Month: April 2016

Packing for a (non) spring city break in France

When I booked our trip to Lyon, I had visions of wandering cobbled streets in maxi dresses and sandals and sitting at riverside cafes sipping cold wine.

The weather has other ideas.

Despite being May on Sunday, Lyon seems to be suffering with same crap weather affliction as the UK. I’ve trawled multiple forecast websites to find something more favourable, but all of them seem to be suggesting cool evenings and showers.

Arse.

In a confusing state of mind though, in the past two days it’s improved slightly, with the temperatures creeping upwards. Not one to miss any opportunity to make the most of the sunshine, this now means I have to pack for two types of weather, just in case. As I don’t have two lots of luggage allowance (damn you Flybe) I’m going to have to get creative.

Love trips hate packing

I’ve come up with a list of jeans, boots, maxi dresses, tops, maxi skirts, leggings, scarves, a hat, sunglasses, hi tops, sandals, a leather jacket and a denim jacket.

That’s pretty much every eventuality covered!

Now all I need to do is persuade the husband he doesn’t need a 50% share of the luggage space…

I’ll probably be sharing some pictures via Instagram whilst I’m away (free wifi dependant, obvs) so if you want to see what I’m seeing then give me a follow.

Thanks, as always, for reading ! x

Nature photo challenge – day 7

I’m going to cheat a little bit here, with two photographs. Ok, technically three. They are from the same destination though, and I really couldn’t choose between them as they all give me all the feels, so ner.

Both of them were taken at my favourite holiday destination on Mainland Greece. Stoupa is a small coastal resort at the base of the Tygetos mountains on the Mani peninsula and is quite possibly my favourite place on earth. I first went there about 15 years ago with my Dad, and returned many years later with my husband. I didn’t expect him to like it as it’s so quiet, but he was immediately besotted with it’s quaint charm, slow pace of life and amazing food. So much so that we went twice within 6 weeks!

The sunsets there are stunning. The contrast of the sky against the dark coastal rocks is just gorgeous.

There’s no better way to start an evening in Stoupa than sitting in a bar with a cocktail and watching the sun descend; turning the sky amazing shades of yellow, orange, red, indigo, violet and inky blue, before ending in the blackest of blacks due to lack of light pollution. During one trip the moon which followed was blood red for the whole week, which was eerie and fascinating and exciting, all at the same time.

This second picture was taken on the coastal path as we walked from Stoupa to neighbouring village Aghios Nikolaos.

Stoupa to Aghios Nikolaos

The blue of the sky, the darker sea glistening under the sun and crashing in white foamy peaks against the rocks and the cool sea breeze is the epitome of being alive. It’s like an instagram filter has been placed over your eyes and brought everything into super HD quality; the blues, the greens, the sandy path, the dusty pebbles, the black rocks, the pale mountain peaks. Along the path is the occasional house with white washed walls and tumbling pink bougainvillea. It makes me feel so relaxed yet so alert, all at once. Magical.

And that’s it! The end of the 7 day photo challenge. Thank you so much to Terri-Louise at TouLou89 for nominating me, I’ve really enjoyed it. So many memories, happy thoughts and things I’d forgotten.

For my final nomination, I invite anyone who’s reading and would like to get involved. Do let me know in the comments if you take part so I can check out your posts!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Nature photo challenge – day 6

One of the most amazing things to me about nature is flowers. They’re just beautiful. I’ve been taking more notice than ever lately (as you’ll have noticed if you follow me on instagram!) and feel I’ve developed a slight obsession!

Case in point – my wedding bouquet, which was lillies and birds of paradise flowers.

Wedding bouquet lily birds of paradise

Just look at the colours and the perfection. The vibrancy. Each leaf and petal unfurled just as nature intended. It’s amazing really!

We got married in Mauritius and hadn’t chosen any of our wedding details before we arrived. We picked our flowers from a book, not seeing anything in real life until the ceremony. I was completely overwhelmed.

As well as my wedding bouquet, we had a huge gerbera daisy arrangement. The camera can’t encapsulate just how bright and perfect they were.

Wedding flowers gerbera daisies

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I was nominated by the lovely Tou89Lou – pop over and have a look at her blog.

Today I nominate Holly at ClosingWinter. She’s recently done a huge renovation project on her garden, so I’m sure there are some nature pics to share!

Nature photo challenge – day 5

This picture was taken right on the estate where I live! It’s very green and well tended, with loads of tall trees, ivy and shrubs.

Grey squirrel

There are so many squirrels in and around the estate, and because they’re so used to humans they’re fairly tame. They’re comical to watch because they dash around at a rate of knots, chasing their fellow furry buddies and clambering up trees. When a human gets close they stand stock still, as if their lack of movement will hide their existence. Then, when you get too close for comfort, they’ll dart off into a bush or behind a tree trunk to hide away.

