Wednesday, December 30

2015 | A Year in Review

I thought I'd take a look back at what's happened over the past year. Grab a cup of tea/coffee/water.. this is a long one.
January
I think January mainly consisted of revision and exams which isn't much fun at all. It was also my Grandad's funeral which was a heart wrenching day but also full of so much love. I did take a trip down to London with one of my friends to break it up a bit, I'm pretty sure it just consisted of me eating my body weight in giant cookies from Borough Market. It also snowed at the end of January/beginning of February so I took a bit of revision break to make snow angels with my housemate - the only one that didn't hate snow!
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Monday, December 28

Life: My Christmas Day

Hello! Seems ages since I've sat down and written a blog post, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Mine was filled with so much food and I'm definitely in denial that it's actually over. My Christmas Day was pretty chilled as it was only my parents and my brother. The past couple of years we've had various things going on (this year was no exception) and opted for a quiet christmas with just the four of us.
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Tuesday, December 22

Life: Manchester Christmas Markets

Okay, so I used to really hate Christmas Markets but lately I've rekindled my love for them. Yes it's all a bit overpriced but you can't deny there is a lovely atmosphere that definitely makes you feel festive.
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Friday, December 11

Life: Favourite Things About Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I have no idea how I've hardly mentioned it on the blog yet but eeeek I'm so excited! These are a few of my favourite things about Christmas...
1. Food. Pigs in Blankets and Mince Pies to be precise - not together obviously! Then again, I love most christmas food and I like that I can totally justify eating all December long (and into January too)... Ooo and mulled wine, I hate red wine but there's something about adding loads of spices, warming it up and it becomes all kinds of wonderful.

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Wednesday, December 9

Life: My First Blogging Event #LeedsXmasMeet

I went to my first blogging event at the weekend, I was a bundle of nerves before but managed to find some lovely girls, Bev and Billie on Twitter who were also going from Sheffield making the whole experience slightly easier. We met at the station and made our way through the gale force winds in Leeds to the venue.
The super lovely Rhianna organised the entire thing and I was so impressed with the whole afternoon, seeing as I had never been to a blogger meet before I didn't really know what to expect. I wasn't particularly happy with my pictures from the day as my camera was just not playing ball, I also got really massive camera envy. But here's a few so you can get an idea.

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Monday, December 7

Beauty : My Favourite Winter Lipsticks

I'm by no way a beauty blogger but I do really really like lipstick. If I'm wearing one it tends to be pretty bold, for some reason I can't be bothered with anything else. I'm either wearing a dark lip or nothing at all. Winter is the perfect time to crack out the dark lip. Here's a few of my favourites...
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Friday, December 4

Life: Winter Box of Lame Review

To say I was little bit excited to see this outside my door after a four hour coach journey back from London is an understatement (I may have squealed) I love subscription box type things and when That Lame Company popped up on my twitter, I think I saw Charlotte's review on her blog for the first Big Box of Lame, I was super happy to see they had a Winter box. You may have seen me mention this on instagram the other day so I thought I'd write up a proper review of it all.

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Wednesday, December 2

Life: Getting Festive in London

I planned this blog post before I'd even gone to London expecting to take lots of pictures. I ended up being so busy I forgot to get my camera/phone out to take many pictures. My brother cooked me a kick-ass curry on Friday night after my 4 hour coach from Sheffield to London.
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Monday, November 30

Christmas: Secret Santa Gift Guide

It's December tomorrow (if you didn't know already...) so I figured it's now definitely acceptable to be mentioning CHRISTMAS over on Kath and Cake - my favourite time of the year! I absolutely love buying presents for people and Secret Santa is becoming more and more common these days so I thought I'd put together a little gift guide for varying budgets...
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Friday, November 27

Life: 12 things to remember more often

I wrote this post a long time ago and for some reason I never got round to posting it. Sometimes it doesn't feel right to post certain things but somehow today seems right. Things have been a bit rubbish recently with what feels like lots of bad news but sometimes it's good to put things in perspective.
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Monday, November 23

Food: The Lost & Found, Birmingham

The whole family being back on home turf meant a trip to Birmingham to pick up my big brother, a mooch round the German Christmas Markets and a meal out was justified.
I've popped into Lost & Found for a drink before, during Birmingham Cocktail Weekend back in the summer in fact.

