10 reasons to love October

I’ll be completely honest with you. I don’t love October. At all.

I’m a spring-summer girl, through and through. But in a effort to improve my outlook amid the darkening nights and lowering temperatures, I decided to think about all the positives this month is set to bring.

Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria, England, UK

// Coniston Water, Lake District, from this post //

1. It’s my birthday! My big day is at the end of the month. I don’t have plans yet, but I’ll make some. What shall I do? If it’s not your birthday, you can still have a party. You could invite some spooky people over for Hallowe’en!

2. Rediscovering my winter wardrobe. Digging out my chunky knits and cosy hats and scarves.

3. Buying a few things for the new season. I’m eyeing up all those Burberry-inspired checked blanket wraps.

4. Making progress on the back garden. There’s still a lot to do but we’ve come a long way, even if it still does not quite look like a garden yet. I’ll update you soon. Did you see the before pics?

5. Booking a holiday. It’s been a couple of years since we left the country. My passport had even expired! Now though, we feel the need for some sun. We’re booking a week abroad for November and I can’t wait to feel warmth and do some exploring.

6. Starting to talk about the C-word – Christmas! Normally, I hate this early start which leads on to the endless build up to December 25. But family get-togethers are precious things to look forward to. As are presents!

7. Taking walks, collecting conkers and watching the leaves turn. Aren’t the changing colours beautiful?

8. Enjoying the golden hour. The low sunlight on my drives home from work is amazing.

9. Trying out a darker lip colour. This season, it has to be plum.

10. Making warming, hearty food. I’ll be making huge pans of soup, stew and chilli.

What do you love about October?

Bloggers’ lunch in Leeds

The latest #YorkshireBloggers meet was a few days ago in Chapel Allerton, a popular Leeds suburb.

I hadn’t been able to get to the last couple of meets, so I was looking forward to it.

What I love about these lunch dates is the easy-going, welcoming nature of the group. Each time I go there are new faces – and the bloggers have such a variety of interests – but I always have a great time. We don’t even talk about blogging all that much!

This time our venue was newly-opened Kith and Kin. We were taken with the botanical-themed décor but, remarkably – because of the good company and tempting menu – it was at least an hour before we bloggers got our cameras out.

Yorkshire Bloggers lunch at Kith and Kin Chapel Allerton Yorkshire Bloggers lunch at Kith and Kin Chapel Allerton Yorkshire Bloggers lunch at Kith and Kin Chapel Allerton Yorkshire Bloggers lunch at Kith and Kin Chapel Allerton

In truth, I was a little disappointed with my main course, a chicken club sandwich in a pretzel bun. It tasted a little dry, but maybe that was because I’d asked for it without mayo. Anyway, my sticky toffee pudding definitely made up ground – it was delicious. And the ginger and pineapple ‘mojito’ (alcohol-free) was excellent too. Just the refreshment you need when you’re filling up on carbs.

sticky toffee pudding at Kith and Kin, Chapel Allerton, Leeds the Yorkshire Bloggers lunch at Kith and Kin, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Chapel Allerton is a lovely place to spend a weekend afternoon. There are a few places to eat and drink and a thriving main street full of shops, including lots of independents.

I’ve been wanting to go for a while, largely so I could pop my head into design shop Chirpy. We all spent quite a while browsing, and I think everyone bought something. I came away with this cute, wear-with-everything (and I have) gold circle necklace (£10).

gold circle necklace from Chirpy, Chapel Allerton

Do you know much about Chapel Allerton? I’d like to go back. Where are your favourite places?

PS if you’d like to come to the next meet (probably in November), follow @_StyleCreative on Twitter and look out for the #YorkshireBloggers hashtag!

Family weekend in Scarborough

After a night alone in the Lakes just before our wedding anniversary we then headed to Scarborough, where my mum had booked the family into an apartment for the weekend to celebrate her birthday.

I rather cheekily got married on her 60th birthday – she got two parties for the price of one! This time it was her turn to host.

On the way to the North Yorkshire coast, we stopped for a long, satisfying lunch at our wedding reception venue. It’s a while since we’ve been back, but I will never not find this place special every single time I set foot in it.

Our base in Scarborough turned out to be pretty special too. We had an apartment in The Sands, one right on the front with a wrap-around balcony and incredible views of North Bay, the sea and Scarborough Castle.

View of North Bay and Scarborough Castle from The Sands apartments, Scarborough View of North Bay and Scarborough Castle from The Sands apartments, Scarborough View of North Bay and Scarborough Castle from The Sands apartments, Scarborough View of North Bay and Scarborough Castle from The Sands apartments, Scarborough

Read More →

Anniversary in the Lake District

Although our two weeks off work were typified by being ill (me) and grafting in the garden (him), we did have a few days away.

