I've been framed | Collab with Photo Wall canvas art- Ad

29 October 2017


You're home is where you lay your hat, or so the saying goes. And I am a creature who loves her comforts. If you have been following my blog posts for a while you will know I am more at ease in my home environment, where I have all my belongings that make me feel comfortable and happy.

And with that comes a love of home ware. Whilst I'm yet to own my own home (will I ever?!) I do like to make the flat that I rent as cosy as possible. I have Dunelm and The Range opening right by my work (and I work for a store that sells homeware) so I am totally in my element!

So when the company PhotoWall got in touch with me recently to gift me a canvas print of my choice to share with you I was one happy bunny!

I had a good browse of their website and soon realised there was lots and lots of different images to choose from. My aspiration when I have my own home is to fill a wall full of canvas images and framed prints and PhotoWall is just the place to help me do this!


PhotoWall ships from Sweden but it didn't take that long for my chosen canvas to arrive. I loved the Typography section on their site and after much umming and ahhing I opted for this cute floral design.
I love the motto as I do believe everything has to start somewhere and hopefully with love and determination can come great things!

When the package arrived it was in a long brown box. How the canvas fitted in that I was most bemused! Upon opening the package I found the canvas print rolled up with the wooden back supports and screws in an envelope.

It seems I had to make it myself. But don't let this put you off, as it makes it much easier to post this way and I had much satisfaction to say I made it myself! It made it feel more personal.
There are instructions included and I did initially glance over them and think I was going to become unstuck quite quickly.


But I was pleasantly surprised how simple and quick it was to put together. It only took less than 10 minutes in total to put it together. And ta da! I have my own canvas print to sit on my desk.

If you fancy getting your hands on your own canvas print to adorned your bedroom/uni room/lounge, wherever you fancy then PhotoWall are kindly offering every reader a 20% off discount on their site!

Simply use this code photowallandabbiecampaign2017 to get your discount on their website!

I'm off to start looking on Pinterest for some art wall ideas  am now inspired to get some more!

Love and hugs,






Getaway to Bournemouth

22 October 2017




If you have followed my previous blog posts you'll have seen that I love visiting Bournemouth. It's kinda come a home from home and I hope one day to move there.
In the absence of relocating to Dorset, Dan and myself try and visit at least once or twice a year. So far this year we haven't had much of a holiday (something to do with my fear of flying) so this weekend break was long over due!

We set off on the train around midday on the Friday. The journey involves 2 trains. One to Southampton Central and then one onto Bournemouth. When we got off the train at Southampton (to which Dan had to stand due to lack of available seats. Though I won't mention the young woman who decided to take up one seat, her bag on the next and the seat next to her was the window seat so not easy for someone to take- thoughtful, not!) I knew from experience that the train to Bournemouth was on the opposite platform, but we only had a few minutes to make the connection.
With a heavy suit case in tow (yes I had packed for a week rather than a weekend!) I suggested to Dan we remain on the same platform and get the next train only a few minutes later.
Dan wasn't sure as he likes certainty but I said on several occasions that this train did call at Bournemouth but it's not till we got moving that it transpired that we were on the long way round train!
This train route was scheduled to arrive an hour after the original train. Luckily though the train stopped at Brockenhurst where we got off, as it was going to wait there for 25 minutes and we got another connection about 10 minutes later.
All in all we arrived only 10 minutes or so after our original destination time.

Upon arriving at Bournemouth train station we alighted and headed off towards the hotel. I made another snap decision and according to Google maps there was a more direct route, so I said to Dan we should take that route. But another obstacle in our journey, part of the road was closed off due to building work, so we ended up taking a detour and took the route we normally take.

Around twenty five minutes later we arrived at the hotel and checked in. Dan had told me previously he had booked a suite rather than a standard room so I was excited to see what this was like!
The hotel, called Norfolk Royale Hotel, was originally built as two villas but was later converted into one large hotel. It has a slightly old hotel feel but it is well decorated and designed and maintained.






