29 June 2016

Wonderful Wednesday ... 13

Doh, missed last week yet again! I will be honest this past week has not be the happiest for me, lots of busyness, lots of stress and lots of falling out which has made me very sad. 

But there are always those little wonderful bits too and over the past couple of weeks it has been so important for me to focus on these.

1. Gaining confidence in driving. I probably bang on about driving every week but it is a huge focus for me. It is the 1 thing currently that I do that scares me the most, stresses me the most, but when going well, makes me smile the most. This week driving is going super well and I am seeing a positive difference. When super lovely, generous people are willing to give their time to help me gain my confidence for no reason than to be nice then THAT makes me truly smile.

2. James. I am a very lucky aunty, as I have the cutest and sweetest two nephews in the world. Weekend before last I was babysitting for my youngest, James (he's 2 in September) in Newcastle for 3 days. I had the best time with him playing, at the park, swimming, ball, jigsaws... He is the sweetest little boy and so intelligent. Just thinking about him puts a smile on my face.

3. ALL the nail varnish! A couple of friends have recently commented that a new shop in an outlet retail park not so far away has some fab nail varnish. (I'm a nail varnish obsessive, and nobody has caught me with nude nails since about the age of 14!) I was excited, but thought, well it can't be that good, nothing is THAT good! haha. Well I went and it's THAT good, in fact not just THAT good BETTER! I was all a giddy! The phrase 'like a kid in a candy store' will forever be changed to 'like a Jo in a nail varnish store.'

4. New socks. I'm really enjoying buying and wearing new socks lately, hehe. Socks are a funny thing, something I've never really bought much of for myself. You tend to get them for Christmas right, just me? I love pretty, bright socks, with silly patterns that I can wear with jeans under converse high tops when nobody can see. I bought some with corgis and crowns on recently! Wearing cheerful brand new socks to work simply makes me smile.

5. A scone with my Dad. I missed Father's Day as I was away babysitting in Newcastle. So last weekend I drove (yes drove!) Dad to a local garden centre where we had coffee (him) and hot choc (me) and lovely big fresh baked scones. We do like a scone! It was nice to have some time with Dad and catch up.

6. GOT. Last night's was the last Game of Thrones in the latest series. My sister came round, which is such a rarity, and we sat down with Mark and Meg to watch it with some snacks. It was a GOOD episode (no spoilers here don't worry) and confirmed lots of things we have been suspecting. But it was just also nice to watch all together. One of the main things I enjoy about big TV shows is discussing it all and suggesting theories etc, all part of the fun.

For more Wonderful Wednesday, do pop over to check out these lovely lot...  SallyMichelleKateHelenCat and Kate

15 June 2016

Wonderful Wednesday ... 12

This week the main feeling has just been tired... I don't think I'm sleeping particularly well, probably a lot to do with the heat. Also I am 'forcing' myself to go on little drives early in the mornings.. so I am going to bed nervous! And that adorable little cat of mine starts mewing in my face, diving under the covers, paddling across my back, gently batting my hair with her paw... from about 4am each morning, aw.

Anywho, there are always positives to pick out from the week, so here's my happy little list...

1. Penelope Keith: At Her Majesty's Service. I've been LOVING this little series on TV. I don't often watch 'regular' TV or notice nice programmes so I was happy to discover this one. Penelope Keith is visiting The Queen's residences, popping behind the scenes and meeting interesting people.
2. Make up. I'm getting more and more obsessed with make up recently.  I can credit my make up obsession to my YouTuber obsession, in particular Fleur de Force and Zoella. I love watching their reviews and hauls of new products. I'm really enjoying experimenting a little, trying new things and wearing a little more. Make-up is the ultimate treat purchase, a few quid for a pretty new nail varnish, or a lipstick and I'm happy!

3. Crochet projects. I have SO many crochet projects on the go at the moment. With bunnies for new babies, blankets and a set of superheroes too.  Not to mention of course the blanket I was actually making for myself. I love starting a new crochet project, picking colours and yarns, finishing them all is an entirely different matter...

4. Road trip planning. I just had a week off work recently, but I am already counting down until the next one. We really shouldn't have to work at this time of year...! Mark and I wish to do a little camping road trip in July, up through Scotland visiting some pretty places and taking the bikes. I'm enjoying looking at maps and plotting routes. If anyone has suggestions of amazing places we have to visit, do let me know.

5. Evening bike ride people. I think I mention it a LOT, but I love my evening bike rides along the river... I do admit to getting grumpy sometimes because I do like to treat it as a work-out and get my speed up. But then I'm forever stopping for groups of teenagers, slow walking couples, little kids, dogs... But this week I've tried to be a bit calmer about it all. I came across two ladies on horses, so random to see horses on the little path. I squeezed in and got off my bike so I wouldn't scare the horses and had a little chat to the ladies. I am very considerate on my bike and people on the whole are in good moods and friendly.
6. Routine. I think I will have to admit I am a routine person. It sounds super boring... but I do function better if I stick to little routines and know what I am doing and I'm all organised. I have a little routine going this week of driving practice early each morning and evening bike rides straight after work. I kind of like to know what I am doing, it all keeps me sane, 

7. Chocolate milk. I've been allowing myself a little treat each day of some delicious chocolate milk. It's actually Alpro (so dairy free, vegan) and low fat, so not too naughty really, but tastes SOOO good ice cold in my pretty flowery melamine tumbler.
8. THIS Mayim Bialik vlog. I'm a HUGE Mayim Bialik fan, I adored Blossom when I was younger, Amy is my very fave character in Big Bang (I dressed up as her once too for a costume party!) she's super funny, intelligent, she's vegan, geeky, and she loves cats... How could she be more cool?