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Monday, November 16

Sheffield: Brunch at Alyssum Cafe, Crookesmoor

This weekend I took a long awaited trip to Alyssum Cafe for brunch. It's perfectly situated in heavily condensed student area which is severely lacking in some nice cafes, so Alyssum fills the gap perfectly. It is quite possibly the smallest cafe in Sheffield so be sure to get down early if you want a seat (they do offer takeaway though!)
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Monday, November 9

Hair: Temporary Hair Chalk Dip Dye and Giveaway

Now we all know my love for ombre hair - see my post here. I've also previously dip dyed the ends of my hair pink in my "rebellious" stage (ha ha ha). I was a quiet teenager. So when HairChalkCo contacted me with not only an opportunity to test out their products but to host a giveaway to, my inner 15 year old jumped at the chance to be young again.

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Friday, November 6

Sheffield: The Depot Bakery, Kelham Island

The Depot Bakery recently moved over to Kelham Island, Sheffield's up and coming area which already plays hosts to my favourite pizza place, Craft & Dough and others that I'm yet to visit, Urban Quarter and The Grind Cafe.
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Wednesday, November 4

Recipe: Welsh Cakes #WrenFamilyFavourites

I am a nostalgic old bean if you hadn't noticed so when Wren got in contact asking me to take part in their #WrenFamilyFavourites campaign I was completely on board. I've been baking for as long as I can remember and I know my mum and my granny were a massive influence. Wren asked me to share one of my favourite family recipes so here it is. This recipe for Welsh cakes is from my Welsh Granny's cookbook, unfortunately she's no longer with us but I distinctly remember always having these when we went to visit my grandparents and they bought back found memories whilst making them. I'm a quarter Welsh so I hope she's proud of how these have turned out and happy that her recipe is being shared around!
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Monday, November 2

Life: October Catchup

Hello, hello! It's been a busy old month so I thought to keep track of what I'd been up to I'd put a post together to help me remember.
The first week and a half of October began with heading to Peddler Market, a street food market in Sheffield (and a favourite of mine!) that was celebrating it's first birthday.
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Thursday, October 29

Life: A Somerset Wedding

My cousin got married at the weekend! I thought I'd share a few pictures from the day as it was so lovely to be surrounded by my little family and see my cousin all grown up.
Our day began with getting stuck in ALL the traffic on the M5 (first weekend of half term + torrential rain does not make for easy travel!).

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Thursday, October 15

Life: Gas Street Social, Birmingham

I'm all over the UK for the next few weeks and the start of my travels began with a trip home. I decided to treat my lovely mum for a birthday lunch which suddenly got a little extravagant with the addition of prosecco. After meeting her at Birmingham New Street station which is looking all flash, we popped to John Lewis to use our free coffee and cake vouchers as they were expiring that day!
After a little mooch, we headed towards the Mailbox (got lost in the lift area - how are they still rebuilding?!) and decided upon Gas Street Social. I really struggle with places to eat in Birmingham as although I've lived 20 minutes from it for 20 years it's only the past few years that I've ended up spending quite a lot of time there.

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Tuesday, September 29

Life: My Week #1

Posts have been few and far between the last few weeks but the feedback on my Trek posts was so nice so thank you! Getting my phone stolen and then moving back for my third year of university and freshers has been crazy. With minimal scheduled hours actually at university this semester I'm not sure I'm going to know what to do with myself - well except all that work.
My first week back was actually one of my favourite weeks of the year, I popped back to all my favourite cafes and went on my favourite nights out with my closest friends. I polished it off with accidentally catching minor freshers flu so I'm currently feeling sorry for myself. As you can see food was a heavy feature in the past week and long may it continue - I've joined the gym to counteract this!
Steam Yard
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Friday, September 18

Travel: Trek America Days 11 - 14

Hello San Francisco! We spent far too long taking pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge which meant we were late back to the van - oops! After checking into the hotel we headed down to Pier 39 to see the sea lions and get on our sunset cruise. It was incredible and apparently we had the perfect weather for it as usually it's too foggy to see anything. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip and by this point we'd become a little family. The next day we went on a tour with Urban Adventures around China Town which was included in our trek which was really interesting as it showed us things we'd have usually just walked on by - we bought a lot of fortune cookies. We then walked up Lombard Street - never will I complain about Sheffield's hills again!
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Monday, September 14

Travel: Trek America Days 8 - 10

Up next was a stop off at the hottest place on earth - Death Valley. When we arrived it was a balmy (i.e. BOILING) 114°F or 45.5°C! We travelled a bit further to set up camp in a slightly cooler area outside of Death Valley where Emily and I found our tent to be absolutely soaked after the torrential downpour in the Grand Canyon, thankfully it dried out in time for us to sleep in!
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Thursday, September 10

