24 July 2014

Bear with me...

I currently have the worst cold known to man-kind.

I am on my 36th job application, and have interviews to prep for.

I am editing and proofing my final Ph.D draft ready for submission in September.

I have cakes to bake, weddings to style and a house DIY list as long as my arm.

So excuse me for a while, as I sit here, tissues stuffed up my nose, with a bucket of Yorkshire's finest and Son's of Anarchy seasons 3-6 on Netflix.

Summer colds. The epitome of sod's law, non?

21 July 2014

Monday Montage: 21.07.14

  • Waking up at what only can be described as 'silly o'clock', laying and listening to the rain pound the windows but eventually going in search of coffee
  • Settling down with Netflix and some job applications
  • Half-heartedly doing some housework before showering and heading to the airport
  • Nervously nibbling at some coffee and a lemon muffin
  • Deciding today was not the day
  • Home to change out of rained-on clothes, and digging out our 'Europe by Rail' books
  • Getting excited about sleeper trains to Monaco, Nice or St. Tropez
  • Treating ourselves to a massive steak dinner, bottle of wine and fancy chocolate
  • Snuggling on the sofa, and browsing some cruise brochures.
  • Having a deep sleep, but waking up before 6am
  • Getting some design work done, my favourite thing at the moment is designing printable invitations.
  • Heading to the gym for pilates and some work on the rings, and being thankful for some friendly faces
  • Quickly dashing home to change before driving to my grandparent's house
  • Swearing at my temperamental car
  • Arriving to be greeted by my puppy, and feeling immediately calmer
  • Enjoying catching up, collecting the pooch, and a slap up dinner with three desserts
  • Taking the hound for a jolly across some freshly plowed fields, and counting the red kites circling the crops
  • Piling back into the car, for a marginally less stressful drive home
  • Standing in a cold shower to rinse away the grump and sweat, and slipping into some clean pyjamas before an evening of paperwork and admin.

17 July 2014

Growing some roots

It's almost one year since we moved into our first home

Every July since 2007 I have moved house, but as the end of the month draws closer it is reassuring to know that this year there will be no boxes, no cleaning the back of my house-mates fridge nor the bathroom sink.

A landlord isn't going to be taunting me with a months deposit, and I won't be homeless for 24 hours.

Instead, I've hung pictures in the hallway, planted  fuchsias and strawberries in my garden and painted walls.

There's a dog who barks when someone comes to the door, instead of students who leave it wide open or unlocked. Our neighbours lend us their lawnmower and share tea& cake instead of waking us up with bass-y music at 4am.

I'm looking forwards to our first Christmas tree this year, saving up for new floors and fireplace, and finally getting some curtains in the master bedroom.

There's nothing more that feels like home than flowers by the front door and black&white photos that make my stomach do somersaults.

16 July 2014

#20 - Go on a spa day

Pictures c/o The Belfry Hotel & Spa, Nottingham

As you may know, on my 30 before 30 list #20 is 'go on a spa day'. You see aside from a day in Budapest where I hopped around about 10 different heated pools, I have never been on a fancy-pants spa day.

Last Sunday I was very lucky to be invited to The Belfry Hotel & Spa, Nottingham with a group of ladies for a day of lounging and pampering.

After being all checked in and handed a huge robe, slippers and towel each we eagerly changed into our swimmies and bee-lined for the jacuzzi and pool. I would have loved a go in the gym, but thought we didn't have access to it so didn't take any kit! Turns out we did have access *sad face*

Alternating between front crawl, a menthol steam room, baking sauna, surround power shower and jacuzzi was just what I needed to work up a bit of pre-lunch appetite. We weren't expecting a fancy lunch, but the buffet lunch in the restaurant we had access too was pretty great - my favourite being the 'build your own caesar salad' bar!

After lunch we all went our separate ways for a respective treatments, and as I'd opted for a massage I spent the next hour or so being pummelled to within an inch of my life. Relaxing? Not so much, but the masseuse found every single knot and tight spot from my training and really got to work. 

Another go in the jacuzzi and steam room and it was sadly time to leave. Pulling on my jeans to head home, though, I felt like I'd had a small holiday! Its wonderful what a day with no phone/internet and just yourself can do.

Right, which spa next then!?

15 July 2014

{Visiting} - The Tea Alchemist


Last Saturday, Hollie organised a little bloggers meet-up at the rather wonderful Tea Alchemist in Alderly Edge. 

Run by a young ex-English Teacher with a passion for all things tea,  The Tea Alchemist draws you in immediately with it's stunning Victorian fronted window display, apothecary cabinet fronted service counter and rows upon rows of gleaming cannisters of tea. 


We were very kindly invited to share in in some tea-themed treats (vanilla-chai cupcakes and earl grey & rhubarb sponge made by the owner herself) whilst being talked through a range of tea-tastings - from  unprocessed white tea, through to oolong and black tea. 


We also chose to taste a couple of the more unusual teas - rosebud tea (surprisingly refreshing) and chai-rooibos (delicious and soothing), and whilst their resident 8 week old puppy got plenty of fuss we perused the gifts and homewares on display, debating whether our bank accounts would notice... or indeed our husbands.

Once my bank account is a little more stable (job hunt woes alert) I shall be back for sure to stock up on a beautiful glass teapot, some of the chai-rooibos and anything else which may take my fancy. 

I sincerely encourage you, readers, that should you be in the area to pop in and say hello. There's likely some fresh cake straight out the oven and a china cup of tea waiting for you to pour your worries into. There are fantastic gifts on offer and I am told there may be some sweet chai on the hob for a spicy winter warmer should you go in later in the year.

After all - what is more medicinal than tea and cake?

*disclaimer* This visit was complimentary, but as always my words, views and pictures are my own. I may have been swayed slightly by the adorable puppy (!)
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