Need an extra dose? Check out the WW crew here... SallyMichelleKateHelenCat and Kate

8 June 2016

Wonderful Wednesday... 11

Well I don't know what happened last week, but I wasn't feeling particularly wonderful, I couldn't bring myself to write this little post... I know that's more the reason I SHOULD force myself to write this... but it just wasn't happening. Nothing major, just a mid week slumpy grump I think, all good now.

In my 2016 goals I stated my main goal for the year was 'to be happy' and I am still very much interested and focusing on this.  Because I am taking more time to notice my happiness this year I do also notice the downs a bit more too. Why does it happen? You can be perfectly happy one day then in a really low and sad mood the next, seemingly for no reason at all!  I refuse to believe we, as women are slaves to our hormones, but is that it? There has to be more to it... 

Anywho, this little weekly list, compiling it, writing it, and reading my fellow WWers really is integral to my happiness. So if I'm missing from this space each week, do feel free to give me a nudge...

So what is on my wonderful list this week then??? Let's get right into it...

1... The prettiest necklace. I love necklaces, they are pretty much the only jewelry I wear and I am lost without one on. I like quirky ones, plastic ones, name necklaces, odd necklaces... I adore Tatty Devine but I am quickly discovering more and more amazing new designers, mostly through Etsy. I purchase THE prettiest woodland scene necklace from an amazing designer called Layla Amber this week and it could not be more perfect.

2... Relaxing in the garden. I was doing the housework on Sunday afternoon (booooring) and I looked outside and realised I hadn't stepped one foot out in the glorious, 'hottest day of the year' sunshine... (told you I was in a funny mood!!) So I grabbed a picnic blanket, a stack of books and mags, my sunglasses and a drink and had a couple of hours just relaxing in the sun. I NEVER do this, but it felt amazing.... really improved my mood.

3... Super hot days. I have said it many times, I'm a winter person, I like wearing clothes. As much as maybe the weather lately has been a teeny bit too hot for me, I do not want to complain about super sunny hot days in this country! It feels lovely, makes me feel relaxed, like I'm on holiday, or should be on holiday! Let's all meet up in the beer garden...

4... Competing with myself. I hate competition, I actively avoid it. I shall never compete with anyone, and most certainly not in any form of exercise. However competing with myself is sometimes a good thing. I've been enjoying my evening bike rides lately, and have started properly logging them. I'm enjoying trying to go faster and faster each time and I'm seeing some progress too. But just for me... you won't find me on Strava etc... ew, no!

5... Happy happy friends news. Isn't it great when your friends receive wonderful news, the joy just spreads! A few friends have expressed super happy, lovely things this week and I am over the moon for them all.

6... People making my crochet patterns. A lovely lady commented on an old blog post, my Incredible Hulk free crochet pattern and asked for some advice. We have emailed since and she sent me a photo of her finished Hulk... isn't it fab to think other people are actually coming across my little patterns and making them. Makes me feel very happy and proud.

7... Early morning drives. I'm still loving my early morning drives in my new car. I'm trying to be a bit more brave and this Sunday went a different route, and challenged myself to some scary things I usually avoid. Hopefully getting somewhere with the driving... little baby steps...

8... Skinny Cow Mint Choc Ice Cream lollies. I mentioned in previous posts I'm healthy eating and trying to watch what I eat recently, which means not as many treats. I discovered these amazing delicious marvels in the supermarket and they are super low calorie (for an ice cream!!!) and SO delicious! I love anything choc mint, and they taste dam good to me. They are certainly needed in this weather!

What has been making you feel wonderful this week?

Need an extra dose? Check out the WW crew here... SallyMichelleKateHelenCat and Kate

6 June 2016

Lake District Camping Trip - Part 2 - Latrigg Walk

Day 2 today of our lovely lovely little Keswick break the other week.  Gosh this feels like a lifetime ago now... sob sob!

So Part 1 is here, the Wednesday night we arrived and went for a walk into Keswick. Thursday day we spent the whole day at Whinlatter biking all 3 trails, I got no photos of this though.

So Friday we decided to go for a long walk. We got up early, packed up the tent and got ready and parked the car in the main car park in Keswick.  We had a little wander round town, got some provisions and set out on our walk.

Our walk started behind the swimming pool in town and down the road a bit, you get to a path leading up to Latrigg and Skiddaw, signposted for Skiddaw. That little peek in the background there is where we were going, I didn't fancy Skiddaw today, a long boring steep climb...

Just checking the map to make doubly sure we were going for the much smaller Latrigg and not Skiddaw! lol.

