26 February 2016

Feb Faves

I'm turning into a make-up junkie! aaargh! I couldn't resist these new balm and blush pots from Maybelline when I spotted them in Superdrug.

I think I have mentioned it a few times on this blog but I am MOST certainly a stationery junkie.  My friend recently introduced me to Busy B and I may have bought a few bits... it was impossible to resist...

I'm loving the first signs of spring sprouting up all over the place. I feel compelled to photograph every bunch of snowdrops or crocuses I come across, not just me right?

A food fave this month were these macarons from actual Paris! My lovely sister brought them back from her trip as a present for me. I practically inhaled them in one sitting, they were just melt in your mouth good!

So I may have binged watched this new little series called Love on Netflix in two days, but it is SO good! Love it, haha! Do check it out of you want something nice to watch.  

Also Girls back this month, YES!
Another lovely fave this month is my new cushion. Look at that fabric, yes it is the Cath Kidston robot fabric! My sister made a pillow case into a cushion for me, complete with spotty fabric on the back and a pom pom edging. It now sits proudly on my bed.

Fave blogs/vlogs this month...

Pixiwoo - High Street V's High End
This vid was super interesting, she did half her face high street and half high end and wore all day! It matched really well! But basically the moral of the story the high street was just as good with staying power. I wil stick to my high street make-up then, wuhu!

FleurDeVlog - Feb Vlog
Just the entire channel! Fleur has been vlogging this month and I LOVE it, I adore Fleur's vlogs, her life is so glamarous and exciting, but she is super lovely too.

A Beautiful Mess - Sister Style: Age Appropriate Clothing
I adore Elsie's outfit in this post, bold stripes, yeah! They address age appropriate clothing in this post, and basically conclude, wear what you want at any age! Phew.... I mostly dress like a 5 year old so if Elsie says it's ok then I'm alright! lol.

Forever Amber - Good old days of blogging
I do love a good blog post that tackles the subject of blogging and Amber is fab at this. This post is interesting, discussing was blogging better in the good old days? I feel like an 'old skool' blogger sometimes having done it for only 4 years... but its exciting that blogging is moving forward, and you can take from it what you want. 

What have you been loving this February?

19 February 2016

Biking to Pooley Bridge

I've been blogging about my weekend away in a cottage in the Lakes, you can see the cottage here and our first day biking adventure here.

So the next morning, we looked out of the window and a light dusting of snow had changed the landscape into a winter wonderland. I snapped all the same views over again, this time in white! hehe.

Standard no make up selfies!

Someone came to visit us during the night! I think these must be bunny prints! aw.

So I didn't sleep massively well the previous night after the epic hill we had to push the bikes up the day before. My whole body was aching, but we had planned a weekend of biking and I really badly wanted to bike to Pooley Bridge, so I got over it and got back on the bike...

So in December in Cumbria we had rather a lot of rain and a lot of flooding, one of the major casualties in Cumbria of the floods was the beautiful bridge at the village of Pooley Bridge which is a popular tourist spot on Ullswater. We have visited a few times before and love it.

We obviously knew that the bridge was down but figured we could try and get to Pooley Bridge anyway.  The village is kind of cut off without its bridge! But it is good to do your bit for tourism in the area....

So after some internet research we discovered there was a footbridge a bit further up the river so set out to find it. Eeek, it was a bit rickety... HOW did this spindly little thing survive when the centuries old massive stone structure of Pooley Bridge collapsed? Anywho, we got across, (very fast! it rocked quite a lot whilst walking, yikes!).

So our options at the other side of the bridge were a bridleway to a little village 1/2 mile away then roads down to Pooley Bridge or a 1 1/4 mile footpath. Biking is of course illegal on footpaths so we picked the bridleway so we could bike it.  Or should I say Mark picked the bridleway! We didn't bike it because yeah... ankle deep mud! lol! (I wasn't lolling much after nearly loosing trainers many times and being stared at by fiendish looking cows!)

Dam it, our plans to visit Granny Dowbekin's tearoom are probably scuppered now... Yes they let in walkers and dogs but this much mud is probably taking the P***!? This is just my feet, I didn't get evidence of the bike!

I lol'd at this sign on the way into the village! hehe. At least the locals have a sense of humour about the whole thing!