Travel: Trek America Days 4 - 7

Next up on our trip was the most breathtaking, The Grand Canyon. I can't even explain the scale of this place and I know we only saw a small part of it. Our trek leader decided to blindfold us so that he could reveal it to us all at the same time which may have been the cheesiest thing ever was actually a pretty epic way to do it even though there were a lot of people laughing at us.
On the way we stopped at Seligman on Route 66, where the inspiration for Cars the movie came from and had an incredible burger and Oreo milkshake from SnowCap which also has some hilarious staff.
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Monday, September 7

Travel: Trek America Days 1 - 3

Today marks the start of the posting about my Trek America trip that I went on in August.
A little bit about Trek America if you haven't heard about it, you can choose from a variety of trips around America and Canada on their website and travel in a group of up to 14, 18-38 year olds in a mini bus. Most people travel alone although I chose to go with my friend Emily who I've known all my life (this was our first holiday together though!)
The trip began at the LAX Custom Hotel where we all met each other and our trek leader at 7.30am. After introductions and admin we drove into Hollywood to take some snaps at the Chinese Theatre and of the Hollywood sign. Emily and I had already spent 3 days in LA previously so we felt like tour guides as we knew the places to go. We were given about an hour before hopping back onto the bus and straight into LA traffic.
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Friday, September 4

Flashback Friday: Hamburg & Amsterdam 2013

We only spent an evening in Hamburg hence the lack of doing hardly anything except for eating a hamburger (hehe). We then spent an entire day on various trains on route to Amsterdam and had to navigate ourselves to our campsite! Amsterdam was a final destination :(
Hamburg
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Friday, August 28

Life: Happy Birthday Me

I turned 20 on Tuesday - yes I can't quite believe it myself! Having just returned from America I thought my birthday would be a bit of a let down but I ended up having a lovely day with my parents - sadly my brother is on holiday at the moment.
Here's a few photos from my day (my camera had died from such heavy usage on my holiday so these are just some iPhone snaps). We picked up my cake - which just made me miss my holiday more and also made me want to go on a diet! We then hopped on a train to Birmingham for tea and a giant scone at Boston Tea Party before meeting my dad. We bought tickets to see A Man From U.N.C.L.E at the Electric Cinema. I've been wanting to try this cinema for ages and although we didn't end up getting the sofa seats because it seemed a bit overpriced compared to standard I still managed to wangle a cocktail. I would really recommend the film, I didn't quite know what to expect as I hadn't seen a trailer or any reviews but I really enjoyed it. Our stomachs were grumbling after so pizza was needed at Zizzi's before home for cake.
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Friday, August 21

Flashback Friday: Prague & Berlin 2013

Next up on our travels was Prague followed by Berlin. I absolutely loved both cities - Berlin is somewhere I'd love to go back to as I feel like we only scratched the surface, there is so much to see and do!
Prague
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Wednesday, August 19

DIY: Wall Hanging Banner

In an effort to begin decorating my room after painting it months ago I've been on the search for cheap decor to brighten up the cream. I've seen these banners all over pinterest and figured it would be pretty easy to make my own.

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Friday, August 14

Flashback Friday: Budapest & Krakow 2013

If you've read this post, you'll know I went interrailing a couple of years ago with a group of school friends. I didn't have a blog at the time, a fact I really regret, so I wanted to put together the photos as a little memento to look back on.
Thanks to Liv for the photos as she was our shutterbug and took so many pictures which I'm forever grateful for as my iPhone photos don't do it justice.
Budapest
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Monday, August 10

Food: My Favourite Cookery Books

I've got to admit a lot of the recipes I use these days are found online but a cookery book is one of my most simple pleasures in life. I love flicking through them to gather inspiration. Oh and you might notice there's a baking theme - that's where my heart is.