First, we headed to the Lake District and checked in to the Masons Arms, a small pub with rooms at sweetly-named Strawberry Bank. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, about 15 minutes inland from Grange-over-Sands.

It overlooks the serene Winster Valley. We’d booked the Cartmell Fell suite and had our own private terrace, from which we looked out onto one of the most beautiful and peaceful vistas I’d ever seen.

It was a little early, but the beginning of celebrations for our fifth wedding anniversary :)

Cartmell Fell suite at Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, near Grange-over-Sands, Lake District View from Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, near Grange-over-Sands, Lake District View from Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, near Grange-over-Sands, Lake District Cartmell Fell suite at Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, near Grange-over-Sands, Lake District

Read More →

House tour: our back ‘garden’

My husband has been an absolute trouper these last couple of weeks. We’ve been off work, and once again have deprived ourselves of a holiday in favour of working on the house.

At the moment, the back garden is the focus of our efforts, and he’s spent day after day just digging. And digging.

This, friends, is what we’re up against.

back garden before

back garden before

When we first looked round the house, we knew the size of its back garden was going to be a deal maker, or breaker. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of it for the asking price.

The state of it, however, was another matter. Nothing was growing there but weeds – and nothing has in the time we’ve been here. Read More →

The Pinkertons on Drama

Drama this year secured the UK premiere of US series The Pinkertons, and I’ve been asked to watch an early episode and tell you all about it.

Although not the kind of programme that would immediately have me pushing the series record button, I do like a crime drama – especially one with a strong female lead.

The Pinkertons: the background

It’s a period crime drama set in the Wild West in the 1860s, and based on the real-life Pinkerton National Detective Agency founded in America in 1850 by Scottish-American Allan Pinkerton.

The series centres around Allan (played by Angus MacFayden, who appeared in Braveheart), his son William, who also works for the agency (the very easy-on-the-eye Jacob Blair), and Kate Warne, played by Martha MacIsaac. Kate was America’s first female detective.

Review: The Pinkertons on Drama

Allan Pinkerton became known for revolutionising detective work by creating forensic technologies like fingerprinting and using surveillance and undercover work. Kate became a master of disguise, able to infiltrate both high and low society. Read More →

How I got better with money

A couple of years ago, I wrote this post about how I’d begun taking seriously the need to save and be sensible with money, in the hope that one day I’d fulfil a big dream: to have a holiday home in France.

I thought it’d be good to revisit this subject, to update you on how I’m getting on and throw a couple more money-saving ideas into the mix.


 // image via Style Bubble, photography by Phil Oh for Vogue.com //

So I don’t exactly have money in the bank yet to buy that old farmhouse with an orchard and barn ripe for renovation. But I do feel fairly happy with our finances, especially seeing as in the last couple of years we’ve faced some big, unexpected and unavoidable costs, and we’ve had to invest in renovating the house. I’m content now that when my bank account does take a hit, it’s for something worthwhile.

Let me tell you how I’ve changed my ways. Read More →

Jewellery display DIY

My jewellery collection is ever-growing, and I was finding favourites could sometimes get buried and lost for a while.

So I decided to upcycle a tray to make a display that can look pretty while keeping my favourite necklaces and bracelets organised.

DIY tutorial: turn a tray into a jewellery displayDIY tutorial: turn a tray into a jewellery display

This is the second in what will be a trilogy (ha!) of DIY projects for Wayfair. Hop on over to their blog for the full step-by-step.

But it’s really easy. Read More →

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015

Guys, something great has happened again. I’ve been nominated for the 2015 Amara Interior Blog Awards!

You might remember I was nominated last year, in the best DIY blog category. This year, I’m up for best fashion-inspired blog, which is for “sartorially savvy bloggers” who “effortlessly” combine the worlds of interiors and fashion. Awesome, right?

There are 25 of us in this category, and once again I’m honoured to be sitting alongside some of the biggest bloggers in the country, and some of my favourites.

I need to get into the top 5 to make it to the shortlist and the awards night on 28 October. You can vote for me right here by just filling in your name and email address. Voting closes on 18 September. Thank you so much.

There’s something in it for you too – every voter is entered into a draw to win a luxury holiday on Italy’s Amalfi coast!

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 vote now

RHS Harlow Carr gardens

RHS Harlow Carr gardens Harrogate

As we were in Harrogate for afternoon tea, I thought it would be a good idea to call into the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Harlow Carr.

You know, to get some inspiration for our garden, which we’ve just started working on.

I’m laughing to myself as I write that, because our garden – which is probably a misnomer at present – is about as far removed from Harlow Carr’s perfectly planned and pruned idyll as you can get. I’ll show you sometime! Read More →

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: