Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday Favourites #88

Well hello there!

Who's ready for my Sunday favourites?

I love this lotus tattoo from Sasha Unisex. The colours and the shading are gorgeous.

I love this lady's teal hair and her aubergine co-ord ensemble is stunning. The photos are from Own Project: Equality Fashion which you can see more of on the French blog Big or Not Too Big.

All of these dresses, petticoats, and shoes need to get in my wardrobe!


Sasha Unisex's watercolour tattoo designs are amazing. I love the rose and the lotus flower.

These are the prettiest nails I've seen all year!

I adore Lu Loves Handmade's tropical food table. It would be so fun to recreate for a summer gathering, barbecue, or girls night in.

These strawberry cheesecake and vanilla malt Heart-Inside Macarons are adorable. They look like fancier versions of the Jammy Dodger!

A town in Costa Rica was covered in 8 million flower petals for a Sony advertising campaign. Aren't the results amazing? If only it were a natural phenomenon!

I found these works of art on Tumblr, but didn't manage to find out what the story is behind them. I just think they're beautiful.

These adorable baby beavers made me smile this week.

This chocolate chip strawberry shortcake recipe looks absolutely delicious. It's a pity I'm lactose intolerant! Sans cream for me!

I don't know what it is about beach trash photos, but they're so fascinating.

Pastel perfection.


A white lion and a white tigeress have given birth to the world's first brood of white ligers! Since the little guys have some colour, I'm not quite sure how that works, but they're so cute!

These tigers taking a bath...

Can this be my hair, please?

A stunning photo of the Aurora Australis.

This is very good advice that we all should be following.

I love this pansy tattoo.

These pretty kitties.

This temp tattoo is so cute.

Ain't that the truth!

And Some Other Things You Might Enjoy...

♥ I loved The Militant Baker's awesome 21 body positive tattoos and inspiration post.

♥ Betty Pamper wrote a fantastic post about the stigma of the word 'fat' and why she is reclaiming the F word.

♥ The Black Pearl shared her tips for stress-free blogging.

♥ Becky Bedbug shared 10 ways to deal with stress.

♥ A Primark shopper got more than she bargained for when she checked the label of her new dress. Are our fashion bargains really worth it when somebody out there may be paying the price?

♥ Why do twenty-somethings always feel so old? I'm turning twenty-nine this week, and the thought of it is making me feel ancient! 

♥ I'm fat and I'll eat whatever I damn well please. I once got judged by a colleague for eating cheese and was lectured about how unhealthy it was... I was actually eating a fruit salad of pineapple, melon, and mango! Why are we so critical of what other people are eating / putting in their trolleys at the supermarket?

♥ The 31 realest Tumblr posts about being a woman is absolutely brilliant!

♥ Here are some things you could say when someone tells you they have a mental illness. The advice in this post is spot on, and I'd recommend everybody reads it because the support could make a huge difference to a friend or relative living with a mental illness.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!


Friday, 27 June 2014

Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal Book Review

I recently bought myself a creative journal book called Q&A a Day: 5 Year Journal. It's a book which has been on my wish list for a year or two, and I'm pleased to say when it made its way in to my hands last week I wasn't disappointed.

Q&A a Day: Five Year Journal is exactly what it sounds like; a five year journal book with a different prompted question to answer every day of the year. Each question is returned to each year for five years so you can look back and see how much your life changes over time, and in the process this little book will help you to create your own personal little time capsule. Sounds fun, right?

The book is filled with a wide variety of prompts to ponder over, and there are many you're likely to never have asked yourself before. You only have one question to answer a day, so this journal only takes a minute of your time a day and doesn't need much commitment. It's ideal if you want to journal, but rarely have the time to stop and write an entry; and perfect for anybody who enjoys creative journaling, but regularly struggles to find the inspiration to write.

With 365 different questions to answer a year, there's no shortage of inspiration, and there's a great variety of questions and topics to keep things interesting, including:

 How would you describe your victory dance?
 Who would you trade places with for just one day?
♥ What is your most cherished memory of the year?
♥ What is your most recent act of generosity?
 How do you feel about your body?
 What's the best part about your life right now?
 Today was unusual because __________.
 Write a phrase to describe your year so far.
 What's the next book you want to read?
 What are the top songs on your recently played list?
 What do you feel grateful for today?
 Today you wore __________.
 How do you want to be remembered?
 Are you seeking contentment or excitement?
 Who do you want to be?

