Thursday, 14 July 2016

Summer Travels & Bestie Reunions

Anyone that knows me will know that I rarely travel to far away shores. This isn't necessarily through choice but more lack of funding and time and is definitely something I aim to rectify in the next year or two. Generally, the furthest I go each summer is to Scarborough to stay with one of my lovely uni pals, Jade and then sit back and watch everyone else's travelling posts and pics on Facebook whilst reeking of jealousy.

This year, we went one step further. Whilst not exactly a jet-set holiday, a million miles away, me and Jade sailed off to visit one of our closest yet furthest away friends, Beth on her little Isle of Man for the first time.

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive and unsure what to expect, as stated before, I rarely go away. However, I now think everyone should go visit the Isle of Man at least once in their lifetime. For anyone who may be unaware of the island, its the little dot between England and Ireland and consists of towns such as Douglas, Ramsey and Peel. It's a strange little place with little stories and myths behind everything but that somehow makes it so enjoyable. You'll be listening to tales of Manannan and his cloak, believing in and talking to fairies and bumping into flags of the three legs left, right and centre. Everything is unbelievably photogenic, the sea is crystal clear, the traditions are the cutest and the people are the friendliest I've ever met.

The island is littered with sights and cute little eateries and cocktail bars and is perfect for a short break, just a couple of days away. We travelled via boat which was certainly an experience, particularly the rough ride home, but it was a brilliant experience and I for one will now be visiting more often.

I was lucky enough to have four days on the isle and then a couple of days in York & Scarborough, surprising and catching up with friends and having the best times making cute memories whilst there.

Things I saw and did on the Isle:
- Marvelled at the Isle of Man notes & coins
- Saw the sights of Peel & walked around Peel Castle, taking in the breathtaking coasts and quaint little boats in the harbour
- Ate at a number of cute little venues & tearooms including Harbour Lights tea-room in Peel, The Tea Junction in Douglas and JUST Pizza & Pasta in Douglas
- Enjoyed a walk along the promenade in Douglas, in awe of the clear waters, Tower of Refuge and neat and tidy parks and gardens along the way
- A drive along a foggy Marine Drive
- Said hello to the fairies whilst driving over the locally famous Fairy Bridge
- Saw the Absolutely Fabulous film at the cute little Broadway Cinema at the Villa Gaiety in Douglas
- Took a walk up to the top of the Laxey Wheel and revelled in the sights and sounds surrounding Lady Isabella
- Visited the only superstore on the whole island!
- Had plenty of drinks including cocktails at Bath & Bottle and a night out in the one and only Outback bar in Douglas (Just be weary of Squashed Frogs!)
- Had a bizarre but memorable day out roaming Cregneash & watching Castletown's World Tin Bath Races

The Isle of Man's Liverpool to Douglas Ferry  |  Manx Currency  |  Manx Electric Railway in Douglas

Having fun at Laxey Wheel

Some of the devine food & drink: The Tea Junction in Douglas  |  Bath & Bottle cocktail bar in Douglas  |  A bolognese pizza from JUST Pizza & Pasta in Douglas

Fun along Douglas Promenade - Featuring lovely greenery, clear seas, Tower of Refuge, IoM ferries and a gormless me

Night-time fun & drinks in Douglas 

I was also lucky enough to spend a night in Scarborough after my Manx travels, and got to see the wonder that is James Bay at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. He was an absolute dream as one would expect!

James Bay killing it at Scarborough OAT <3

In Summary:
- The Isle of Man is magnificent and everyone should visit
- James Bay is gorgeous
- Good times with good friends make the absolute best memories

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Recent Purchases & Favourites

 MUA Lilac Belle | Topshop Muse | Topshop Sashay Away | Topshop Boardroom

The lipsticks I'm loving at the moment. Brown shades are my go-to at the minute and Topshop delivered with these three great shades. Also loving the vibrancy of this MUA lippy which looks great with a simple black outfit. And it was only £1!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
A little late to the party with this one but I finally got a bottle of Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and I love how refreshing it is. Instant wake up and also the best make-up remover.

Topshop Orange Shopper Bag (Sold Out)
Gorgeous new Topshop bag I swagged in their sale last week. Only £15! Unfortunately sold out online but check your local store for any left over bargains like I did.

Pinafores: Primark (All 3)
Been all over the pinafore game over the last few months, as you can see even buying the same one in two colours! These three are all Primark and were around £15 from what I remember (don't quote me!) These are great paired with black, white, grey or brown stripy tops.