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Friday, August 7

Flashback Friday: Vancouver and Victoria 2013

As promised some pictures from my travels in Vancouver and Victoria after our Grand American Adventure trip back in 2013. Vancouver is now one of my favourite cities as it has such a relaxed vibe and the backdrop of snow topped mountains is unbeatable. We didn't realise quite how far away Victoria was from mainland Vancouver - distances seem so different compared to the UK! We went whale watching and managed to see a couple of tails and some seals but possibly wasn't their most successful trip. Our last day in Vancouver also coincided with the Pride parade which was brilliant - #loveislove.
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Wednesday, August 5

Travel: My Travel Bucket List

Whilst I'm ticking off a major one right now, the West Coast of America, I thought I'd share some other places I would love to go to in the not too distant future. Better get saving!
I've been really lucky to have travelled to some many places including the East Coast of America, West Coast of Canada, Florida and various bits of Europe. I've tried to narrow it down as the list goes on and on in my head.
New Zealand
I'm currently unsure what I want to do after I graduate and am tempted to take a year out and get a job in New Zealand, who's with me? (/who wants to fund me? ha) I primarily want to go so I can visit Hobbiton!
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Monday, August 3

Interiors: Homeware Wishlist

With a new university room to decorate and having yet to decorate my room at home after I repainted it earlier in the year I put together a wishlist of home things that would work perfectly. Copper/Rose Gold appears to be a major theme in this. I really want to get some house plants, maybe ones I won't easily kill when I forget to water for them..

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Friday, July 31

Flashback Friday: Canadian Rockies 2013

Whilst I'm away on my Trek America trip I thought I'd share some pictures from my travels a couple of years ago in the Canadian Rockies with Grand American Adventures. This trip was totally out of my comfort zone as I had only been camping once before on my D of E Bronze and that was just 1 night. We very nearly didn't go because I was so against the camping part but I am so very glad we did as the whole trip was exceptional from our tour leader to all the activities. I noticed on the website that the trip has slightly changed and now includes a Wilderness Overnight Canoe Trip which sounds incredible.
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Wednesday, July 29

Travel: What's in my carry-on bag?

Yay today is the day, we're off to America! I'm writing this on a dreary raining day - guys it's July what are you playing at? So I'm hoping for better weather on the West Coast!
I thought I'd show you what I'm taking with me on the plane for the 11 hour (!) flight. I'm currently trying to work out how many films I can watch in that time...
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Monday, July 27

Hair: DIY Ombre and Maintenance

During the exam period a couple of months ago I picked up some hair dye on a whim/"exam stress panic" and dyed the very tips of my hair blonde. I was really nervous so didn't want to do too much in case it went wrong and I had to chop it off. You can see the results on instagram here. I used the L'oreal Wild Ombre Preference No 1.

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Friday, July 24

Lifestyle: London Day Trip ft. Franco Manca and The Hummingbird Bakery

Last Saturday I woke up far too early for a Saturday and bundled myself onto the train with my friend James in order to visit Jess, who's just recently started her placement year in the big smoke.
Can I just say how much I prefer Chiltern Railways over any other train service, it may take slightly longer but the trains are always so much cleaner and I spent half the time thinking I've got onto the first class carriage by mistake.. - not sponsored I just really really like their trains.
After meeting Jess she reeled off a few options for what we could but we decided to head to Hyde Park in order to grab some bikes, little did we know that this was everyone else's idea and therefore there were no bikes.

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Wednesday, July 22

Fashion: H&M, Warehouse & Nike Haul

I find H&M so unbelievably hit & miss but lately I've picked up so many nice bits I thought I'd put a post together. I then worked out it's actually impossible to take pictures of clothes - tips please?!
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Monday, July 20

Travel: Fashion and Gadget Wishlist

So with less than 2 weeks to go until Emily and I jet off to the West Coast I've put together a little travel wish list... I seem to have left things a little last minute which is crazy considering I'm usually really organised.
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Thursday, July 16

Lifestyle: Summer Reading List

It's been far too long since I've picked up a book that isn't degree related and I really miss it. As i'm heading on holiday for 3 weeks where I'll inevitably have more free time I thought I'd compile a list of what I'll be reading. I popped into Waterstones the other day even though I have a kindle I just love having a book in hand and also I get sucked in by cover designs. I realised how long it had been since I had been in a book shop as there were so many new releases. I've decided my kindle is much easier to travel with as I tend to get through quite a few so here's some I'm adding to my reading list this summer...


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Tuesday, July 14

Travel: A guide to Interrailing

Around this time nearly 2 years ago (on my 18th Birthday in fact!) myself and 2 of my friends set off to Budapest to meet 2 of our other friends who had just spent 1 week travelling round Italy. Little did I know that what was to come were some of the best memories I have. Our trip consisted of Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Hamburg and Amsterdam all in the space of 2 weeks. I absolutely loved it. I would also love to go again so here's some tips on how to plan.