This journal is such a fun way to challenge yourself daily. It will not only get you thinking about what's important to you, but it will give you somewhere to record the little things about your day you might otherwise forget about.

I think it will be interesting to look back on each year's answers and see how much life has (or has not) changed over the years. We don't always realise just how much we evolve as people from year to year, and I think the changes could surprise us. It's the sort of memento that would be interesting for you or your family to rediscover in a box in years to come, and a great way to remember a particular period of your life.

So, each day of the year is given a full page with the date and prompt at the top, and each page has five sets of lines, one for each year's entry. There's room for a few sentences each time, which should be plenty of room for each answer.

You can start the journal on January 1st and write daily for the next five years to keep your journal entries consistent throughout. You may prefer to start the journal on whatever day of the year it makes its way in to your hands, as I've done, because you just can't wait until January to get started! You don't even have to answer questions each day, if you don't want to. You can fill in an answer to today's date on whichever year you're inspired to pick up the book from today until the end of the year 2099! It's your journal; you have the freedom to use it how you wish!

The book itself is a small hard back measuring  16.5cm x 11.5cm x 3.5cm. It's smaller than A5 and about an inch and a quarter thick. I was surprised when it first arrived because I was expecting it to be much larger; although, I think its compact size is a good thing, because it's small enough easily carry around with you to use on the go.

The covers and spine of the book are covered in brown card / paper, and feature an attractive black font.

The pages are golden edged, so the book is such an attractive little thing, and it won't look out of place on anybody's bedside table- male or female. 

The book retails for £14.99, although you can find it much cheaper online. I purchased mine from Amazon, where it is currently on sale for £8.81, but it should also be available from all good book shops.

It's a fantastic little journal and I'm so glad I purchased it. I always look forward to picking up the book each night to fill in another answer before I fall off to sleep, and for once, I think this will be a journal I'll actually be able to write in every day. 5 thumbs up from me!

If you love to journal, I'm confident you'll love this book, too! Why not treat yourself to a copy today?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Barrington Park and Bourton-On-The-Water

On Sunday, it was a beautiful hot sunny day, so my older sister and I decided to pay a visit to Bourton-on-the-Water to enjoy the sunshine. Living about twenty miles away, we've been many times before, although it had been a few years since my last visit.

Bourton is about a half hour drive from where we live, and the journey takes us through the picturesque Cotswolds countryside and some very pretty little villages. We set off on our leisurely journey just before midday, and at a fork in the road a few miles from home, we decided to explore a road we'd never taken before, knowing somewhere along the line it was bound to take us where we needed to go. The thing about country roads in the Cotswolds is that you never know where they might take you or what you might find, but you're pretty much guaranteed they'll lead you somewhere good. 

Sure enough, our little detour led us our best discovery yet; a large herd of deer, out in the middle of nowhere! We were both so excited to see a field full of deer, that we pulled over and got out of the car for a closer look with our cameras in hand.

Some immediately galloped away out of sight, but the rest watched us cautiously from a distance. We didn't want to stress them out too much so we only stayed for a minute or two, but they were beautiful and we even saw two bucks rutting.

I haven't seen a herd of deer (outside of zoos) since I was a little girl, and it's been a while since I last saw just one, so seeing thirty of them together was really exciting. Call me sad, but it really made my day! 

Come with me, I shall show you the ways of the forest...

As it was so bright and sunny, I really couldn't see what I was snapping, so I was stoked to see this beauty when I came to edit my photos. He had the biggest antlers of the group, and stood watching us the entire time. I love this photo, although I'm gutted with the quality of them all; it was only when I got home I realised my camera had been on the 'glass' setting the entire day, instead of auto like I thought it was. The camera thought everything was behind glass, which is why the countryside looks hazy and grainy instead of lush green and blue skies like it really was. Fail.

The deer were in an enclosed field which had an ornate black and gold metal gate further along to the left of these photos, which made us think this was a deer park, or a herd being raised for meat, especially as they appeared to be an all-male herd. I later discovered, after a bit of Googling, that the place was called Barrington Park, which apparently has an 18th century manor house, and a deer park that dates back to the 17th century set on 120 hectares of land. I'd never even heard of the place before, but our random drive paid off!

There was also a stone hut in the field, and we thought it might be an observatory or some kind of WW2 shelter, but it turns out it's a folly, which is just an ornamental building with no real purpose. I've never seen anything like it before, especially not in a field in the middle of nowhere.

