To celebrate our four year anniversary, we decided to book a little something to look forward to (I always love having plans in the diary to keep me feeling positive, anyone else? Also, If I didn’t book it, I swear we would never do anything!) We wanted to go somewhere not too far away from home, probably about an hour or so at most.

After some internet research, we decided on the Kingfisher Cottage at Olicana Park, Ilkey.  It was really reasonably priced for Monday-Wednesday (staying two nights) and the cottage looked beautiful!

 

It definitely didn’t disappoint and as soon as we got there we felt immediately at home! IT WAS SO COSY, which of course I immediately loved. A super big bed so you don’t end up fighting over the duvet, free wifi and catch up tv, and of course, the hot tub! I spent an hour in there finishing my book and walked back in feeling the most relaxed I have in ages. Plus you also get free hotel robes and slippers to wear for your stay and I love it when that happens. The bathtub was also massive, probably the biggest bath I’ve ever been in!

The owners also left some lovely little touches such as cake, processo and bread and milk for us to enjoy. Plus also the cutest view outside of the cottage were the little sheep! We really did feel tucked away at the countryside. We went into the town of Ilkey which is only a 7 minute drive away and explored the town. I found some great reads in the local charity shops, and we enjoyed dinner at a nearby Italian, and a few drinks in the local pubs which all seemed lovely too. I haven’t been to Ilkey before and a lot of people described it to me as a smaller Harrogate, which I can definitely agree with.

We spent the next day driving (another 7 minute drive) to Bolton Abbey, and had a nice walk around there for a few hours. Thankfully it wasn’t raining by then and we could walk in the sunshine, before stopping at a local tea room for some tea and cake, much needed! We ended the last evening by ordering a takeaway and watching Love Is Blind on Netflix- oh my gosh I’m so obsessed with that show right now I can’t even tell you. You must watch it! It’s so good and probably the only show ever I could binge-watch. (I’m not a binge watcher, I just have a really short attention span I think!)

I know travel style posts aren’t the norm on this blog, but hopefully the more places we visit that I haven’t been to, I can feature them on here! They might be helpful if some of you live locally to me, and I want them to look back on in the future too. We haven’t got anything else booked in the diary but in April it is both of our birthdays and I’d love to have an overnight stay somewhere, so we’ll see!

Have you ever been on a countryside break? Did you enjoy it or are you more of a city person?

Photo from my Instagram

Dear Diary, I’ve had a realisation.

The things about realisations is that they usually hit you completely out of the blue. Kind of like a veil you’ve had over your eyes suddenly falls away. And that’s exactly what happened to me the other day.

I’ve been feeling for ages now, that I’ve been juggling everything I do online badly. Trying to blog multiple times a week, upload on Instagram every other day, post on stories constantly and be somewhat interesting. It was all just getting a bit too much, to be honest. I also think it’s important to note here that these are all things that I enjoy and do for fun, I don’t have any ties that mean I have to do these things because it’s my job or it makes me income.

…And then I realised. I was doing lots of things averagely, instead of just doing a few things well.

It was SUCH a lightbulb moment. And that’s why I’ve been making the changes lately to find a new routine, like I mentioned in my last post talking about my blogging routine.  I’m posting less on Instagram BUT I’m posting images that I love and am so happy with. I’m blogging less BUT I’m putting in so much more effort than I did previously and I think it shows in my content. I’m not on stories every hour of the day BUT when I am, I’m enjoying it a lot more.

It’s just little changes, but they feel so, so good. If it means I don’t publish a blog post that week because I’m working on a super challenging photo edit, then that’s okay. I want to create using my full imagination and not hold back to save the scraps for another platform.

Whatever I do, I want to put my heart and soul into it. And be proud of how it stands when it’s completed… and I hope you enjoy following me along the way.

How do you feel about the amount of platforms you manage these days? Do you prioritise one over the other?

Photo from my Instagram

Blogging is something that has changed a lot over the last few years. They don’t seem to be as popular as they once were, but in my opinion there’s definitely still a place for them. You just can’t get the depth on an Instagram caption then you can on your own blog post. Sitting down and typing out my thoughts is still so therapeutic to me. But with all the platforms out there these days, your attention obviously goes elsewhere and you don’t feel like there’s as much time as before as they used to be. That’s why I’ve started blogging a little differently recently, so I thought I’d tell you about it.

minimum once a week posts
Gone are the days when I could easily post 3 times a week. Honestly I just don’t have that much content that I would *really* want to say, and I don’t want to post things that I’m not 100% happy with. Plus I definitely don’t have the time for that right now, and I wouldn’t want to make any changes to priortise it and let something else I enjoy doing too, fall. Once a week minimum works really well for me, and sometimes it’s two posts. I’m not putting any pressure on myself that way, and it means blogging is still something I really enjoy and actually, crave! After a few days, I’m itching to get typing again.

more long-form posts
I still love a short, snappy post, but I’m very much into long posts right now. They feel like I’m giving more value and effort for you guys who read my blog, and that makes me feel very happy. Plus if I’m only posting once a week, I can spend longer to put something together, and really get into the point of what I’m trying to make.

mixed bag of content
I really don’t want to put any restrictions on what kind of posts I want to do. Whether it’s more of a helpful post, lifestyle stuff or book/positivity content, it feels right and good to me, I want to share it. There’s loads of more topics I would love to discuss on here, but I just haven’t found quite the right way to go about it yet.

Basically, I want to put more effort into my posts. I suppose that’s the long and short of it really. Quality over quantity is my new motto where the blog is concerned. So hopefully, I’ll see you in the next post.