After dunking our bikes and wading into the freezing cold Ullswater to clean mud off feet and legs Mark was forced into Granny Dowbekin's to get hot choc takeaways whilst I guarded the bikes (I don't like leaving my precious bike!) The major reason for our visit to Pooley Bridge was the fact we heard they were doing these Gingerbridges as a special promotion to get tourists to visit the village. LOVE it!

So we gobbled down some gingerbridges and set off back home again to our cosy cottage.  yet another bike ride where we had to go the same way back as we got here...

We decided to walk our bikes along the mile footpath instead of go back into that er field swamp! It was a pleasant walk back to the scary bridge.

The road alongside the lake is beautiful, but it's quite a busy road and I don't love road cycling much. Plus its a fair way at around 8 or so miles.

At Aira Force the road then goes up and up and up and up again... but you know it's worth it for the views back down to the lake.

We made it to the top of the hill and it turned to a snow and hail blizzard which was interesting, we finally made it home just before dark and snuggled by the fire in our blankets for our final night in the cottage.

The total miles for today's biking adventure was around 23, a good effort.
I felt so blue coming home the next day. It was only 3 nights but felt like a proper escape, a good break away from it all. 

Now where next?

18 February 2016

Biking the Old Coach Road

So last weekend we spent a lovely few days in the Lakes, see where we stayed here. This was going to be a bit of a biking break as we both feel like we haven't done enough biking recently....  So Day 1's adventure was cycling from our cottage to Keswick along the Old Coach Road.

The road itself literally starts right outside our cottage.  It is an old road, that isn't really a road anymore, you certainly couldn't drive in a normal car and I think you would struggle even in the best 4x4! We did see a trail's bike doing it though.  Lots of people use the road for fun trying to get vehicles across and lots walk it too as it is simply stunning!

It was a beautiful crisp cold February day, perfect biking conditions complete with picturesque snow capped fells in the distance. I was so impressed with the landscape I was probably annoying Mark by stopping every five minutes to take photos!

It was so cold the puddles turned to ice which were actually fun to bike through!

As Mark is demonstrating here!

Look closely and you can see the road wiggle off into the distance here.  It feels like you are completely in the middle of nowhere with literally nothing but grass and fells for miles before you. In actual fact the road itself is only 5 miles long with another few miles then into Keswick on more 'normal' roads!

 Picturesque scenery all around!

So as we got nearer the Keswick end the road condition badly deteriorated as you can see here.  I am not sure if this is from the recent weather or just from over the years but there was a deep ravine running down the road and in a lot of parts impossible to cycle down (well so I thought anyway!).

This road is well worth a visit, but certainly not possible on a road bike (don't be fooled by the name!) you will need to be on a mountain bike to do it with some decent tyres.  It would be a fantastic walk though.

As we neared the end of the road we started to see some civilisation coming into view as we dropped down the hill.

So this is what happens when you don't put the decent tyres on your bikes folks! Mark bombed out not one but both tyres coming down. We were not prepared for how bad the road condition would be so Mark thought he would be ok on hybrid tyres, should have brought the Downhill bike! hehe.

I made a cute new friend whilst Mark changed tyres...

So the road ends near St John's in the Vale and then you can continue on to Keswick via Castlerigg Stone Circle and stop for some lunch in the town.

We did notice an awful lot of downhill on the way here and hearts kind of sank at the thought of the climb back. There was not really an alternative route unless we wanted to do ridiculous miles by bigger roads so pushing up the hill with the bikes it was.  I was a little broken by the end and my muscles were screaming.

So top tip if you do this road, go from Dockray to Keswick NOT the other way round and figure out how to get back a different way! haha.

So of course we treated ourselves to a big pub dinner in Dockray when we finally did get home, then more walking again up hill a mile home in the snow!

Total mileage for today's biking adventure around 18, can't believe was only 18, with the ridiculous hills and the state of us when we got home it felt a LOT more.

16 February 2016

Valentine's Weekend Adventures - High Brow Cottage

A few months ago Mark sent me this link  with a message to say he had booked it for 3 nights over Valentine's weekend! eeek! Sooooo exciting! I had been looking forward to it for what feels like ages, out first trip of 2016 and finally this past weekend we were there.

We went on Friday late afternoon, arriving around 4pm at the Cottage.  High Brow is located near Ullswater so was about an hour drive from Carlisle where we live.  Our friends Gregg and Kerry joined us for the first evening which was lovely, fab to see them and we enjoyed a super fun board games evening and yummy food.