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Wednesday, July 8

Lifestyle: 5 TV Shows You Should Watch Right Now

I'm often late to the bandwagon on so many shows, I think it's not going to be my thing and then 3 series in I'll binge watch it all in a matter of weeks. This is the case for all of the below:

Pretty Little Liars
I have a love/hate relationship with this show. How have they managed to drag it out for so long but how am I still intrigued to know who A is?! I started watching this mid-first year of uni when I realised how few contact hours I had - oops.

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Monday, July 6

Sheffield: Mayfield Alpaca Farm

This is a throwback post to a couple of weeks ago when we'd finally all finished our exams and the weather was beautiful! We decided on a trip to see the Alpacas and other animals at Mayfield Alpaca Farm. Ideally located, only a 15 minute drive from our house it was a perfect. For the reasonable price of £3.50 you can access the whole farm and we ended up having the places to ourselves - I only wish we had bought a picnic. You can also purchase some food to feed the alpacas which they definitely seemed to appreciate as one came bounding up to us rather fast when we shook the bag of food.
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Friday, July 3

Lifestyle: Hello July

Bit of a delayed post as I honestly didn't realise it was July when I woke up on the 1st and my dad said "pinch, punch first of the month" (quite the tradition with me and my dad with me usually beating him to it!)

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Saturday, May 30

Couch 2 5K: An Update

So I may have neglected the blog ever so slightly lately (I've got 4 exams coming up in the next two weeks!) but I have managed to keep up with my running, just about anyway.
After a pain in my knee at the end of week 3, I took a week off to recover. I'm finally back on track and I'm up to week 6 of the plan which I completed this morning.

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Monday, May 11

Sheffield: Foodie Finds #2

Today I'm bringing you another post about a few foodie places I've been in Sheffield lately (see the first one here). Things may get a bit quiet soon as I'm about to enter revision/exam stress so bear with me.
A couple of weeks ago we took a little trip to Kelham Island, an up and coming area in Sheffield currently undergoing some major regeneration (a geographer's dream). I'd been following Craft & Dough on Twitter for a while and had been craving their reasonably priced pizzas for quite some time.

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Tuesday, May 5

Current Favourites #1

It's May, where did April go?! Well rather than monthly favourites, here's some things I've been loving lately.
Essie Nail Polish in Cute as Button
Absolutely love this colour, Essie seems to be the only one that's not chipping on my nails at the moment so that's a good enough excuse to go and pick up some more colours. You can see the colour on my nails on instagram here.

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Thursday, April 30

Couch 2 5K: The first two weeks

I'm not a natural athletic by any stretch of the imagination but something needed to be done about the amount of cake I'd been eating. I could give up cake (sacrilege I know) so thought it best to get exercising and cut down on the cake, just slightly. In a moment of madness I signed myself up for the Great Birmingham Run in October (eek!). I will probably be walking most bits of it but I just want to finish it.

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Monday, April 27

Sheffield: Steam Yard Coffee Co

My housemate and I have decided to make it our mission to trial every coffee shop in Sheffield so if you can recommend any pop them in the comments or tweet me @KathrynLouise_.
We've tried (and loved!) Ink & Water which I've written about here. Next on our list was technically Tamper Coffee but as the weather was so lovely we changed our minds and went for Steam Yard as they have a nice outside bit, unfortunately the bit we sat in was shaded but it was still amazing to be sat outside in April!

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Thursday, April 23

Lifestyle: A weekend in the Peak District

Last weekend I took a little trip to the peaks with my parents. We stayed in a little village called Longnor which had all the essentials, a shop, pub, fish & chip shop and a tearoom.
Unfortunately the cottage although advertised as having wifi hadn't been installed so the work and blogging i'd planned to do over the weekend had to be abandoned (shame!). Other than that the place we stayed was absolutely lovely, I took the attic room with the ensuite as the downstairs room had the bigger bed. There were no blinds so I rose with the sun (early!) meaning I was on breakfast duty - croissants (!!).

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Friday, April 10

Food: The Old Rectifying House, Worcester

I'm not sure what excuse we used for this meal out - celebrating my brother's birthday (without him!) or an Easter meal... who needs an excuse. The weather was amazing during the bank holiday and this continued into Tuesday when we decided to take a trip to Worcester. After a walk around town, up the river and stopping off at the Cathedral for a coffee we settled on The Old Rectifying House for lunch. The outside building is beautiful and the decor inside is lovely.
I'd looked up where to eat the night before and this looked the most promising. It was pretty empty but I guess everyone was still in a chocolate-induced coma post Easter.
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