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Monday, 12 May 2014

MIA | Bit of a Freak

I seem to have had a bad case of the MIA, and for that I apologise. You know sometimes, life happens, things knock you off your socks, you take a while to get back to an even keel, and things like writing a blog get pushed wayyy on down the pecking order.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lush, Bunch of Carrots | Review | Bit of a Freak

I, along with every other girl in England, am a HUGE fan of Lush. It also is quite special to me, my boyfriend often buys me Lush presents to enjoy whilst at his. I don't have a bath at home so all my lovely Lush products are saved for glorious baths at his house. It comes with lots of sentiment attached, and so when they released their easter collection I had to get myself in on the action!

Introducing: Bunch of Carrots!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Castleton | Derbyshire | Bit of a Freak

Gooood morning!

Today I am here to preach to you about the absolute beauty that is my home county, ye grand olde Derbyshire! I love to explore, and Derbyshire is the perfect place because it is gigantic and delightful and just a hunk of joy. Yes.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Martin Creed: What's the point of it? | Review | Bit of a Freak

Last Wednesday saw the return of one of my best friends for a few days of r&r from her volunteering in Iraq. I jumped on the coach and hot-footed it to London for a day of catching-up, food and fun, and fun was exactly what we had.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Positivity | #100HappyDays | Bit of a Freak

I'm joining in from today! I am a huge advocate for positivity, gratitude and appreciation and I think this cracking little idea here will work beautifully to celebrate that. Whilst being an advocate, sometimes I forget to practice what I preach and I get swept along in life, caught up in strong currents of murky and depressing water in the river 'unimportant in the grand scheme of things'. Catchy name, huh? That probably all sounds a little dramatic but I'm sure we all know how it feels to be bogged down, and anything to combat that and keep the gratitude flowing is good for me! And boy on boy do I have a lot to be grateful for.

And so it goes, for the next 100 days I will be Instagramming a different thing each day that truly made me happy, and I'd love to share my little happy hype with you. Come over and follow me on instagram by clicking here! I'd also love a seat on your happy bus too so if you are also partaking in the #100happydays please comment below and leave your links so I can come along with you! I shall be doing a happy roundup of my posts on my blog every Sunday also. Wooo woooo, all aboard!

Also, like I have read over at Lucie's blog 'FatBeautyx', I will try and save £1 for each of the 100 days and have a little happy splurge at the end.

Sometimes, I just love life!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Birthday Presents and Celebrations| Instagram | Bit of a Freak

In an effort to fall back in love with Instagram, I figured I would show my birthday with the aid of Instagram posts! Genius, huh?

This year's celebrations were a lot more low-key than usual, I didn't want a big fuss, and I didn't actually really plan anything! However, it was definitely equally, if not a little more, enjoyable than the others.

The big 25!

Naturally, it kicked off with a pamper session. Hair coloured, cut and styled and eyebrows whipped off and shaped, all a birthday treat from my beautiful mummy, consummated with the obligatory pose-y photos.

And then it was time to get down to some serious shopping. Here's beautiful Phoebe trying on some new sunnies.


The conclusion of shopping meant home time to cook multiple meals for my big, fussy family, sink some wine, dress in the fruits of my shopping labour (LOVE this blouse, Primark, around £10) and off we went to a comedy night.

Sunday introduced a beautiful day where we all sat in the garden soaking up the sunshine until it was time to dress in more fruits of the previous day's shopping labour...

and trot off to a seafood restaurant for the official family birthday meal.

And camera wars with my uncle...

...Much to his amusement!

Monday was my actual birthday. I awoke to presents (some of which I will show below), cards, the realisation that my mum had the day off.. 

...and a very painful eye infection! SOD'S LAW. I could barely open my eye!

Another birthday present from my mum and step-dad was this double leather Pandora bracelet. I had a Pandora charm bracelet in the past which my grandma had contributed to. When I got rid of that charm bracelet I kept the charm from my grandma and wanted somewhere to wear it, without getting another. This is very simple and understated and will work perfectly. I love it.

I received more of the most beautiful flowers from my particularly spectacular boyfriend. Deliciously big roses and lillies. My absolute faves.

Sorry about the overkill, I am in love, flowers are so beautiful.

I also was given a personalised love letter necklace which made me a bit gooey.

Tucked inside is a little wooden letter which is inscribed with three words of your choice.

(front) My boyfriend chose live, laugh, and love. When I questioned why, he told me that he found it quite difficult to choose the three words, but thought of it like a triangle. He said our love was the pinnacle, which wasn't possible without the other two, you have to live in order to laugh, and you have to laugh in order to love. I love his brain. It must be so organised in there.


He also bought me a bottle of pink bubbles...

...and a box of the most delicious swiss chocolates in the world. My cousin bought me Lush products, which you can see peeping in the background. I LOVE Lush.

My friend Becky came round in the afternoon laden with scones, jam, cream, cards from her and Phoebe, and a beautiful plaque which is difficult to photograph. It says "A friend is one of the nicest things to have, and one of the loveliest things you can be." and she bought it for when I move later in the year. Beautiful. Later on I went back to Becky's house to spend the evening with her, Phoebe and Ben (Becky's boyfriend). She provided me with a candle-lit bath, it was tremendous. We are the chocolates, ordered a takeaway, and drank champagne. Well, I did anyway. Ooops.

This golden egg was my bath accompaniment of choice, although it was a bit of a disappointment. Thanks, Lush, I thought you were my mate??

All in all, it was a lovely, low-key, enjoyable weekend, surrounded by (almost) everyone I love.