As the deer drifted away from us, we got back in the car and continued on our way. We soon arrived at Bourton-on-the-Water, which is the most quintessential Cotswolds town in the land. 

A shallow river runs through the centre of the town (village?), which has several bridges running across it, and grassy banks and benches on either side where people can sit, enjoy the view, and while away the hours. There are trees everywhere which makes it looks even more picturesque, and there are no shortage of tea rooms, cafes, ice cream vendors, and gift shops to enjoy. It couldn't be more Cotswolds if it tried!

As it's such a pretty place when the sun is shining, the place was swarming with people on Sunday. There were literally thousands of people milling around, which would usually be a stressful environment, but the atmosphere was so calm and laid-back it was actually really nice to be a part of it. (Even if it did make it difficult to take photos). 

We grabbed an ice cream, and sat down by the river. I even slipped my feet in to the shallow water, but soon regretted it when I discovered the water was icy cold. I hadn't expected it to be so cold in June, and it was so cold it kept causing my feet to cramp- which they continued to do in to the night... it was so painful!

Still, it was lovely to sit down by the river to enjoy the sunshine and take in the atmosphere. There were people and dogs wading in the water; kids splashing about; people sunbathing; others reading, picnicking, and chatting... it was like the country equivalent of a day at the beach! The skies were bright blue, and it was extremely hot, and it really couldn't have been a nicer day. I'd have loved to have sat there all day with a good book, but the back pain only allowed me ten or fifteen minutes before I had to admit defeat and move on.

More Observations in Bourton

♥ Mallard ducks in the river trying to swim away from wading kids.
♥ A little girl who lost the ice cream off her ice cream cone... and her Dad didn't go get her another one. Mean Dad!
♥ People sitting in beer gardens and outside tea rooms and cafes enjoying the sunshine.
♥ A waffle house I'd like to try food from one day.
♥ Japanese tourists protecting themselves from the hot sun with umbrellas and parasols.
♥ A Christmas shop full of pretty Christmas decorations... in June!
♥ An assortment of cute dogs in various shapes and sizes.
♥ A couple of retro ice cream trucks.
♥ A little boy of 5 or 6 taking the hand of a little girl of about 4 to help her wade through the river. He also made friends with my sister while we were sat on the bank.

We walked to the end of the river, and then headed back along the other side, and popped in to a couple of gifts shops along the way. I didn't buy anything. In fact, my only purchase was an ice cream while I was there. You don't need to spend any money to enjoy Bourton-on-the-Water, that is if pretty riverside country towns are your cup of tea. Just grab a blanket, a picnic, a book and head to the river! That's your lazy Sunday afternoon sorted!

Bourton-on-the-Water is also famously the home of Brum, the little yellow car from the nineties children's TV show of the same name. If you remember Brum, your childhood was awesome! I think he lives in the car museum at the far end of the river, although I've never been because car museums aren't my thing.I'd much rather visit the bird gardens (a small zoo with all kinds of birds in it), or explore the maze and act like a big kid!

When we got back to the car I was sore and absolutely frazzled from the heat. We got ourselves a cold drink and fresh peaches, and then took a different new route home, which took us past a couple of poppy fields, and an assortment of weird and wonderful sights.

Sunday's Observations From the Car

♥ A village fete complete with bunting.
♥ A cricket match played by grown men in proper cricket attire on a village sports pitch.
♥ A sculpture exhibition held in a field.
♥ Plenty of red phone boxes.
♥ A horse and cart.
♥ Two horses with young riders being led by adults down a country road.
♥ A red kite circling low in the sky, on the hunt for dinner.
♥ A couple of fields filled with red poppies.
♥ A retro white American car which looked very fifties.
♥ Classic cars and sports cars taken out on Sunday drives.
♥ A guy whose (half mullet half Mohawk) haircut and outfit made him look like he'd stumbled out of an eighties movie... he would've played a bad guy.
♥ Countless beautiful Cotswold stone houses, thatched cottages, and dry stone walls out in the country.
♥ A road sign for a place called 'Douglas'.
♥ Flower beds planted in the shape of the Union Jack.

I really enjoyed escaping the cabin fever for a few hours to enjoy the beautiful sunny day, catch up with my sister, and explore a few pretty places close to home. Four days later I haven't quite recovered from the extra pain the day cost me, but it was worth it just to see the herd of deer.

I wonder where the next random drive will take me! I can't wait to find out!

Have you visited anywhere great recently?

What's the best thing you ever discovered on your travels?

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