The path is fairly steep to start off with but offers lovely views as you climb up, and on this peaceful, sunny weekday it was simply perfect. A good climb on a walk is good I think, get the endorphins rushing, and feel like you have done some work.

This is our usual walking set up, Mark racing ahead and slow me behind stopping to take loads of photos!

The fells were covered in the beautiful sight of bursting yellow gorse bushes.

A little breather with the view beginning to get good...

I love Latrigg, I've climbed it a good few times now. It's a fell I know by sight easily as it was one I used to look up to from my grandparent's house which is just at the foot. It was always SO big when I was little.

In reality it is a lovely quick and easy walk to do, but you are still rewarded with amazing views across the lake and town.

Just one last little push up to the top...

And the reward....! aaaaah!!! My beautiful Keswick.

Oh what's this, another teeny peek....

And a stop for a spot of lunch...

We spied a pretty purple flower at the top.

This little guy was rather photogenic, and actually seemed to stop and pose for me.

We were really keen for a longer walk today, so instead of just coming back down again, we kept going to make it circular.  You come down from the top and the obvious path drops into some farm land and out onto a little road.

I couldn't resist snapping these pretty white flowers. No idea what they are, but they look like daisies and I like daisies a lot.

So next the path meets the Keswick Railway footpath and then you can walk back along this lovely path into town. But the railway footpath is closed currently due to stupid Storm Desmond. The path runs alongside the river and it flooded very badly wiping out the original railway bridges along the path. Very sad, it is a very favourite walk and cycle path.  Hopefully it will all be fixed soon.

So instead of the railway path we continued on little country roads to the village of Threlkeld. Through Threlkeld you pop over a field and run across the main road. This is obviously not a field that gets many visitors as the sheep practically attacked us! hehe. They just spied people and ran towards us, presumably it was dinner time. But I've never known sheep to do that before, usually they run the opposite direction. It was cute though, they were all bleating madly... I felt bad, Mark said it wasn't a good idea to give them any Mars Bars..

Over the other side of the road and river, we followed some more small roads in the direction of Castlerigg stone circle and then back into Keswick.  We had been on some of these roads from the opposite direction before when we biked the Old Coach Road but I wasn't sure how they join up from here, I was just turning each corner hoping it would become familiar... eventually it did after some steep climbs.

The weather had got out super hot by then, but I remembered there is usually an ice cream truck on sunny days outside the stone circle; so the promise of big ice creams got me up the last bit.

Yeah the ice cream truck was there! I think literally every visitor to the stone circle on this day had an ice cream in their hands. (Oh what a good job that would be!!! there would be no unhappy customers, because ice cream!!).

We enjoyed our well earned ice creams gazing at this beautiful ancient spot. This is Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Now Keswick was just a mile or so down the hill, down, phew! It was nice to look back out across and up to Latrigg from the other side of the river/road.

The Keswick town sign, a welcome sight after a day's walking, meaning we were nearly home and could rest. I thoroughly loved this walk, would very happily do it again and again, very much wish I was there as I type from a stuffy work office in my lunch hour... ugh.
According to Fitbit, we walked a total of 13.64 miles that day with 31,817 steps, not bad going!

2 June 2016

Lake District Camping Trip - Part 1

Last week Mark and I had a well needed break from work. We didn't want to do much, just chill, enjoy being in the house and have one or two days of camping fun in the beautiful Lake District just on our doorstep.

Keswick camping has been a tradition for the past few years for Mark and I, always the first camping trip of the season, as it is super easy and near to home if all goes horribly wrong (it never does!) You can see last year's post here.

We just love Castlerigg Hall campsite and want to come back again and again. It just has everything and in a fab location in the town of Keswick, up on the hill. The walk back up the hill is always interesting, but it's good for a challenge and to burn off the food and drink likely consumed in the town!

So we arrived on the Wednesday late afternoon, got the tent up, had a bite to eat on the camping stove and then wandered into Keswick town centre.  We decided to pick a different route, going down the woods at the back of the campsite and going for a little explore.

The wooded area takes you onto some back roads in a residential part of town, but this is the posh bit of town! Well all of Keswick is posh really, you have to be rich to afford Lake District National Park prices but this street is something else, with huge impressive houses.

I loved this little gate and huge tree.

Just off from this street we spied another little path, a little path that neither of us had been down before. We have both been coming to Keswick for years and just when you feel like there are no new bits to explore... you find THE best.

We went up and up through a pretty wooded bit... Mark waiting for me as usual!

And we were rewarded with THE view, not just any view, but the best view I believe of Derwent Water I have seen, and I've seen it from pretty much all angles! SO pretty.

Such a fab view from all directions, either looking down at the lake or to the picturesque town! Those town planners do a good job don't they.
Well I could have stayed sitting on that seat all night! It was also really cool having the mountain sundial type thing too. I fail as a Cumbrian in that I still cannot name half the mountains by sight.

We kept going on our little new walk, by a sign post to the lake...

A long inviting path stretching out before us...

Then back on to the campsite to enjoy this beautiful sunset before into the tent to get cosy and warm and sleep.
The last photo was taken by Mark