) and A Pep Talk – but really they are all good. Please go see for yourself.

 

So there you go, one year in. What was your favourite post?

If you’re thinking about giving me a present, all I want is a lovely comment from you! (or an email, or a tweet!).

 

Big, Let’s Dance, Love

Laura

xoxo

 

Beauty Buys…

There is nothing better than sharing your best buys, for a bit of an insider tips, and for me this is especially true when it comes to beauty buys. There are so many products out there, that I have no idea where to start and what to buy this month that will turn me into a glowing, shiny, healthy, moisturised, plump, pleasantly smelling version of myself (delete as appropriate). So with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of my recent beauty buys, in the hopes that it may come in useful. (these are all products that I genuinely use and pay for myself and is not sponsored in anyway, although if any companies want to send me products to review then that’s cool!)

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Hot Cloth Cleanser

After seemingly everyone in the world banging on about this stuff and assuring me it was their “wonder product” I finally caved and bought myself some. I already used No. 7’s hot cloth cleanser on and off so was used to the whole routine, but weirdly have found Liz Earle to be even easier to use, I think it’s because it doesn’t feel as heavy so therefore doesn’t feel like it needs as much scrubbing. This stuff also smells really nice and is full of yummy ingredients like cocoa butter, eucalyptus and camomile and if I close my eyes I could just about be in a spa. It removes most of my normal make up with ease, although since I wear liquid eyeliner daily, can sometimes need a bit of help and doesn’t leave it dry either, although I have noticed that occasionally my cheeks looks quite red afterwards which I’ve yet to determine is because of the cream or the really hot water I use. For me, it’s a little slice of loveliness and seems to be worth the slightly higher price tag as it actually makes me want to wash my face rather than wipe a cleansing wipe over it before I fall into bed. Bonus when you order it direct they send you 2 free muslin cloths (which are thicker and bigger than others I’ve used) and there’s always offers on that you can take advantage of. I think this one might become a permanent fixture.

Maybelline Baby Lips

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm

I’d also seems some reviews about this online and then promptly completely forgot about it, that is, until I saw it in Boots and for £1.99 thought I’d might as well give it a go. You know what? It’s brilliant, really rich and smooth and feels much more luxe than it’s price tag would suggest. With an SPF of 20, it keeps lips baby-soft for hours, the bright yellow packaging is a cheery addition to your make-up bags and, at under three quid, it’s a blimmin’ beauty bargain.

Coconut Oil

Boots Coconut Oil

Is there anything this product can’t do? I’ve been using it as eye-make up remover and for the dry patches on my elbows, but I’ve heard it’s great as a hair conditioner, cuticle moisturiser and for dry feet. And it smells amazing too, you’ll be good enough to eat.

Avon Advanced Techniques Serum

Avon Advanced Techniques Dry Ends Serum

My hair is a bit of a law unto itself and as such any product that helps tame my mane is only going to be a good thing. I tried this serum as it was on offer and it’s not too greasy but has enough hold to stop those darn flyaways for a while (current gale force winds excluded) and it smells like watermelon too. So much so I keep smelling my own hair and I’m beginning to get some funny looks.

Lush Eau Roma Toner Water

I’ve also stocked up on Lush’s Eau Roma Toning Water as it is amazing itself in a bottle. It’s like a pre-prepared aromatherapy boost with rose and lavender water and with all this sticky hot weather, I like to spritz a bit straight over my face at the end of a long dusty walk home. I also use lots of other Lush products which you can read about here.

What are your recent beauty buys? I need something to spend my Advantage Points on!

(also, sorry for the shocking images this week!)

Big, Soft Skin, Love

Laura

xoxo

 

Sky Lantern

It’s happened, what you have all been waiting for, the back of my head has debuted in it’s first music video!

You might remember me mentioning that I was going on a balloon ride as part of the filming for a music video, and here is the result!

So check out the beautiful video made for Transition’s track, Sky Lantern (which is a lovely song largely in Chinese), spot some Bristol landmarks (wow, this city is splendid) and allow me to marvel at how lucky I am to have such a beautiful way to remember a magical balloon ride early one July morning.

Also, show Transition some love by visiting their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/transitiontw

Big, Chinese Harp, Love

Laura

xoxo

Say What?

Words

quote from J.K. Rowling (Dumbledore)

I like words.

In fact words are some of my favourite things, along with scarves, houmous, maps and that moment when you wake up and realise it’s saturday (of course).

Some of my old favourites (and their meanings) are;

 

Serendipity (The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way, i.e. a happy coincidence)

Hippopotamus (A large thick-skinned semiaquatic African mammal, with massive jaws and large tusks)

Bubble – (A thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or another gas)

Bookshop – (A shop where books are sold).…well. duh.

 

I just love the way they sounds when you say it. I like what they represent. It makes me happy. But these have been my go-to favourite words for over 10 years now, and it’s time to move on, so I’ve recently made it my mission to try and learn and appreciate some new words. (This may seem like a frivolous waste of my time, but I’m going to pretend it’s self-improvement). ahem.

 

So far, these ones have caught my eye. Some are because of their wonderful onomatopoeia (they sounds like they mean), some for their meaning and some just because they are fun to say!

 

Aficionado (A person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime)

Agog (Very eager or curious to hear or see something)

Ardent (Very enthusiastic or passionate)

Bungalow (A low house having only one storey)

Cacophany (A harsh discordant mixture of sounds)

Dalliance (A period of brief or casual involvement with something)

Effervescent (Vivacious and enthusiastic, Bubbly)

Efflorescent (Flowering, the opening of buds or a bloom)

Elixir (A magical or medicinal potion)

Epiphany (A moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation)

Exuberant (Full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness)

Halcyon (Happy, sunny, care-free)

Hankering (A strong desire to have or do something)

Jubilation (A feeling of great happiness and triumph)

Lagoon (A stretch of salt water separated from the sea by a low sandbank or coral reef)

Pavonine (Of or like a peacock)

Petrichor (The smell of earth after rain)

Ripple (A small, circular wave emanating from a central point)

Snuggery (A cosy or comfortable place)

Soupçon (A very small quantity of something)

Sumptuous (Splendid and expensive-looking)

Tesselate (Cover a surface by repeated use of a single shape, without gaps or overlapping)

Tranquil (Free from disturbance; calm)

I’m going to try and use different words when describing things (although without sounding like I’m just making stuff up hopefully). So therefore, I hope you all have a effervescent weekend filled with a plethora of jubilation. (and a soupçon of snuggery).

Big, fancy words, Love

Laura

xoxo

 

 

 

Link Love…

Happy Friday yet again everyone!

I can’t quite believe it’s been a week since this… (I’m in the Balloon in the picture)

photo 2

But onwards we must tread. This week these are some of the things across the web that have caught my eye..

1. I thought this look at global beauty ideals through photoshop was really interesting.

2. I’m currently trying to up my daily water in take and have found having a jug on my desk is really helping, but this is another good tip.

3. Touching and potentially genius way story in which a password can change your life.

4. History in colour

5.  I’m looking for ideas to cook with Quinoa and this Garlic Mushroom recipe looks particularly yummy.

6. Wanderlust and travel inspiration for another big trip (I highly recommend Iceland!)

7. This song just reminds me of summer days and is perfect for the balmy weather.

8. Talking of balmy weather, when you are feeling a little warm today, spare a thought for these people.

9. Reading about James made me smile

10. Poor sloths..made me laugh