Castlefield Market

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!

Outfit: Blazer – Zara | Top – Warehouse | Jeggings – M&S (exact ones here) Shoes – Primark | Clutch – Dorothy Perkins
(Note to self – take a bigger bag next time!)

Jewellery – Handmade by Emma
Cards, etc – Mint to Be
Bread – Hunters Artisan Bread
Cakes – Glamarang

(For a full list of stalls appearing each month see the Castlefield Market Website)

Positive Vibes

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!

1. Read what these 25 famous women had to say on the subject of Female Friendship

2. Watch this video of the happiest dog playing at the beach

3. Be inspired by watching these amazing kids helping their Mum fight a hard battle

4. Listen to these Disney songs re-mixed as 90s RnB tracks

5. And if you haven’t seen it already… this Obama sketch with his ‘Anger Translator’

Carrying It Forward

(Jumper Dress: F&F | Leggings: Topshop Tall | Boots: Debenhams | Mittens: Next)

This time last year I wrote about my ‘14 for 2014‘. I’ve never been one for resolutions, but I’d suddenly found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands and it seemed like a good way to organise my spare time into something more productive and enjoyable. So far so good-intentioned…

I started as I meant to go on with Number 1: Blog more – and managed to do this for the first few weeks. Then in March something rather wonderful and unexpected happened… I got a promotion at work. And all of a sudden my spare time started to shrink. So number 1 had to be re-assessed whilst I adjusted to my workload.

A few of the other numbers were also neglected whilst I was enjoying my new role, so this year I’ve decided not to make new resolutions, I’m just going to carry some forward:

1) Blog more
2) Keep a Journal
4) Get back in the saddle and go Horse Riding
5) Dust off the Violin and start playing it again
6) Swim
12) Learn to play Poker (it really can’t be that hard)

2014 was still pretty darn great though. Here are some of the things I did achieve!

Number 3: Read more books. I’m going to post about this soon because it’s something I’ve done with a great deal of enthusiasm.


Number 7: Bake more. I particularly enjoyed June’s Coconut and Lime Cake:


Number 8 (Pay it forward. Do more random acts of kindness) was easy to achieve. I started taking my baked goods into work, I fundraised for my favourite causes, and every time I saw a charity box I put any spare change I had into it. I also succeeded with Number 9 & Number 10.

Number 13: See more things at the theatre. I’m so glad I set myself this goal – it’s so lovely to get dressed up and go to the theatre for an evening. Here are some of the shows I’ve enjoyed this year:




Number 14: Try one new thing, especially if it’s outside your comfort zone (I’m particularly proud of this one) This year I abseiled for the first time – 66 metres! Stepping off the edge was enormously daunting, but ultimately such a rush. As a bonus I also raised a lot of money for my local Mountain Rescue Team.


When In Rome

I’ve been meaning to do this post for the past 3 months – but every time I sat down to write it I struggled to do justice to this amazing city.


St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican City
(as seen from the top of Castel Sant’Angelo)

Two years ago I decided I wanted to go to Rome. I bought a guidebook and everything… then I bought my house. All plans for adventure had to be put on hold whilst I spent my time traipsing to solicitors, banks and building merchants. So this year, as a birthday present to myself, I decided to make it happen.

I flew out on my birthday (word to the wise: if you book a flight on your birthday, make sure it isn’t at the crack of dawn – no one remembers it’s your birthday when it’s that early in the morning!) and I got my birthday wish to stand in the Colosseum. Though I quickly learned that I’ve been calling it by the wrong name all my life – it’s proper name is the Flavian Ampitheatre. It got the nickname ‘Colosseum’ from a statue of the god ‘Collosus’ which used to stand outside the entrance. True story.


The Flavian Ampitheatre (or Roman Colosseum as it’s more commonly known)
When I showed my dad the photo above he thought it had been empty on our visit – but then I pointed out all the people stood around the edges – they’re just so dwarfed by the scale of this amazing place.

Here’s a little tip though: the Colosseum is amazing, but the Imperial Fora is something else. It’s like walking around a film set. There are literally dozens of palaces, temples, buildings and ruins which have accumulated over thousands of years. It’s mind boggling to think they were created by sheer man power alone.


Wandering the Fora with my sister.


Skirt & Top: Zara | Sandals: Primark

The most important accessory for Rome is a pair of comfy shoes. There is a metro system but why spend your time underground when there’s so much to discover on each street? We stayed close to the colosseum – in the very lovely Hotel Duca D’Alba. (The hotels near the train station are cheaper but much further away from the historic sights.) All the main tourist attractions were within 30 minutes walk.


The Trevi Fountain


The Vatican City



The Pantheon was by far my favourite building. When we rounded the corner and came face to face with it, the first thing my sister said about it was ‘There should be music playing, like we’re in universal studios or something.’ Standing in front of it, it really does feel like you’ve just walked onto the set of Gladiator or something.


Rome is full of amazing things to see, but it’s also shopping and food heaven. We neglected the shopping part of our trip a bit, but not so with the food. La Tavernelle, a restaurant around the corner from our hotel, kept us fuelled with pizza, pasta and award-winning Panna Cotta (seriously – you have to try it!) but the thing Rome is most famous for is the gelato.

There’s a gelataria on almost every street but very few places sell the real-deal. Most gelato is made from powder these days but you can taste the difference – look for gelato made with 100% natural ingredients. This place was my favourite – their dark chocolate and orange gelato made me the happiest girl in Rome.



View of Rome from the Villa Borghese

The First Post

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Hey hey, welcome to my first post!

Yes… I’ve finally stopped talking about starting a blog and actually had a go at it. Expect lots of posts featuring my shopping addiction, some culinary experiments and a few adventures!

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the name: it’s something an old work colleague used to call me a few years back and I always thought it would make a good title for a book… but it’ll do for a blog I reckon.

Much love
S x