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My Carry On Flight Essentials


My Cancer treatment

Berlin - your suggestions please!

In a couple of weeks one of my besties, Sarah, and I are heading to Berlin for a few days of debauchery. We've never been before so I'd love to hear your suggestions of where we should go, what we should see, where we should eat or shop and what we really, REALLY can't miss out on doing?

All recommendations will be gladly received although suggestions for cheap or free things to do would make us smile even more! 

Also - if you know this sort of thing - how cold is end of October Berlin usually? Is it 'big' coat cold or just autumn coat cold? I have hand luggage packing limitations so need to make sure I don't take too much and only one coat! (Which for me, the ultimate over packer, will be interesting!)

Oh, and if you know the two of us IRL, don't worry, we're getting a REALLY early coach to the airport. Our late for everything ethos isn't going to ruin this trip! We hope!


I'd never been a bath fan. I couldn't see the attraction at all. Just sitting there in the water was never my style. But then we ended up with just a bath in the house for 6 months. To start with I mostly just moaned about having to run a bath, sit in it, and oh, washing my hair well, that was just the worst thing that ever happened to me. But now we have a shower again, I find myself missing baths. Especially as I love our new (if not quite finished yet) bathroom and our new bath is the biggest tub I've ever come across.
So when Matalan Direct got in touch to ask if I'd like to put together my perfect bath for their #MyBath campaign to celebrate the fact they've started selling bathrooms I thought I'd love to get involved. Plus it was a great excuse to have a look at their new bathroom gear because we still have a shower room to put together. It's been an eye opening experience to find out just how much house renovations cost - even for what might be the smallest room in history, so it was refreshing to see that the shower enclosures were all an affordable price and that there were quite a few low profile toilets and sinks to choose from! Finding nice, low profile fittings has been a bit of a challenge, but because of the size of the room it's pretty necessary. 
But back to my perfect bath. Matalan Direct were kind enough to send me a candle and room fragrance diffuser in their Coconut Vanilla scent which is a perfect sweet smell and thanks to the diffuser is present even when the candle isn't lit, and what might be fluffiest towel ever too to help start off the bath. The lovely guys at Matalan Direct also included a gift voucher so I could pop and get myself some more bits to create the perfect soak. 
I picked up some beautiful Champneys bubble bath because a good bubble bath is the essential base for the perfect bathing experience isn't it. And just look how pretty this bottle is! Next I grabbed myself some moisturising shampoo and conditioner (because the addition of a shower means washing my hair in the bath isn't the gross experience it once was!) and a five minute facial facemask, to hopefully work wonders on my face and give me a youthful glow - well, we can live in hope! I also added a Natural Sea Sponge to my shopping basket. If you've not used one then it something I suggest you pop out and grab. They're a world away from your usual shower 'pouffe'. The other item I had to include was a pot of Lush's African Paradise. I'm such a lazy person when it comes to looking after myself sometimes. I know I should moisturise more but I always forget or get get too busy, so this pot of joy means I can just lather it on in the bath and that's my skin all soft and hydrated! 
So, this is my perfect bath - but tell me what's yours? What should I, the bath loving newbie, be including for my next soak?

*This is a PR collaboration but all views are my own*

Currently - September Edition

Right, so I did one of these posts in MAY, you know, way back when, and I thought it was going to be a regular feature but it seems I might have failed at that. But I’m giving it another go!

Here is a little bit of what is currently going on around here;

