A long weekend in pictures

As I mentioned last week I spent four days on a short break ‘up north’ with the family to celebrate a birthday. It was blissful so of course i’m going to share some of the fun times with you. Be warned this post is mainly going to be about the pictures, because that’s what I like best and honestly I don’t write well enough to describe my adventures and the beauty of The Peaks half as well as my pictures do!

So my trip went a little bit like this…

  • Road Trip! Queue good music, lots of talking and picking the service station we stop at depending on the coffee available. Hence the 16 miles of crossing my legs in order to go to a Starbucks!
  • Arriving in Sheffield to skip down the hill and meet the youngest Evans sister. Then touring her house before setting off to Bolsover Castle.
  • Promptly falling in love with Bolsover. Cooing over wall paintings, cute windows and fallen down ruins. And taking lots of pictures of course – the magic of smart phones!
  • Somehow finding our way into Matalan and exiting 90 minutes later with lots of purchases. You’d think that my sisters, Mum and I would have learnt not to shop together by now!

wpid-IMG_20131018_081109.jpg

  • Heading into the Peak District and discovering the lovely town of Bakewell.
  • Eating the best lasagne ever (thanks Mum)

wpid-20131017_193704.jpg

  • Training it to Leeds to have lunch with one of my favouritest people in the world. Lots of talking, lots of eating and lots of laughing!
  • Discovering the Chestnut Centre a conservation and wildlife park. A lovely long walk around the place and seeing otters, deers and owls. Along with pole cats, pine martens and field mice. Seriously if you are ever in the area go check it out.
  • Also if you are there then stop in at The Beehive pub in Combs for lunch – totally delicious grub.

wpid-20131019_141757.jpg

  • I also managed to fit in a run – I know I was surprised too. But having my Dad there made me do it and it was great fun. I left my headphones at home and we chatted away for a three mile explore around Bakewell. I, of course, had to stop a couple of times for photos as we saw rainbows. Yes we ran in the rain.

wpid-IMG_20131019_190120.jpg wpid-20131019_174750.jpg

  • The other plus point of going for a run was that I didn’t feel too guilt over the amount I ate (and drank) that evening! We headed to another lovely foodie place recommended by our neighbours. The Pointed Dog and Duck in Bakewell town. Checkout the trip advisor views here. Another excellent meal and the perfect place to celebrate Becca’s birthday. Plus she loved all her presents. One of which I made myself! So will be sharing soon.
  • We of course managed to fit in more board game time. Like that was ever not going to happen!

wpid-1382204842722.jpg

  • Our final day started with a walk, then a trip to Costco before a long drive home. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend away with my family.

Honestly it’s trips like these that I live for. So much fun, full on relaxing and surrounding yourself with people that get you.

Lau xxx

Books and holibobs – my weekly update

So this post is just a little bit delayed. If you follow me on twitter or instagram you’ll know I was in Dublin this weekend. Our flight was delayed coming back on Sunday and even though there was free wifi I didn’t have my ipad (travelling light) to be all organised. Then yesterday I was out enjoying the sun. So this is the first time I’ve been able to complete this post with pics and get it onto the blog.

So here’s what’s happened last week…
…The work merger has happened and so far nothing has changed
…Meetings about the new merger means new books and if there’s one thing I know it’s that everyone in publishing loves new books
…I have needed to moan about things but the normal recipient of said moaning is MIA (in Cyprus), must find a new complaints partner for these moments!
…an evening with friends in the pub with tennis and a bacon cheeseburger
…after work running and pre-work walk to work
…a lot of Wimbledon viewing on the sofa
…being gifted the first ever Harry Hole novel from Fi
…having Friday afternoon off and heading straight to Heathrow
…chilling out in Terminal 1 with coffee, snacks and my kindle
…making the most of airport exclusives and purchasing two new books; The Astronaut Wives Club and Private Down Under
…a quick 55 minute flight to Dublin
…spending lovely sunny days in Dublin, sightseeing, taking pictures, catching up with friends, eating and experiencing Irish entertainment
…realising that Coke bottles have different names on in different places – who’d have thought it
…watching Murray win Wimbledon in Dublin Airport – Terminal 2
…going all the way to Dublin to find my own name on a Diet Coke bottle
…it turns out that a flight delay is not a problem when you’ve got tennis to watch and books to read

 

I’ll do a proper post about what I got up to in Dublin later this week. I hope everyone had a lovely week and enjoyed the glorious weather.

Lau xx

Presents for Me vs. Presents for You…

As last week was the first weekend of December and I was celebrating Christmas in Nottingham it seemed the perfect time to start my Christmas shopping. We all know I’m a Christmas obsessive, I mean I’ve been counting sleeps since October, but for some unknown reason I haven’t bought one present yet. I’ve picked up bits for my Mum’s stocking (she does everyone else’s so it’s only fair), so it’s not a complete fail, but I’ve still not bought a main present for someone. Anyway I thought that there was something poetic about starting on the 1st December – or at least that’s what I’m telling myself so that I don’t have panic and have a breakdown. Now I didn’t have a list but I had quite a good idea about what I wanted to get people, so simple pimple right? As it turns out, not so much. Now don’t get me wrong, I spent a LOT of money in Nottingham, in fact I’m pretty sure I single handedly boosted Nottingham’s economy in two short days, the problem? I bought myself presents, not other people! Seriously, no joke, what the hell is wrong with me? I ended up buying 2 dresses, 4 jumpers and a pair of jeans, plus a new scarf. Gosh it sounds bad when you list it like that! Oh well. That’s what credit cards are for…right?