The suite was on the second floor facing out the back overlooking the rear of the hotel and the indoor swimming pool. We took the lift up to the second floor, which another guest warned us the doors were slow to close as it was old. And they weren't wrong!
As we used our key card to enter the room, we walked into a hallway area with a wardrobe on the right, with a modern style bathroom, complete with roll top bath and a separate shower.
Then ahead was the bedroom, with a sofa at one end, a desk and chair to the left and then a kingsize bed at the other end of the room.
Apart from the space that the suite offered, the thing I liked most about the room? The fact there was a large TV on a pole on a wooden unit at the foot of the bed.
The reason for the pole? So that you could either turn to watch the TV from the sofa, or twist around to watch in bed, clever!

We then set down our luggage and headed out to the city centre to have a look around. The hotel is conveniently situated a minutes walk from the centre so it's a perfect location to get to the local shops and beach.


I will admit it didn't take me long to end up in Primark! And Tiger stores and Zara! I ended up purchasing a jumper and a handbag from Zara (handbag featured in my previous Autumnal fashion post).
Dan and myself then headed for the beach. It was approaching approx. 5 pm by this point, so it wasn't too busy. We stopped and took some photos looking out to sea. By this point I was getting quite hungry so I suggested we have something to eat at the Harry Ramsden restaurant right on the sea front. The restaurant was pretty empty so we got seated straight away. We ordered our food and I went for their cod fish burger with chips. I have had this before and would defo recommend it.
Bellies full, we paid for our meal then headed back to the hotel, where I changed into my Chip from Beauty and the Beast pj's and snuggled up in bed, with the TV on at the end. (I don't have a TV in my bedroom at home, so this was a treat!).

The following morning Dan and myself dressed and headed down to breakfast. One thing I like about hotels is the fact they lay on the whole works for breakfast, full English, toast, cereals, fruit. So much choice! But me, being me and not much of a breakfast person (I tend to have brunch when I'm at work around 11am) I was boring and went for some toast.
Dan on the other hand took the opportunity to have a full English breakfast. I will admit it did look yum!

After we had eaten (and Dan and myself had a full on conversation over breakfast- not a usual routine for us!) we returned to our room to get our bags and camera's and head out for the day.
I was quite tired though, as I didn't sleep too well, what with being in a different bed and place and some drunk idiot shouting at the top of his lungs at 3am. But still we were on a holiday so I wanted to get out and make the most of the day.
We went for a look around some more of the shops (I'm lucky Dan is so accommodating). Dan then suggested we visit a borough of Bournemouth called Westbourne. Dan has seen a photo of a pretty shopping arcade and suggested we walk the mile or so there to have a look.
The weather was holding out at this point, so a leisutely walk was quite welcome.




Westbourne is only small and consists of a parade of shops and situated in the middle of the shops is the arcade. It is picturesque, full of independent shops selling gifts and home ware items. Whilst it's not huge, it was defo worth visiting.


At the end of the arcade was saw a sign for Alum Chine. Dan had read previously this lead to the beach, so we though this would be a scenic route back to Bournemouth.
After about 20 minutes of walking down suburban roads, we found a turning into Alum Chine, which is a pretty wooded path leading down to the beach.
I knew once we headed into it Dan would love it as he loves the outdoors and nature. Along the path off to the sides we kept noticing little paths leading up the wooded inclines to the houses at the top. Some of the paths were quite hidden and I know if we were to move to Bournemouth we would prob end up going up them to explore!

At the end of the chine, it opens up to the beach and though it was a bit windy it was lovely. It was also quite warm and I ended up taking off my coat on numberous occasions. There was plenty of dog walkers along the seafront and families out and about making the most of the beach and it being the weekend.



We walked and chatted along the seafront back to the town centre where we then went back to the hotel as by this point I was quite worn out! We then chilled on the bed, watched some TV and later that evening Dan went out and returned with a KFC. Talk about fine dining!

When we returned to the hotel and entered the reception/lobby area we saw a bride in her gown and various wedding guests. I love to see a wedding, so that was nice to walk into.
The only thing that miffed me was that when Dan booked the hotel room, he did ask if any events were going on. He was told no, it should be a quite weekend.
Dan and myself like quiet environments, nothing busy or bousterous. But I can't imagine in the time Dan made the booking about a month ago a wedding reception was suddenly booked in. I thinks the hotel told a porkie so we would make the booking. Who knows!

There was a slight debarcle later that evening as we heard outside our hotel room (indoors) some women sounding upset. Then shortly afterwards another woman exclaiming that someone had trashed the room. Now she sounded pissed off! And rightly too.
Dan guessed they were part of the wedding party? There was a bit of distant party music for the evening, again to do with the wedding I guess? But as I was tired it didn't bother me too much.

