Last month we took a little time out and headed to Pembrokeshire for a few days R&R.
Driving south we took the scenic route through Snowdonia and along the Pembrokeshire Coast before arriving at our destination: Slebech Park
Slebech really is a haven away from the rest of the world (no mobile signal). The building itself isn’t much to look at, but the converted stable-block rooms are a modern twist on country comfort.
The main thing I loved about Pembrokeshire was that virtually everywhere was dog-friendly and Cali was positively encouraged into every restaurant and shop with us. (It’s a good job the rest of the world isn’t like this or I fear she’d have a terrible shopping habit and I’d have an empty bank account!)
We visited Pembroke Castle on our first day and enjoyed a free guided tour. Followed by a look around the town (and in Cali’s case, a chance to scoff all the yummy biscuits people offered her) and an afternoon on Tenby beach. We ate at the South Beach Bar and Grill while the sun set over the sea outside.
The second day was spent tiring Cali out walking around the Slebech Park estate and later exploring Picton Castle and Gardens. The gardens were the real star there – I’m aware I’ve probable middle-aged myself by saying so, but they were very special.
On our way home we stopped off in the Pembrokeshire National Park and spent a happy couple of hours exploring it on horseback. Later we ate dinner in Aberaeron before heading home.
Summer seemed to run really late this year, but it’s looking like Autumn has decided to roll up her sleeves and get to work at last. So I’m saying Au Revoir to the warmer temperatures with a quick post featuring my favourite dress of the Summer.
This dress from Joy has everything. Pockets, pleats, a twirly skirt and that gorgeous floral pattern. I was in love as soon as I saw it. And even better it’s now on sale – snap it up here.
As usual, my little self-made photoshoot was invaded by animals. Shadow came to say hello, and was swiftly followed by Milo. In typical cat fashion, Milo mithered me for ages and then as soon as I picked him up he couldn’t do enough to get away. He likes me really… I think.
Brownies are something I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on. I’ve been experimenting with different recipes for a long time and this has to be one of my all-time favourites.
Lorraine Pascale’s cookery show was addictive viewing for me and I couldn’t wait to buy her books afterwards. These brownies seemed a little fiddly at first, but it was surprisingly easy once I got going. They came out perfectly textured and full of fudgey goodness – perfect for a chocoholic like me!
You can find the recipe here and you can buy Lorraine’s book here.
Last weekend when the rain was pouring down and my stomach was rumbling, I headed into Manchester in search of something to eat. I’ve wanted to visit Castlefield Market for ages but it’s only held on the first weekend of the month and for one reason or another I’ve never been able to make it before. And I have been missing out!
The indoor market is full of handmade crafts and homemade produce. With plenty of street food stalls providing sustenance along the way. I loved the relaxed vibe – a DJ was playing music in the corner and everyone ate along big communal dining tables while making new friends.
It was a hard decision, choosing where to buy lunch from, but in the end I went for a jerk chicken sandwich with the most amazing mango salsa from The Blackbird Pantry. Followed by what has to be the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. The stall holders were all enthusiastic and happy to chat about their products. There were lots of ‘tasters’ on offer too – an added bonus!
A couple of weeks ago I did a course on ‘positive influencing’. I know it sounds a bit wishy-washy but it was honestly one of the best learning experiences I’ve had. I got to thinking about the little things you can do anytime to give yourself a more positive outlook (go outside, write down 3 things every day that you’re thankful for, laugh out loud, etc, etc) and I realised how often my mood can be lifted by something I’ve read or seen online – so I’ve decided to start sharing these things with you guys too. Enjoy!
I was discussing my make-up routine with a friend at work recently – mainly because I don’t consider myself very skilled at it and I was hoping to pick up some tips. We agreed that most girls learn about make-up from their mother, but that wasn’t really the case for us. Make-up for me has always been very much trial and error.
There are a few products I’ve tried in recent years that I’ve stuck with and they are nearly all French brands. So when a sudden fancy struck me the other weekend to try a slightly bolder look and invest in a properly-red lipstick I went to the one French brand I hadn’t yet tried: Dior.
The Dior counter at House of Fraser were incredibly helpful – and very patient with my trial-and-error approach. They picked out the perfect shade for me and taught me everything I needed to know to apply it properly – I’d been doing it wrong all these years – quelle surprise! (For some equally useful tips I’d also recommend this article.)