Strange times… things to do in isolation

What strange times we are living in right now. The last time I dusted off my laptop and wrote anything on this blog, life was normal and now, now we’re living in what feels like a movie and all anyone can talk about is the virus.

Currently the UK is on lockdown. No one is allowed to leave their houses apart from getting necessities (food and medicine), getting necessities for a vulnerable person, going to work (if absolutely essential) and we’re permitted one walk a day for exercise. It’s like some sort of dystopian future where people are dying in their thousands while everyone else is fighting over toilet roll and hand sanitiser, except it’s not the future. This is now.

It’s my birthday next week. We had planned a getaway to Amsterdam but now it looks like I’ll be settling for a takeaway indoors (if restaurants are still allowed to offer takeaway services by then! Things are changing so fast!). I’m sure it will be memorable, if not a little boring considering what we had planned, but then things could be a whole lot worse, so right now I am grateful for what I do have.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I myself have been on lockdown since Wednesday. I work with animals now (I had a whole big career change last summer) so obviously someone had to go in and take care of the animals, but now I’ve been told to stay away until further notice. Don’t worry though, my colleagues that are still working will take good care of the animals.

My husband is a Graphic Designer so at the moment (and for the last 2 weeks) he has been working from home, which means I’m pretty much left to my own devices during the day.

So here I’ve compiled a list of things to do in isolation.

1. Take an online course

I happened upon Centre of Excellence who are offering all courses for £29 each until the end of March using the code LEARNATHOME. I’ve chosen to do a course in Feline Behaviour and Psychology as it will be something I can add to my CV and will help me at work when I eventually go back. I am quite intrigued by a couple of other courses so I may purchase more.

2. Get creative

My weapon of choice is my ipad pro. I used to be a very creative child but lost that spark as I got older, however I’ve just got back into doodling again and have set up a new instagram account if you fancy a follow.

I use the Procreate ipad app to create my drawings and they’ve just launched a little treat – the Procreate Care Pack – which includes some limited edition brushes, a 2 month free trial of skillshare and a list of artwork prompts to create a bit of an online community in these stressful times.

3. Play games

My husband downloaded The Sims 4 for me onto his Playstation. I haven’t played that game since I had The Sims 2 on PC! I know I’m probably far too old to be playing that but it’s a nice little bit of escapism. And let’s be honest, they’re the only ones allowed out right now haha.

4. “Marie Kondo” my house

I am in the process of buying a house. I won’t bore you with the whole saga of it but now is the perfect opportunity for me to have a good clear out ready for when we do eventually start packing and moving. I spent a couple of hours sorting out just ONE DRAWER the other day but the way I see it is, that will save me time in the future when I will hopefully have better things to be doing.

5. Watch tv

I’m trying to avoid the news for good reason but lately I’ve been enjoying Neighbours (Neighbours End Game was fantastic!). I’ve also found a new guilty pleasure in The Best House in Town on BBC2 – a bit of interior design inspiration! Netflix has also been a saviour with season 12 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race having begun, plus we watched Harlan Coben’s The Stranger and Safe. We’ve also started rewatching Come Fly with Me because it’s funny and silly escapism. Oh and Friday Night Dinner starts again on C4 tonight! yay!

6. Talk to people

Check in on people. We live in an age where there’s no excuse not to pick up the phone. I rang my Nan the other day as she’s isolating on her own and doesn’t have the internet. There’s Whatsapp and Facetime etc etc. Stay connected.

7. Use social media wisely

I’ve had to distance myself from Twitter a little but at the moment I am enjoying creating Pinterest boards full of interior design inspiration. Moving house and decorating will be a fun, albeit stressful, thing to look forward to once things return to a relative normality so excuse me while I get excited about wallpapers and lampshades!

Well I think I’ve rambled enough now. Stay safe, stay sane and stay at home!