After a slightly better nights sleep, we went down for breakfast again on the Sunday morning. We had the same again and retuned to the room after eating to get ready to go out again.
The weather was forecast to be raining for the better part of the day, but as I felt we didn't do too much the previous day I thought we would go out somewhere to make the most of it.




We decided to get a bus to Poole, which we had been to before but thought it would be nice to visit again. We took the bus from the town centre and headed over to Poole.
The buses are so affordable over in Bournemouth. It cost us £6 for us to get a return ticket for a half hour journey.
Back in Chichester, the same length journey for one person is a minimum of £7 for one person. And the buses in Bournemouth run far more often and later. We are getting ripped off in West Sussex!

As we arrived in Poole, the weather had taken a turn for the worst and was raining. It wasn't cold, and I decided not to take coat, but I did have my umbrella. After a little look around the assortment of shops, some low end, some mid market, a real cornucopia of brands, we headed to the harbour.

The harbour is really pretty and on a good day you can see out to the far end of the harbour and over to Sandbanks (most expensive real estate area in England) but alas the weather wasn't on our side and all we got was wet and the view was too obscured by the rain.

We did pay a visit to the old Life Boat station which you can see the old lifeboat it's self. It's pretty impressive that the RNLI volunteers risked their lives to save others in what was effectively a wooden boat. Not the modern day kit you get now.

After a final look around Poole's Primark (I know, I know, how many trips do I need? My excuse, there isn't one in my home town so I making up for it!) we got the bus back to Bournemouth, where we went back to our hotel room to chill some more and avoid the rain.

A while later it had stopped raining so we headed out to find some food. Dan wasn't too hungry I ended up getting a takeaway Pizza hut pizza to take back to the room. I sat on the bed, eating my pizza, watching YouTube videos and in my pj's. Simple pleasures!

I then went to sleep and woke up around 7am the following morning (I'm an earlier riser). After dressing we went down for our last breakfast in the hotel. As we had to check out by 11am I think, we asked if we could keep my suitcase aside whilst we did a final walk around Bournemouth before heading home which we were told was ok to do.


The weather was much more pleasant that morning and we wished it had only been like that when we visited Poole the day before. I did a final bit of shopping and took a walk down to the beach. The sun was shining and it was quiet, perfect!
On the Saturday we went onto the pier and saw a sign saying it was £1.20 to go onto the rest of the pier. We scoffed at this. £1.20, how banana's!
But when we returned that Monday morning, we realised it was £1.20 for an annual pass. That made more sense, to help with the upkeep of the pier we guessed.

We then returned to the hotel to get my suitcase, which I then lugged back to the station (I had more clothes that I had brought so I wasn't helping myself!). Dan would of helped but I declined his offer as he himself had a very heavy back pack.

We got the Great Western train back to Southampton and after picking up an baguette from Upper Crust, we got the train back towards Chichester.
We got as far as just outside Cosham (near Porstmouth) when the train ground to a halt. A tannoy told us that there was a train ahead of us was stopped as there was a swan on the line (alive I was hoping but I doubt it was *sad face*). The power to the line had to be switched off as the bird was removed and we had to wait on the train for 25 minutes as they did this.
I will be honest I did feel rather anxious at this point, I don't like being stuck in situations/places where I feel trapped and especially if I don't know how long for. Luckily it was 25 minutes, but until we got moving I did fear it could be for far longer which was not doing my nerves any favours!

After about a 35 minute delay in total we arrived back in Chichester and returned home. Where you find me writing this blog post after a little rest.

I was a chilled weekend and nice to get away, but if you know me, you know I like my creature comforts and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed :)

Love and hugs,



Outfits Of The Day | | Autumn Edition

15 October 2017

Being that it's now Autumn in the UK, the weather can be unpredictable. In the morning it could start out over cast and drizzly but by the afternoon it can be baking hot.
But one thing I do like about this time of year is wearing jumpers and Autumnal style clothing. I recently took a long weekend to the beautiful seaside town of Bournemouth and took along a selection of new items which I have shared below...