Sunday, 2 March 2014

Kedleston Hall | National Trust | Bit of a Freak

We have been positively spoilt with glorious sunshine in Derbyshire of late. It has been wonderful to wake up bathed in sunrays and jump out of bed with a spring in my step wondering what the day will bring. The sun puts everyone in a much more positive mood. Saturday was no exception, it was beautiful and sunny. I had originally set Saturday afternoon aside to do some boring stuff (housework) but when my friend Becky text to ask if I fancied a bit of exploring and lunch the housework was quickly dropped and Kedleston Hall, owned by the National Trust, was decided as the location of choice.

To quote the National Trust website Kedleston Hall is akin to stepping back into the 1760s; it is a spectacular Neo-classical mansion framed by historical parkland.

But first things first, lunch. We popped to the restaurant at the side of the mansion for afternoon tea (although they called it high tea - if anyone knows the difference please comment below!). Everything was delicious, and for a little under £7 per person was an absolute steal! The staff were also incredible attentive and helpful. 

Little Phoebe sat very patiently waiting for her broccoli, sweet potato and pea puree. I was almost jealous. 

After lunch, we set to exploring the grounds. They were truly beautiful.

Phoebe wanted to play the "let's pretend I live here" game and rolled off to pose for a photo in front of 'her' house of her own accord. Obviously me and Becky played along and snapped the picture. Children, eh?

Even Phoebe couldn't believe the beauty of the place!

She was truly astounded.

We found a million snowdrops that almost looked like real snow. I really wanted to sit Phoebe in the middle of them and photograph it but she fallen asleep from the excitement of it all! SOB.

This Mr. Blackface was my favourite sheep. He almost let me get close enough to touch him before he did this weird little run away from me. I was baaa-ing and everything. Maybe I was convincing and that's why he liked me.

We had the most wonderful day and left just as the sun was dipping, excited for our next adventure.

Do you have any National Trust/Stately home faves?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas | Crafts | Bit of a Freak

If you are not already aware, Mother's day is coming up fast! For some reason 2014 is disappearing at the speed of light and although we were only shouting "Happy new year!!" five minutes ago, it is nearly March. Mother's day is on March 30th this year and I have been thinking for a little while what cheap and cheerful handmade Mother's day gifts I could make for mine.

My mum is my bestest friend, and whilst I am not going to blab on about her, she is pretty incredible. For christmas I made her a handmade gift, which I may blog about, that made her cry. She said it was her most favourite present and it had cost me £0, being totally made with things I had lying around. Basically, she appeciates hand-made (don't we all?) which is just as well because I am well into scrapbooking and crafts at the moment, and I am skint!

So here I present the fruits of my Pinterest labour and the inspiration for what I will be making my mum:

1. Handmade paper/material flowers.

First of all, I am going to make something similar to the middle image, with nice, simple glasswear and handmade flowers. I hope it to be a combination of all the flowers pictured. Flowers are THE go-to gift for ladies I feel, beautiful and simple. These will be just as pretty, cost less, and last longer. WIN!

2. DIY recipe book.

I am also going to make a her a DIY cook book that will look a little like this. I am moving away in September, into my bofriend's house in Winchester (which is a looooong way away from where I live now). I do most of the cooking in my house, and whilst my mum is a mean cook at tradition "mum meals" like roast dinners and rice pudding, she struggles when it comes to cooking the things I cook. I figured I could write her down all of my recipes so she can use them when I am away.

3. My inspiration for the card I am going to make:

I love the simpleness of the card in the middle, the naturalness, and I love the quotes to the side, particularly the one to right. It reads "If I didn't have you as a mum I would choose you as a best friend".

What are you planning to do for your mum for Mother's day?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Five Guys London Review | Food | Bit of a Freak

So last time I was in London Five Guys happened, and boy oh boy was I happy about it. And yes, my boyfriend is always right and is far superior in terms of foody choices...

It's fair to say that I am somewhat of a burger addict. I'm known for my homemade burgers (recipe coming up!), I have turned my best friends into burger lovers, I received a burger-themed present for Valentine's day (see here),and no matter where I am, if burgers are on the menu I feel it near possible to resist. I just think you can't go wrong with a bread, meat, cheese combo, but some are much more spectacular than others! So when me, Tom and my best friend T were sat enjoying a pint in Covent Garden and Five Guys became a dinner suggestion, I was excited and we hot-footed (technical term) it to the venue in the rain whilst being battered to within an inch of our lives by rude people and their umbrellas (ellas, ellas...).

...And what an absolute HAVEN we were met with! We were greeted by a friendly man at the door, persuaded to munch on free peanuts whilst we waited in the queue, and made to drool by the smell and the prospect of the numerous options of burger toppings. Delightful.

After a tiny wait we were set to order. I opted for the bacon cheeseburger (obviously!) with toppings of (get ready) mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomato, grilled onions, mustard, relish,  jalapeƱo peppers, and green peppers. I was so hungry it was impossible to decide so I pretty much had everything. We also shared a large Cajun fries (also available Five Guys style) and refillable drinks.

Like a bloody work of art!

Now the burgers. Wow. I am drooling just thinking amount them. It is a properly dirty burger, juicy and spilling it's toppings all over. The fries were delicious and the refillable drinks aren't just refillable drinks. They are filled by a machine that comes from the future, a couple of traps of the screen and you are faced with the choice of every brand if drink imaginable in every flavour you've ever dreamt of.

All the food is cooked fresh to order and using peanut oil which is apparently healthier (like we care right now). 

So next time you're near one, get on it. I promise you will not be disappointed!