  • I have been watching MIC LA – obvz. I love Made in Chelsea and having them all on holiday together was too much to miss! Jim loves it as much as me. We were a bit gutted sitting down to watch it last night only to realise it had finished. 
  • OnceUpon a Time – I read about this show on Jessica’s blog a while ago and finally I've got round to starting it. And OMG I am a bit obsessed. I've been binge watching it for weeks. I have the biggest crush on Hook. And his relationship with Emma Swan might just have taken top spot over the Angela Chase/Jordan Catalano love affair (if you're unfamiliar with these people I am not sure we can be friends!)  
  • MrsHemmingway – on the recommendation of Siobhan I picked this up. I am a huge fan of Hemmingway but knew relativity nothing about his life. I loved this book told through the lives of his wives!
  • Ina dark dark wood – I got sent some of these for my book club to read! It was really easy to read and I loved the twist in it too. 
  • Our newly, nearly finished bathroom – more to come on that soon!
  • My not so new but still exciting laptop. It still brings me a lot of joy.
  • Neapolitan choc ices. They are everything right now.
  • Snuggles with Flash - I love these always but recently they have been far more appreciated than ever. 
  • Watching autumn creep in. 
  • To that amazing Ryan Adams cover of 1989. On repeat since yesterday! 
  • Loads of Gaslight Anthem - because well, its sad times that they've split up. 
  • To all the indie my itunes holds. Sometimes I let the computer pick whatever it wants to upload to my ipod (it has to choose because its a circa 2005 4gb badboy) and this time its chosen ALL the 90's & 2000's tunes it can find. I'm not complaining one bit either! 
  • I’ve been clearing the front ‘garden’ to create some low maintenance curb appeal. It’s involved a lot of weeding, laying gravel and trying to tidy up some out of control hydrangeas. Any tips on hydrangea maintenance would be hugely appreciated.
  • Planning a Kitchen makeover. 
  • Visiting friends and having lovely times catching up with them. I need to spend far more time with the best people in my life.  
  • How to tile outside. Gulp. It might be beyond my means though.Skills wise, and financially as the tiles I have fallen in love with are £££. 
  • That gel-shine nail varnish and gel nail varnish are very different beasts!  
  • That no matter how hard you try you can't always get along with everyone and that some people are just not meant to be friends (especially not the ones who would gladly push you under a bus if it meant it their career would progress)
  • Walking flash every evening 
  • Kettlebelling at home now my dislocated rib seems to be getting a bit better. 

The best people are the ones who give you brownies.

Have you ever had a moment when you know you've totally lucked out? Like 100% lucked out? Well, I had that moment last month at our WI Committee meeting. I turned up late, (mostly because I'm me and a little bit because of Flash being a complete horror) and as I ran in a bit flustered, I expected to see a few 'why are we waiting for you' faces sat at the table, instead I was met with smiles due to the most epic gift from one of our committee members - a box of the delicious brownies her and her partner make - Boxed Brownies - Brownies for grown-ups! 
Hayley had brought along boxes for our entire committee group. Now isn't this is the sort of person you want at any meeting - the sort who brings brownies that that take the heat off you for being late!

You might have seen me Instagram some of their gin and juniper brownies, and since then they've set up a business selling these beauties and as they are just so tasty and the packaging is so cute, I figured I'd share them with you. 
Unfortunately when I came to take photos, although the box was sitting in the same spot in the fridge I'd left it, and the string was neatly tied - there appeared to be one missing. It seems a box of brownies, waiting overnight in the fridge was too much for Jim......

In our box we had raspberry and white chocolate, Canadian maple syrup & pecan, gin & juniper, classic dark chocolate and lemon curd brownies. Luckily the flavour Jim ate was the one we had two of - the canadian maple so he wasn't lynched too badly as I still got to try it! My favourite though was the lemon curd. I am a sucker for lemon curd anything so this was right up my street.

Luckily for me, these graced my kitchen before I decided enough was enough and I had to eat healthily, so I got to sample the lot!

Boxes are £15 and the white chocolate and raspberry brownies are about to be discontinued so if you fancy tasting those get on it quick smart!

*Obviously I got this box of brownies for free for turning up at my WI meeting, but all the views are my own.

Travel: I left my heart in Cornwall

A long long time ago I left me heart in a corner of Cornwall and now I have to return regularly just to check it's still beating. Last week was my annual check up and its still beating strong, and leaving was harder than ever! 
We spent some time on the boat in the sunshine and the wind and rain. I'm still not 100% sure Flash loves being on the boat but he's getting better at it, it just takes him some time to get used to the ground moving beneath his feet I think. 

We popped round to the Helford River for lunch on the boat and a little walk on the beaches I spent half my childhood holidays on, and icecream too! We ate icecream. Lots of it. Flash got to be captain of his own boat! We slept on board too - which was a first for Flash and Jim. 

We spent a lot of time eating amazing seafood - we've been trying to visit the Wheelhouse for the longest time and finally we got in (thanks to my parents regular visits). It didn't disappoint at all either. It's a crazy, noisy, mismatched heaven of seafood. I had prawns, crab and scallops and they were all absolutely delicious. And they were more than happy for Flash to sleep under the table which is always a plus. 
We also took a trip across the River Fal to the Roseland Peninsula to Portscatho, another of my childhood holiday haunts. One of the beaches there is dog friendly too so we took Flash for his first proper summery beach trip to Towan Beach (he's used to the pebble beaches around Mylor) and whilst it was sunny, I found out the hard way it wasn't swimming in the sea weather after I tried to rescue a tennis ball! 