Missguided Berryana Faux Suede Midi Mauve | Missguided Button Through Faux Suede Midi | Boohoo Maya Suedette Faux Leather Panel Mini 
In terms of going out attire, I'm a big fan of fitted skirts at the moment. I love the way these two Missguided midi skirts figure hug the body and give you a super flattering look whilst making you feel a million dollars. Also recently braved it and got a mini version in the form of this little black number from Boohoo which is right up my street with regards to colour and style.

Grumpy Cat Socks & Tote - Primark | Alice Takes a Trip Mardy Cats Collar Tee
I love grumpy cat merch! Primark have loads in at the moment, including the socks and tote pictured and also a pair of pyjamas that I'm using all my willpower not to buy! Current favourite t-shirt award also goes to the cute Alice Takes a Trip tee pictured. Cutest collar and print and constantly gets compliments from staff and students at work. Check them out!

Game of Thrones (Pic courtesy of HBO) | Absolutely Fabulous (Pic courtesy of Wikipedia) | The Great British Sewing Bee (Pic courtesy of Simply Sewing Mag)
Recent TV faves have been Game of Thrones, Absolutely Fabulous & The Great British Sewing Bee.
Game of Thrones season six has been immense and I'm legitimately gutted its over for another year. Won't spoil anything here but if you haven't watched or don't watch, you really are missing a treat! 
Netflix has allowed me to binge Ab Fab over the last few weeks. I remembered it being aired when I was little but never really watched it and always wanted to. Thanks to Netflix you can indulge in all the series' ready for the new film release. I can guarantee you'll all want to channel your inner Pats & Eds.
And last but not least, I've been loving this years series of The Great British Sewing Bee. I can't sew to save my life, I dabble in cross-stitch and have lots of seamstress friends though so its right up my street. Fantastic contestants this year and some fab garments made. Looking forward to tomorrow's final and cheering on TEAM JADE!

A lot can happen in a year.

I'm a regular culprit of blog abandonment and only really get round to it when I'm entirely free of any other commitments. I tend to thrash out numerous posts and then go silent for months on end. The last year has been no exception, but with legitimate reason.

Shortly after my last post, my life turned on its head and went into crazy mode. I was offered my first teaching position a week or two after my last post and since then I have been busy literally all the time! As you can imagine, teaching is a full-time job and then some, regardless of your contracted hours. I had to adjust to having a real grown-up job with full-time commitments and without sounding too modest, I think I've been doing a damn good job and am still thoroughly enjoying it.

While most of my life in the last year has been consumed by work, other life-changing things have also occurred and completely stopped me in my tracks. I won't go into massive detail on these but it feels silly not to mention them, as they are all part of the reason I've been AWOL.

Just after Christmas, my nan fell ill and spent all of the holiday period in hospital. She had peaks and troughs but essentially her health deteriorated massively in a short space of time and unfortunately we lost her to pneumonia just three days into 2016. This was a huge thing to deal with as it was really my first experience of grief and I held a lot in initially, in order to look out for my family and ensure their experiences were as easy and painless as such a situation could be. This obviously was a stressful & upsetting time and something that completely changed our lives but as time has passed, it got somewhat easier and less upsetting to deal with and we're now slightly more at peace with the loss of such a phenomenal woman.

Not long after coming to terms with the loss of my nan, I was also faced with the break-up of a long-term relationship. A relationship that had existed and been the biggest part of my young life for almost 8 years. As you can imagine again, this wasn't an easy thing to deal with. It took a lot of adjustment and reassurance to get used to a life without someone who had been like a right arm for a massive part of my life. This experience consisted of ups and downs, upset, loneliness, confusion, phases of resentment and hating (both of myself and the ex at times), apathy and a hell of a lot of unanswered questions. This happened three months ago and while I wouldn't consider myself completely free of the aforementioned ups and downs, I do consider myself to be through the worst of it. I think its impossible to ever be fully rid of someone who was a big part of your life and to be honest 'rid' seems the wrong word as we still have a lot in common and I would hope that we both still have respect for each other and the memories we shared. But the fact remains that you can't force something if its existence is so one-sided. There comes a time (and time being the key word) when you realise that you can't change someone's feelings and you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you continue to try.

So there we have it, those are the reasons for the most recent case of blog-abandonment. To be honest, I could do a whole post on my experiences and the details of all three of those things, but some things should be left unsaid. (Or rather left in un-published posts) However, it is now July, I am a lady of leisure for the whole of Summer and after reading a lot of blogs recently, I feel inspired and ready to get back on the blogging wagon. Blogging is something I always feel happy doing and I love sharing my experiences and memories (and purchases) on here. The bonus being that sometimes, people actually read them too!

Anyway, blog re-design and re-introduction over, get ready for some posts!

(Check out my new layout, new About Me page and while you're at it, I'm selling a bunch of threads on Ebay at the moment so feel free to peruse!)