I know grey squirrels are classed as vermin, but I love these little guys. They cheer up my morning as I leave home and welcome me back at the end of the day.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate Jessica at Thrifty Blogger as she always takes such beautiful pictures, so I’d love to see her interpretation of this challenge.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Nature photo challenge – day 4

The blue lagoon in Iceland is a bit of a headscrew, because it looks almost too artificial to be real. The water is the colour of Lenor fabric softener, it’s that blue. The contrast of the black volcanic rocks and the white sky on the day we were there almost looked like one of those photographs which have been changed to black and white, and just one colour element has been left.Blue Lagoon Iceland

Unfortunately we didn’t get to go in the lagoon, because we were with my Mother-in-Law and it’s not her thing. But it was amazing to wander round, see the steam evaporating from the naturally warm water into the cold February sky, and generally marvel at how frickin’ ace nature can be.

This trip was 6 years ago now (wowsers!) so has never featured on the blog, but I might do a retrospective post at some point.

I should also give photo credit to the husband who took the picture, but as I was there and we’re married, it belongs to me by default.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate Tamara Prokopchuk as she’s been out of the blogging loop for a while and this might give her some posting inspiration!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

A frivolous shoe purchase from Boohoo

I have interrupted the 7 day nature photo challenge with a very important post.

New shoes!

As I get older and socialise less, my need for fancy pants shoes has diminished considerably. I used to wear fancy shoes to work so I at least got to indulge my passion that way, but now I’m in a casual office I don’t do that so often.

The love of shoes is still strong though!

Which is why, when I saw these beauties in the Boohoo sale, I couldn’t not buy them!

 

Boohoo laceup snakeskin heels 2

I mean, just look!

Boohoo lace up snakeskin heels close up

They’re pretty impractical, and most definitely car to bar shoes, but being a sucker for an animal print as well as a hybrid ankle open toe lace up they had to join the club.

Plus they were only £12.

See how I’ve used my nail varnish to bring out the pink highlight? (you’ll be glad to know that my toenail is growing back nicely, after the unfortunate incident with the bathroom door last year).

Boohoo laceup snakeskin heels

I have a teal nail varnish that I could use to emphasise the green too.

I have no occasion to wear them, so I might create one.

Or just wear them to watch TV.

Are you a shoe lover?

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Nature photo challenge – day 3

Here’s my third nature photo.

Seagull drinking a cocktail

I love love LOVE this photo of a cheeky seagull enjoying the remnants of someone’s cocktail! This was taken outside a bar in Paignton on a warm summer night about 10 years ago. Being a seaside town there’s a plethora of seagulls, many of whom are very tame as they’re used to being around people (much to my chagrin; I don’t like birds that fly close to humans). We were having drinks just one table away, when this dude swooped down and started poking his head in the glasses left by the previous table occupants.

Look closely and you’ll see the creamy drink on his beak!

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate OxfordCottageGardener as she’s very outdoorsy and will no doubt have lots of great pics to share!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Nature photo challenge – day 2

Day 2 of the nature photo challenge takes us to North Wales, which is my favourite place in the UK. This photograph is taken at Swallow Falls, just outside Betws-y-Coed. The falls  blow me away every time I visit; the power of the water rushing through the valley is immense. The whole area is so green and lush.

Swallow Falls Betws y Coed

We spent a weekend in Betws-y-Coed last year, you can read about it here and here.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I was nominated by the lovely Tou89Lou – pop over and have a look at her blog.

Today I nominate Hailey at The Undateable Girl’s Diary. Hailey lived in San Francisco for a year, so I’m sure she has heaps of amazing photos to share!

Nature photo challenge – day 1

I’ve been nominated for a photo challenge, which is pretty exciting! I love looking back at photographs and how they can evoke a memory.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

So, on with my first photo.

Chamarel Coloured Earth Mauritius

This was taken in Mauritius. We took a day tour around the island, and part of the trip was the seven colours at Chamarel Coloured Earth. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon which is a result of minerals in the earth. There are shades of green and blue, as well as the red and orange you can clearly see on this pic.

We got married in Mauritius, just the two of us, on the beach. You can read more about it here and here

I nominate the lovely Tina from teaisfortina. She’s a real sweetie and you should check out her blog too!

Five things I love about “actual” spring

I started to write this post last week when the sun was shining, and it felt really mild, verging on warm. Then, as if I tempted fate, it rained so much I thought I might need an ark to get home from work, and on Saturday we had a bit of snow. British weather, eh?

Today the sunshine and milder temps are back, and I’m starting to believe I can actually pack away my winter jumpers. This makes me happy.

Spring

In my head I start calling spring as soon as the sun shines in February, mainly because I cannot wait for winter to be over, but in truth it’s not until April that it feels like the season has begun and I can acknowledge that I don’t live in an eternal tundra.

Here are 5 things I love about about spring.

Not wearing a jacket
I love jackets and how they can really add to an outfit, but there’s something liberating about knowing you don’t need one after a winter of being wrapped up from the elements.

Driving with the windows open
Even just a tiny crack to let in that fresh spring air makes you feel all vibrant and refreshed.

Sitting on my balcony when I get home
Admittedly at the moment it’s only for a brief 15 minutes, but it feels good to relax al fresco after a day cooped up in the office.

Blossom trees
Pretty. Pink. Look like confetti. Nuff said.

Open toed shoes
Again it’s a liberation thing, shedding those socks and boots, painting those toenails, and exposing those tootsies to the world.

What do you love about spring?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x