I haven't been back to Portscatho since I was 18, and it's so comforting to see that it hasn't changed very much since I was last there - just had a few cool additions of little cafes and coffee shops.
Looking out over the turquoise sea made me wonder why we would ever leave.  
Sorry for the picture heavy post - there are about 4000 more of them in my dropbox! Oooops. 


Where we stayed - We camped at Tregunwith Farm. 
We've stayed there for the last few years and it's nice enough. It's just a campsite really. It's a short drive to the yacht harbour and a 10 minute walk back from Mylor village. We do tend to use the showers and stuff at the yacht club though, just because they are nicer and there are more of them. But there are a couple of barns on site too. 

Where we ate - we always head down to the Pandora Inn when we're in Mylor, it's always served us excellent food, has some great local beers on and is dog friendly (like most places are tbh). There is a nice, informal restaurant at the yacht harbour called Castaways for dinner or drinks and recently a new cafe - Cafe Mylor opened for breakfast and lunch. We had eggs beni and a full cornish there at least once on the trip. Lunches on the boat usually involve salads or pasties from the butchers in Mylor. Our favourite meal was in the Wheelhouse which is down a little passageway in Falmouth centre. It can be booked two weeks in advance so if you are planning on going down, book in advance!

A surprise trip to London for a day of fun!

At the start of our ten day trip to the coast, we had plans to pop to see a friend of ours in Hampshire for a few days. Or that's what I thought we were doing. Actually Jim had arranged for Paula to puppy sit Flash (he's basically the only reason we're allowed to go see her!) for a night whilst we jollied off to London for some fun!

It was all a surprise, which meant I was confused all day - I genuinely didn't know where we were going until we were nearly in London, I was told to get on and off tubes without knowing the final desination, and the confusion only got worse when Jim's sister and Husband appeared with some crap story about visiting friends. But it all culminated in us heading off to see our favourite band, The Gaslight Anthem, in their last ever gig before splitting up!

It's a bit of a ritual that we always go and see them together so maybe I should have twigged when they rocked up that something was on the cards but I'll be honest I was so overwhelmed with not having a clue what was happening that I didn't even guess! 

Check out these amazing cocktails at the Shrub and Shutter. if you don't follow them on Instagram, you are missing out because they create the most awesome drinks. Mine was a Starwars themed gin concoction complete with Lightsaber and Jim's was an NWA whisky based bad boy. Working for a bar company, it's almost research to have lunchtime cocktails, right? We also had some epic bar snacks too! 

Our next stop was a bar on the top of a car park in Peckham with epic views over London. This was the suggestion of one of our friends Mike. I love that there are bars springing up everywhere and this is just such a simple idea. Now where is the nearest multi-story in Sheffield? 

After a few more cocktails (strong ones too) we headed through Covent Garden to get some culture and look at the balloon instillation - no time for shopping though - damn it. It was beautiful, but I feel it was wasted on some of my companions.....heathens. 

From there we headed to Meat Liquor for a completely dirty burger and beers picking up one of my besties on the way - I'll let you into a secret, by now, I might have been a bit drunk so the photos of dinner are blurry as hell so I won't inflict it on you! But it was beautiful and to Jim's dismay I finished the lot! 

And finally we popped over to the Shepard's Bush Empire see the Gaslight Anthem. If you've never heard of them, head to whatever generic music site you use and listen to them now! You're too late to see them live but not too late to enjoy their music. They are the best. We've seen them on every tour they've done in the UK, and even in Vancouver now (I know, nerd alert!). 
It was the best set to finish with - they played my favourites, I sang until my throat hurt but I had the biggest smile on my face! 

It was the absolute perfect day spent drinking cocktails, going to cool bars, eating dirty burgers, seeing friends,singing until my voice went hoarse and generally having fun! The only problem is now I have to find a surprise of equal awesomeness for Jim! 

(Sorry about the picture quality, I was told to leave the SLR in the hotel so I only had my phone to capture the events.) 

A look back on August and my September Goals

We're back from Cornwall with a car full of sand and pockets full of shells (no, I don't think I'll ever grow out of collecting shells) and minds full of how we can start living healthier, plans for the house and for crafting projects. 

But lets look back on August. We took trips to Manchester to visit family, we went to weddings, we had dinners with friends, I booked a little trip away, we spent as much time outside as we could whilst the sun shone and we started our holiday with a bang and a surprise trip to London to see my favourite band!

But onto my plans and goals for September;

What have you got planned this month?