High Brow sleeps 8 over 4 bedrooms, 2 doubles, a twin and a bunk. It also has 3 toilets and 2 showers.  It felt really big for the 4 of us and massive when it was just Mark and I for the last 2 nights.

I was SO impressed with the Cottage's location, not really appreciating how 'in the middle of nowhere' it was from the website. This is fine by me though, I love that feeling of being cut off (just for a little while! haha) so we had no phone signal and no internet but there was satellite TV in the cottage which we tried not to use much.

The cottage has a neighboring cottage but there was nobody there all weekend so we had the whole little area to ourselves.  The cottage next door looks like a holiday let too, would be fab to get a huge party together in the summer split over the two.

The view was just spectacular with fells as far as the eye could see.  We were just up the hill from Ullswater but couldn't see it from the cottage.  The Cottage was also very near a pretty river called Aira Beck which goes down the hill and becomes Aira Force which is a beautiful waterfall and a 'must see' if you are visiting the Lake District.

You would never get bored of waking up to this every morning!

This is the back of the cottage leading up to a little area for parking and then out to the quiet little road.

So let's take a peak inside then..... This was the super cosy living room, this is where we spent most of the time when we were not outside enjoying the landscape!

Of course the cottage had a real fire so Mark enjoyed keeping this maintained. We wrapped up in blankets and it was super cosy in the evenings.

Upstairs sort of had two wings.  The stairs divided and there were two bedrooms and a bathroom either side which is fab for two couples!

A little peek at the twin room.  The bedrooms were small but that was fine, it meant they kept cosy warm on the cold February evenings.

I loved the kitchen, with the double aspect windows it was so light and bright. The counter was huge so loads of room for cooking and preparing meals. The cottage was equipped with everything you could possibly need for the weekend.

Well to sum up I absolutely adored High Brow, such a lovely cosy cottage, and stunning location.  I have 2 more blog posts planned to show you what we got up to during the days... so look out for these...

Have you stayed in any self catering cottages in the Lake District? I love booking little escapes like this so always open to suggestions of where to try next.

9 February 2016

Current Crochet: A Blanket for Me!

I love to crochet, it is a lovely relaxing hobby and one that can be done simultaneously with another favourite hobby of mine, watching TV or YouTube videos! hehe.

However recently all my crochet projects have been commissions and things that are more difficult; little superheroes, crochet pals or large blanket projects that I need to concentrate on and read a pattern. I do enjoy these challenges but I find if I do a lot of things like this crochet can get stressful and I end up not wanting to do it! aaargh.

Also when you crochet you find yourself crocheting a LOT for other people! This is great and I love making for other people.  But I have made numerous blankets in my time but do I own a crochet blanket, NO I do not!

So over the Christmas break one evening I wanted to crochet, to sit and crochet something I don't need to follow a pattern for, something repetitive and stress free whilst watching my favourite vloggers.

I turned to my rather extensive stash to see what colours I had for a decent blanket.  I picked these lovelies above.  They are all my absolute number one favourite yarn Lullaby by Stylecraft in the colours L-R: Denim, Misty, Primrose and Berry.

I chose the same pattern as my Bear Square blanket I made for my nephew.  The pattern can be found here. I don't think I will add the bears on this one though!

I put out a favourite fleecy blanket on the floor and crocheted one 'test' square. I then used this square to lay on top of my blanket to work out sizes and how many squares I would need to crochet for a decent blanket size.

You can see my very rough scribbles here, it was a very last minute stash project blanket so not meticulously planned! haha.

I am using grey as my main colour and I will join in this too. Then I will alternate the colours of the circles in the centre.

So I set to crochet my 19 circles of yellow with red (as per my pattern).  I like to split it up like this and do all the circles then I go along with my grey and do all the square bits.

It is lovely making these cirlces, you learn the pattern very quickly and the you can just sort of mindlessly crochet away...

I have started on blankets in the past and quickly got bored of them and not finished them, but I am determined to finish this one.

So I figure by blogging about the start of this blanket I have to finish it right? I fear it may take some time... but it is a nice enjoyable project for me and I'm in no rush!

This post is also a perfect excuse to show off a new crochet stash bag I made... 

I have made a zippy WIP bag before, see post here...  this is a new one, to use up some cute sheep fabric I purchased. I do often treat myself to little fat quarters like this with absolutely no idea of what to do with them. I put in a little gingham lining and then added some ribbon detailing.  Aaargh, I adore this sheep fabric, baaaa!

What are you currently crocheting?