 

One saving grace (maybe) is that most of the things I bought were either in the sale or I had money off vouchers. In fact it was only the jeans and scarf that were full price, but they were from Primark and H&M so didn’t break the bank.

 

Here’s a look at some of my goodies.

 

 

Gothic Lace Skater Dress
Gothic Lace Skater Dress. Oasis

Look at this dress, isn’t it just gorgeous?! It’s got a lovely layer of lace and the colour is perfect. It’s a dark grey/navy that manages to be dark without being dull and I also absolutely love the sleeves. I wore it on Monday night for my work Christmas party and I got a lot of compliments from everybody.

 

Next there was this lovely sparkle sweatshirt, you should know by now that I just can’t resist a jumper, especially not in this weather. This jumper is sparkly, so it’s absolutely perfect for Christmas. Another place it’s perfect for is my office. After an office move we are in a new location, on a new floor and it’s absolutely boiling all day. It’s crazy. So it’s all about layers for me at work, I’m practically an snowman on the journey to work, but as soon as I’m in the office I’m stripping off layer after layer. It’s madness. This jumper is definitely going to be one of the layers that I leave on for work. In fact, I bet it sparkles when I stand near the Christmas lights – must try that on monday!

 

Sparkle Sweatshirt
Sparkle Sweatshirt. Oasis
Camel mini cable jumper. Dorothy Perkins

 

I absolutely LOVE cable. I’ve tried to knit it myself and got all tangled, but I think that’s made me more aware of what a great pattern it is. This jumper is also thin, so gain it’s perfect for the layered look I’m wearing so much at the moment. The other brilliant thing about this jumper is the elbow patches. After seeing these I just could not resist it.

Please tell me I’m not the only person treating themselves this Christmas season??!

 

Lau xxx

Christmas fun in Nottingham…

So this weekend I headed off to Nottingham to meet up with some of my favourite people for a Christmas celebration in Nottingham. If we’re getting technical then Friday was still November, but as my freundlings and I are busy people this was about the only weekend we could all make. So Fi and I hopped on a train heading in a northerly direction – because let’s be honest when you live in London, practically anywhere is north! We were meeting up with two of my fabulous uni friends, who I’ve known since the first time I set foot into Leicester University’s Clivedon Halls back in 2006. Our mutual love of Friends, apple sour shots and the Baywatch theme tune, along with out disgust at the ‘dog meat’ pie and slug infestations helped cement our friendship and let to three great years living in Leicester together. Fi is an honourary member of the group, although we try to ignore the fact that she went to Manchester Uni (let’s all boo and hiss her)! Upon Graduation we’ve all moved to different parts of the country, but we always make sure we meet up throughout the year. Christmas is always extra special as we try to head somewhere different, last year was Birmingham and this year we decided on Nottingham. And what a fantastic time we had.

Here are a few photos of the weekend. As per our usual meet up the time was well spent and mostly had us shopping, chatting, eating and drinking cocktails. It’s not a bad life at all!

Here’s Fi, Mara and Sam in cracker hats on friday night (you can just make out Christmas music in the background).

Piles of presents all beautifully wrapped.
Saturday night dinner at a Thai restaurant.

Frosty leaves
Nottingham Christmas lights

Outside Nottingham Castle

Fulfilling my dream to meet Robin Hood!

Group photo
Lau xxx

Post holiday blues…

I’m back! Holidays are now officially over 😦 okay so technically I’m still on holiday as I am typing this while on an Easyjet flight home from Portugal – I know aren’t you impressed with my amazing productivity, I am! But by the time I get around to  posting this I’ll be back in (rainy) London with all thoughts of holidays far behind me – sad times indeed! On the plus side exactly five weeks today is Christmas Day. Cue squeals of Christmas excitement followed by gasps of horror at the amount of things I need to do in those five weeks (in all honesty it’s best not to think about that right now – think happy holiday thoughts instead).
And what a happy holiday it has been, the past five days in Portugal have been absolute bliss. Okay here’s the truth of it, it didn’t start all that well, in fact the first three days of our five day break we were inundated with rain. Constant rain. I actually thought we might need to start building an ark. It’s not that we minded though, I mean it is November so we weren’t expecting endlessly sunny days. Luckily the weather didn’t hamper us one bit – in fact it meant we spent most our time completely relaxed; reading, watching films, drinking wine, cooking and, of course, playing board games. Like I said bliss! I honestly hadn’t realised how much I needed a holiday until I was enjoying it. I can’t remember the last time that I slept later than 8am, even on a weekend! Even with the rain we did mange to head to a local market on Saturday morning, I love markets. The smells of fish, flowers, fresh bread and churros are unrivalled in my opinion. We even stumbled across what remains of the town’s castle which was complete with old walls, a battering ram and a nativity scene. The trip to the market marked the end of the miserable weather, and for our last two days the sun was shining brightly. Which of course means that my freckles have returned in abundance and my pale skin is tinged pink (I think it must be the tiny bit of Welsh in me), aren’t I a lucky girl! But at least I look like I’ve been away so I can’t complain.
Take a look at some of the snaps I took, there’s not many I’m afraid, I think it’s the downside of going to the same place quite often you just don’t end up taking as many pictures, that and camera shy friends, so you won’t see many people either, apart from me that is!


 












Early morning at Gatwick airport all ready for Christmas/Fluffy clouds outside the plane window
Trivial Pursuit/Cocktails
View from the terrace/Lunch at Maria’s (I’m on the left, Fi is on the right).

Lau xxxx