Joules wellies competition

Unfortunately, we’re now getting into ‘welly weather’!

Personally, I quite like tramping through fields in my wellies, free from any fear of ruining footwear.

Joules have launched a fun competition for budding designers, doddlers and wellington boot lovers – they want you to design some Joules wellies.

The winner will see their design put into production and get a luxury Forest Holiday worth £5,000. (I can vouch for the idyll of a Forest Holiday – read about my weekend away in a cabin with the girls).

All proceeds will go to Joules’ charity partners via Charitably Joules.

Joules design wellies competition

Here’s what you need to know:

♥ The winning design will go on sale at joules.com

♥ You can submit a design and enter the competition here – http://getcreative.joules.com/

♥ You could win a luxury break worth £5,000 – 3 nights in a golden oak treehouse cabin plus lots more

♥ 10 runners-up will each receive a £250 Joules gift card

What are you waiting for?!

*collaborative post

Winter home style with Junction 32

Because we’re making over the whole house – and I’m always reading blogs, magazines or on Pinterest – my home is never going to feel completely finished.

I’m often looking for ideas for the areas that are yet to be done, and – as I said last week – sometimes even for rooms that are (supposed to be) complete.

Junction 32 outlet shopping village – that’s the one just off the M62 in West Yorkshire – recently invited me along to take a closer look at their home brands. They kindly gave me some spending money to buy some things to ready my home for the winter season.

Afterwards, they wanted to film me talking about what I thought and what I bought. Yikes – my very first vlog! There are several reasons I don’t film myself for blog content – but it’s healthy to push back your boundaries every once in a while :)

The video is below, and while I did completely cringe at the sound of my voice and the strength of my Yorkshire accent (I always thought it was fairly mild!) I’m proud that I did it and that I didn’t have re-shoot each clip too many times before getting it (more or less) right. However, I don’t think I’ll be swapping my day job for TV presenting and this is probably the first and last vlog you’ll see…

 

Continue reading “Winter home style with Junction 32”

Some big news…

I have some very big news to share today, and I’m just going to get straight to it.

I’m about four months pregnant, we’re having a baby in the spring.

To say that we’re happy – while we are, of course, over the moon – is to simplify the full range of emotions we’re feeling. I’m sure every parent-to-be feels similar, but for us there’s this too: sometimes I didn’t think I’d ever write or say the words in that paragraph above.

I was 6 weeks and 2 days pregnant when we first saw this little being inside me. It felt like the first time we’d breathed in two weeks. It was when we started to believe.

That day, we celebrated by going for a pizza then watching a film. (I had to nap part way through).

A few weeks later we saw him/her again, and couldn’t believe how human-like it looked already – just a few centimetres long. And how much s/he moved! I think we’ve got a lively one.

Last week I heard his/her heartbeat. The midwife felt my pulse at the same time as listening to the beat. We’re one.

Hello sunshine banner flag

Continue reading “Some big news…”

Winter living room inspiration

Have you ever finished decorating a room and, a short time later, wish you could do it again?

That’s kind of where I am with our living room. I know that sounds crazy, after all the blood, sweat and tears poured into getting it finished in the first place, just a few months ago.

Blame it on the changing seasons … or my fickle mind.

For now, any idea of redecorating is just fantasy – otherwise I’d probably have a divorce on my hands. Luckily I have this blog as an outlet for my imagination, and mood boards don’t cost a penny or cause fall-outs.

Door manufacturer Premdor recently shared with me their new Portfolio Collection of luxury veneer doors, and invited me to create a dream space around one of them.

I chose their modern light grey horizontal line door, and decided to re-imagine my living room in a grey, black and berry theme.

Black, grey and berry winter living room inspiration

// 1 Premdor Portfolio Collection light grey horizontal line door / 2 ceiling light, Graham and Green, £155 / 3 harbour print 3 by Tom Pigeon at Howkapow, £50 / 4 rug, H&M, £29.99 / 5 hexagon shelf, Rigby and Mac, £70 / 6 glass display case, H&M, £14.99 / 7 block cushion cover, H&M, £7.99 / 8 sofa, £599, Made / 9 pouf, Habitat, £95

This seems to have scratched my redecorating itch for now …

What do you think?

Do you change your mind about your décor too?

PS this is an entry into a competition. I would love it if you would vote for me :)

*this is a sponsored post but content and opinions my own and honest

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

Continue reading “Bloggers’ lunch in Leeds”

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

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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

Continue reading “Anniversary in the Lake District”

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 renovating our 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. Continue reading “House tour: our back ‘garden’”

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. Continue reading “The Pinkertons on Drama”

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