This first look is:
Pink jumper from Primark £13
Black and white polka dot skirt from Pretty Little Thing from ASOS £15
Bag from Zara £19.99
Black faux shearling biker coat from Primark £30



                              
       


This second look is:
White 'Bright' embroided sweater from Mango £9.99
Gold horn necklace from Pia Jewellery £25
Denim skirt with denim laced detail from ASOS





My last look is:
Black and white strip dress from Primark £8
Black faux shearling biker jacket from Primark £30
Black bag from Zara £19.99



I have a few more jumpers which I will share in a forth coming blog post too. Here's to the new season and a new wardrobe of clothing (any excuse!).

Love and hugs,


Rainy Day Baking | Chocolate Cookie Recipe

8 October 2017


Autumn has well and truly arrived and with that comes the wind and drizzly rain. You know the type, falls in every way which in tiny drops saturating every absorbent surface and in my case causing havoc to my hair.

So on a day like that, if I'm at home then digging out the bake ware and creating some yummy treats is my idea of an dreary afternoon well spent.

As you may of seen from previous baking posts, my baking has a lot to be desired generally. This is not a skill I have been blessed with. With that said I do enjoy baking, so recently decided to make some chocolate cookies.

Not something I have baked much of before, but that's the only way to learn! I used a recipe from the Dorling Kindersley Step-by-Step Baking book for white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies. I didn't fancy nuts in my cookies, so I just omitted that from my cookies.

This is easy to make and so yummy to eat!

To make these cookies, you'll need:

150g good quality dark chocolate
100g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
75g unsalted butter, softened
175g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g white choc chunks (I used white choc chips)

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees (350 Fahrenheit, Gas 4). Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. (Or melt in the microwave like I did for approx. 1 and half mins depending on your microwave setting). Set aside to cool
Sift the flour and cocoa together.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour mixture. Add in the chocolate and mix thoroughly to combine. Finally fold in the white chocolate chunks/chips. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Place teaspoons of the chilled cookie dough on 2 or 3 baking sheets lined with parchment, positioned at least 5cm (2in) apart, as they will spread once baking.

4. Bake in the top third of the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked through but still soft in the middle. Leave on the trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
(Hint- the cookies will harden once out of the oven so don't worry if they seem too soft initially).

The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.




And these cookies are a perfectly accompanied by a hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles. Sit back, scoff and enjoy!

If you give this recipe a go I would love to know! And do you have a recipe to share with me?

Happy baking!

Love and hugs,


How to make your home ready for Autumn

1 October 2017

Now the cooler days are setting in I have been making my flat all cosy and autumnal. I recently had a bit of a homeware haul and I picked up these fall inspired items...


I have this bookcase which you may of seen in previous homeware blog posts and I like to change it up every so often and reflect the season.
For Autumn I have added this golden pear ornament and pumpkin spice candle from Homesense. I thought these added the perfect touch to create the feel of Autumn. Homesense is a great place I have found for all things seasonal for the home. The pear was £3.99 and the candle was £2.99. Bargains!


This Zoella lifestyle pot is ideal for this season. It's all shiney and coppery! I have added this faux pot plant from Ikea to fill it. I've tried keeping real plants alive but they rarely make it past a few weeks with me, so this is an ideal touch to my bedroom.
There are so many types of these plants on the high street from real to fake. And succulents are every where too. They work great for bringing some muted colours and textures into a room.


No, I haven't been on The Voice (I think the jewellery stand looks like the logo for it) but I have been to Tiger and picked up this cool looking ring holder. This was less than £5 and I think looks great on a dressing table to add some character.


I purchased this duvet cover and cushion last year from George at Asda and now it's Autumn I can use them again!
I love this as it creates the perfect Autumn vibes and makes me feel cosy in bed. Check out George at Asda for this years autumnal range. (Not spons!).
I also have my fox teddy that can be heated in the microwave to snuggle with on a cold Autumn day :)


I love canvas prints and these too are sitting on top of my bed. I picked up the sparkle canvas last year from Tesco and the Autumnal one is also from Tesco for £6 and this is current stock so you can also grab yourself one!


And finally nothing says Autumn like a pumpkin. I picked these up from Sainsburys. The also make great props for blog photo flat lays.
The acorn and leaf are from Homesense and are further decorative pieces to bring some Autumn vibes indoors.

So there you have my Autumn homeware pieces. I find this is a great time of year for homeware as there are so many items across the high street to get you all cosy and snuggled on the coming cold and breezy days.

Love and hugs,



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