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

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Fashion blogging for Femme Luxe

Hiya! Me again! Yeah I’ve been pretty hopeless with the blogging and stuff, believe me I’ve had ALOT going on in my personal life. But while I’m not travelling for one reason or another I am dipping my shiny pink toes into a little fashion blogging.

Those lovely ladies over at Femme Luxe Finery have sent me some more threads so I’m here to do another fashion haul type post with some more interesting photos that aren’t just me posing awkwardly in my back garden!

Red One Shoulder Slinky Midi Dress – Dylan

Red one shoulder slinky midi dress

Ok so now I’m beginning to realise that after my previous two collaborations with Femme Luxe that I may have a thing for red dresses. This one I wore to a masquerade party because it compliments the mask I already owned perfectly! This dress is a similar fit and material to the black one I received in my first haul. If there’s one thing Femme Luxe do well it’s dresses and I’ve already got my eye on a sparkly silver number!

Light Wash Denim Button Down Dress – Perry

Light wash button down denim dress

Another dress. This denim dress offers more of a casual day time look than the slinky number above. Who doesn’t love a bit of denim?! It goes with everything! I found this dress to be a little on the short side for my liking so I teamed it up with a black leggings as well as a black long sleeve top and some boots.

Nothing To Wear Slogan Top

Nothing to wear slogan top

Nothing to wear. Funny slogan to sport when Femme Luxe are sending me stuff to wear! But you know how it is girls, you can have a bursting wardrobe but still have nothing suitable that you want to wear! I love to wear tops with something a little quirky about them. This particular top is available in black and white. Normally I’d go for black because white is bound to see me throw spaghetti bolognese down it or something but I thought I’d be brave and change it up for this little white number.

What’s your favourite piece? Do you like a bold colour? A classic wardrobe staple? Or are you a fan of monochrome? Leave me some love below x

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Alphabet Dating - U is for USA themed restaurant

Alphabet Dating – U is for USA themed restaurant

Alphabet Dating – U

…I wasn’t prepared to go Up anywhere. And I wasn’t prepared to go Underwater. The budget unfortunately didn’t stretch to a holiday in the USA so we had to make do with a dinner date at a USA themed restaurant.

We decided to pay a visit to Friendly Phil’s – an American inspired diner. Sadly not one like where Monica from Friends worked (with the rollerskates and singing) but a really nice place nonetheless!

Friendly Phil's diner

Friendly Phil’s serves all the typical American favourites – burgers, hotdogs, mac n cheese, wings…

We found a good Groupon deal that gave us a burger of choice each, a side of choice (fries obviously!) and a milkshake. Sounds like your typical fast food kind of fare but it was alot tastier and much better quality.

What made the date a little more USA A-OK was that our waitress was actually American! We didn’t ask her about it but we have since been back and have been served by English people, so we know it wasn’t just a gimmick.

milkshake

Burgers and fries

I will definitely be returning to Friendly Phil’s (infact I already have several times) but its given us a hankering for a USA road trip… so you never know, if we do alphabet dating again we could be in the USA for real next time ‘U’ rolls around!


To read some more of my alphabet dating adventures, check out my series.

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Femme Luxe Finery Haul

As I had such a fabulous time before, Femme Luxe asked me if I fancied collaborating again. And did I? You bet I did! They’ve added a whole host of new outfits to their website so I picked a few little numbers to try on.

Click each image for a direct link to the product.

Navy Rolled Sleeves Shirt Dress – Noa

Navy Rolled Sleeves Shirt Dress - Noa Navy Rolled Sleeves Shirt Dress - Noa

By far my favourite piece of clothing was this Navy rolled sleeves shirt dress which is so versatile! I’ve worn it to work, a meeting and for a nice meal out but there are plenty of other occasions where this outfit would suit. Sleeves can be worn rolled up or down and it comes with a little sash so you can cinch in the waist. I’ve chosen to team mine with a pair of leggings and some simple black shoes. I feel so chic in this shirt dress… and chic is not normally a word I would use to describe myself. Plus navy is not normally my colour but I think I’m now a convert!