Do you have any blogging schedules?

Photo from my Instagram

It’s been a hard weekend. I think all of us got hit by the sad news on Saturday, and I know that I for one felt really affected by it. I grew up watching Caroline on Xtra Factor when I was a teen, and I was so shocked and saddened when I found out.

When things feel heavy, I try and focus even more than usual on those little things that cheer me up and make me smile. So that’s what I wanted to do with this post today, a regular happy things post that I’m sure you’re familiar with if you usually read this blog. Even just writing these things down make me feel happier, and more positive, plus the act of counting what you’re grateful for is such a good pick me up too.

#1 Vegan nutella on toast.
Now I’m dairy free, I’m still on the hunt to find alternatives to things that I love. I picked up some vegan nutella in Aldi and it’s been a love affair reunited. Toast and tea is soon becoming quite the comfort blanket of mine, and I’m happy for it to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

#2 Running 7k.
I’m signing up to a 10k in July, so I’m slowly making my way towards that goal. I had scheduled a 7k run in February, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it. It’s a long way for me, and even though I’m not a fast runner, I wondered if my stamina would make it that long but I’m happy to say I did it and actually really enjoyed it too! There’s something quite therapeutic about plodding along on a long run and sorting through the thoughts running through your head.

#3 Good podcasts.
I’ve been catching up with my podcast library recently, and I’ve listened to some great ones! Newest to the list is Talking Tastebuds by Venetia LaManna, and I’m super happy The Fringe of It is back too.

#4 Great reads.
I’m on my 15th book of the year (I know, I can’t quite believe it either) and I’ve read some gems. I did a post the other week about 3 of the books I’ve given 5 stars so I’ll link it here. Ones I’ve loved more recently is The Marble Collector, If I Never Met You and The Girl He Used To Know. I’m over on Instagram on my book account here.

#5 The thought of Spring arriving.
I’m not sure about you, but for me Winter seems to of lasted 2721973 years. It’s getting slightly lighter now too which is bloody fantastic to see. Bring on getting my white jeans back out into rotation, flowers blooming again and more blue skies. Yes please.

#6 Our cottage getaway.
We’re going away on Monday for a few days to a little countryside cottage and I can not wait! I’ve told myself I’m going offline too for a bit of time out which should leave me feeling refreshed too. I think I’m going to take lots of photos and pop them all on here in a little ‘travel’ post, does that sound interesting to you?

#7 Miss Americana on Netflix.
You know I’m the BIGGEST T Swift fan, so of course I was all over her Netflix documentary. I watched it the other weekend with my sister but I really want to watch it again.

#8 Good TV shows.
We’ve watched some great TV recently. I’ve finished all three seasons of Workin Mom’s (the third season is probably my favourite of them all) and we’re halfway through The Stranger which we’re both really enjoying it.

#9 Homemade flapjack.
I did some baking this weekend and now I have afternoon snacks for the week- well, lets be honest the next 3 days.

#10 Glitter nails.
Because if I’m going to finish this list on something superfical, at least make it glittery.

What’s made you happy lately?

Photo from my Instagram

Truth be told, when I was at school I hated the weekends. I found them boring, I didn’t like the lack of routine and structure they had, and I used to long for Monday to roll around so I could get back to a routine and see my friends at school. Now obviously, my opinion has changed! A few years ago I got into a real habit of making my weekends super busy, running around like the headless chicken amongst the super busy crowds of everyone else doing the same thing. Now I like them to be a lot more relaxed and laid back. I thought in todays post I’d tell you why slow weekends work for me and exactly what kind of stuff I’m getting up to.

They are a time to unwind.
I’ve worked out now that if I have a busy weekend, I end up paying for it. I don’t feel relaxed, I feel more stressed out than ever and like I’ve had no time for myself. I need a slow weekend to really unwind and get back to feeling like myself.

You can catch up on the things you missed during the week.
I know that I for one never get everything done that I’d planned during Monday to Friday. I always have a few little jobs left over that I don’t mind doing on a weekend, because chances are I’ve had a good week where I haven’t over-scheduled myself. I’d rather have a calmer week and a few things roll over into the weekend, then be crazy every weekday and laid bare on the weekend feeling too tired.

Time for you to do whatever YOU want to do.
To be completely honest, this is quite revoltionary for me and something I’m still getting my head around. I know of course there are certain things we sometimes have to do, but now I schedule them in the week, that way I know I have the weekend all to myself. Having two days where I can fill up my creative cup, do things for myself by myself, no obligations or plans set in stone, really makes a massive impact to my daily life, health and well-being.

You start Monday feeling fresh and renewed.
I actually love Mondays because they feel like a fresh start, and I’m sure a lot of why I do is down to how I spend my weekend. I feel happy, energised, and ready for the week to see what it will bring.

Things I love doing on a slow weekend:

  • Getting my paints out.
  • Baking- I made flapjack this Sunday!
  • Seeing family who live closeby.
  • Watching a tv show with Dan.
  • Going for a run.
  • Doing calming yoga.
  • Reading lots of my book.
  • Decluttering and organising.
  • Having a long bath watching Youtube.
  • Doing face masks.
  • Face-timing my sister and nephew.
  • Catching up on podcasts.
  • Walks with Harvey.
  • Practising the piano.

 

As you see from above, a slow weekend doesn’t in any way mean a boring, unproductive weekend. For me, a slow weekend means relishing the time you have doing things that make you happy. Whatever that may be!

 

Do you enjoy slow weekends?