Black Slinky Long Sleeve Off the Shoulder Belted Jumpsuit – Nina

Black Slinky Long Sleeve Off the Shoulder Belted Jumpsuit - Nina

Having never worn a jumpsuit before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one, however I was pleasantly surprised! I love that this one has a little off the shoulder sass to it so I feel more like Sandy from Grease and less like a contestant off the Crystal Maze. This would probably look hot with any colour heel but I went for a pop of blue so tell me about it stud!

Dusky Pink With White Stripe Lounge Wear Set – Lexi

Loungewear set

I adore the other loungewear set I got from Femme Luxe Finery so I thought I’d try another. I must admit to being a little disappointed with the colour. On the website it looks dusky pink and even in my photo its pink however in real life its much more a darker orangey-pink tone than a pretty dusky pink. However the fit is fine and comes with a little hoody. Sadly I don’t have the abs that I used to but as its loungewear I think I can get away with it!

Red One Shoulder Midi Dress

Red One Shoulder Midi Dress

Move over the LBD because there’s just something about a little red dress isn’t there? Such a sexy colour, not that I look particularly sexy posing awkwardly in my garden but there you go. Femme Luxe are known for their vast array of dresses but I chose this one because 1. It’s red and 2. I love a little one shoulder number. Team it with some red lippy and you’re good to go!

Disclaimer: This post was a collaborative post with Femme Luxe Finery but all opinions are my own.

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4 of the best UK destinations for nature lovers

For many, holidays conjure up images of jetting off into the sunshine and sipping on a cocktail beside the pool, so it may surprise you to learn that an estimated 41.7 million tourists visited the UK in 2018. There is clearly plenty to love about the UK, so why not consider a ‘staycation’ for your next break? With a coastline stretching over 7,000 miles and 15 national parks covering nearly 9,000 square miles, the UK is the perfect place to get closer to nature and discover an abundance of wildlife.

Anglesey
The isle of Anglesey is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. Accessible via the Menai Suspension Bridge, off the coast of mainland Wales, this island is known for its beaches. In fact, in 1966, the entire coastline of Anglesey was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, protecting its varied landscape and habitats from inappropriate development. You can actually walk along the coastal path, taking in limestone escarpments and sand dunes on the south coast, with dramatic sea cliffs in the north. From Anglesey, you can also take a boat trip to the uninhabited Puffin Island, a special protection area for wildlife.

Photo by Dil on Unsplash

The Lake District
Home to vast lakes and magnificent mountains, the Lake District in the northwest of England is certainly deserving of its status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Of the sixteen lakes that make up the Lake District, the largest, Windermere, holds an astonishing 300 billion litres of water! The landscape here varies greatly with the seasons but, regardless of when you choose to visit, you will marvel at the natural beauty the Lake District has to offer. Cosy up in a lakeside café and sip on a hot chocolate as you peer through the mist towards the snow-capped mountains on a winter’s day. Visit in summer and enjoy a lake cruise as the sun glistens on the waters below.

Photo by claire jones on Unsplash

Jurassic Coast

With rocks that record 185 million years of the Earth’s history, this 96 mile stretch of coast from Exmouth to Dorset feels like a walk through time. The fossils and layers of sedimentary rock here can tell us a lot about prehistoric life and how the landscape was formed over time. As a result, this spectacular coastline became a World Heritage Site in 2001. There are plenty of things to do here, from coastal walks and fossil collecting to visiting the museums that delve into our natural history.

Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

Snowdonia

This mountain range in the north of Wales offers breathtakingly stunning views of the open landscapes and valleys below. Whether you choose to climb to the summit of Snowdon at 3060 feet or take a more relaxing journey on-board the mountain railway, you will certainly be in for a treat. Mountains are not the only feature here; Snowdonia is also home to an abundance of Lakes. The largest, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), also has its own railway allowing you to take in its natural beauty at ease.

Photo by Patrick Gillespie on Unsplash

Written by Clayton Miller

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