Birch Box- March.

This boxes theme was ‘Be Present, Not Perfect’ which is something I know I definitely need to work on! I worry so much about how I look and come across when I should be focusing more on enjoying the situations and what I can learn from them.

I love, love the design of the box and here’s what I think about the products inside:

This Works- Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.

I’ve been using this religiously since I got a sample sized in a set I got form Christmas and have since purchased a full size bottle. But a new travel size spray is definitely useful for upcoming holidays. I really couldn’t big up this product enough, it really works. Since I started using it I have noticed a real improvement in the quality of my sleep and now never settle down for the night without it. It maybe is a bit of a mood killer when I break Max’s hug to grab the spray from the bedside table to spray the pillow, but hey ho.

Beauty Protector- Protect and Volume Spray.

My hair doesn’t really struggle with volume if I’m honest so this is a product I’d usually bypass on a shelf. But as I had it I thought I would give it a go. I used it to create a full ponytail look for a night out and feel it did really help to give it a bit of boof and hold! I’m going to keep trying with it and update you on how it goes!

LAQA and Co, B’Lighter Blush + Highlighter- Peacher’s Daughter.

(Yet to try as currently drowning in blusher)

Benefit BADgal BANG! Volumising Mascara.

I am a massive Benefit fan girl. 90% of the make-up products I religiously use are Benefit so I was very excited when I found out we were receiving their new mascara in the March box. But here is a shock horror comment: it’s not my fave. I read great reviews before I tried it myself and was optimistic for a future of crazy good lashes and ditches the stick-on ones. Buttt, I found it a bit heavy and smudgy.  I’m going to keep using it however as I’d really like to be convinced but once the sample has finished I’ll probably never back to They’re real which a find gives a much better effect and stays put!

BLAQ-Hydrogel Eye Mask

I was really excited to try this one. I seem to spend a lot on products to try and reduce the eye bags and make me look less tired as they’re the main thing I notice when I look at myself in the mirror. I like the masks, like this one, that you place under the eyes, feel like then it’s really getting to the route of the problem. I did notice a difference the day after I used this mask but obviously it is quite hard to tell after one go. But it did feel refreshing so I would definitely give it a go again!

The April box is with Cath Kidston which I’m very excited about! Couldn’t have wished for a more perfect Birch Box collab to celebrate my birthday month!

Katie x

Birch Box- February

 

It’s February and time for another Birch Box review! This months boxes were retro themed with 3 different designs for the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. You could chose your own design but I let them choose for me and ended up with 70’s one (which was the one I did secretly want the most so was quite chuffed when it arrived!)

So here’s my verdict on the products I got this month:

Marcelle Gentle Make-up Remover– this is lovely, really gentle and removes eye make-up really easily with just a few dabs. However, after the magical gift of the Afterspa cloth last month this seems a bit inferior. I will however happily finish the sample!

ModelCo Conceal and Correct Green Concealer– I was really impressed with this concealer. I’m naturally very rosy, especially in the weather we’ve been having recently and it really helped to tone it down and cover blemishes. The green colour blends in well and lasted a while on top of my primer. A really winner for the rosy-cheeked folk.

Percy and Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish– To be honest I was a little disappointed to see a hair finishing product in my box, I wouldn’t have really said I’m a hair finishing product kinda gal. I’m more, shampoo, condition, the occasional mask, and go. My hair is naturally curly, sometimes bordering on frizzy mess so not sure why I was so opposed to a finishing product really. I guess in my head and because of past experiences I just assumed they’d weigh the curls down and make my hair look a bit greasy and flat. This product however is a bit of a curl revelation. As directed I used a pea-sized amount and and evenly pulled it through my curls. I have been so impressed with what it does, it really takes them, making them smooth and sleek without weighing them down or making them looking greasy. It makes my hair much easier to style, even the day after I’ve used it. I really recommend this one!

The Beauty Crop Eyeshadow Trio- Love You So Latte- I feel like I’m drowning in nude and smokey brown eyeshadow palettes at the minute. I had 2 already and have received one with my last 2 Birch Boxes. This one has three different tones and are lovely colours. Applies really well, lasts through the day and the dinky size means it’s ideal for trips and holidays! But I think I’m eye paletted out for a while!

Luseta Beauty Coconut Milk Hair Mask- as well as smelling delicious this worked a treat. It made my hair so soft, shiny and healthy looking. I do like a hair mask and this is the best new one I’ve tried in a while! If you’re looking to perk your hair up a bit I’d definitely give this a go, I think I’ll be buying a full sized tub soon!

One Birch box subscriber perk is that once you review all the items in your monthly box on the app you’re awarded with free delivery from the Birch Box shop. May be a small gesture but it definitely helps if you’re fancying treating yourself. This month I bought a large sized This Works pillow spray which I wrote about in my New Years resolution post. I got a travel sized version in a set I got for Christmas and has been my favourite new product discovery so far this year (as well as the after spa make-up remover cloth), so I’ll be enjoying really good quality sleep for more months to come!

Katie x

 

The month of sleep and leftover Christmas chocolate.

Finally, here is my January post! I’ve been so slow to get this post up! What is it with January and needing to sleep 2 hours more than usual and not having the motivation to do anything except eat leftover Christmas chocolate?

January often gets called the most depressing month but I think that’s selling it short a little. The cold and the dark and the Christmas comedown is pretty hard but it’s also a great month for planning, starting new routines and good habits and getting your life in order (a bit).

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions really, I don’t want to give up drinking and I don’t want to think about a summer body until about April but I did have some ideas of things I’d like to work on in 2018:

1. Up the blogging. More posts, better pictures and maybe, just maybe, getting the confidence to do a speaking Instagram story. For months it’s been something I’ve thought about doing and thought it would be so easy but as soon as I turn the front camera on I just can’t.

2. Bedtime routine. I am far from a night owl, often can barely keep my eyes open past 9pm but never really feeling like I’d had a great quality sleep the next morning and often waking up in the night and trying to fall back to sleep for hours with my brain going in overdrive. So this has been my main thing to get sorted, I’d like to be a bit more productive and a little less sleepy. For Christmas I got a set of tester sized deep sleep products from This Works and they are living up to their name! I love the smell of lavender and camomile and a spritz of the pillow spray every night is really improving my quality of sleep. Another thing I’m trying to add to my night time routine is reading. When it’s been a long day and your brain is frazzled it can be hard to get it going again and concentrate on a book so I’ve kept my bedtime reading books quite simple, saving the intense page-turners for the Summer. I’ve also got into the habit of always taking a camomile tea to bed and trying to not check my phone for the last half hour of the day which is a lot easier typed than done! My Neom scent to sleep candle has become my Sunday night treat along with a Space Mask. If you haven’t tried Space Masks I really advice you should! You can buy them in boxes of 5 from the space masks website and for a special occasion (like a Sunday bed time they’re absolutely delightful. They are eye masks that heat up on your eyes, they’re so relaxing and really help you to drift off to sleep. To get going on a morning and start the day on a good foot I’ve been using Neom Mood lifting on the go mist. From previous posts you may have realised I’m quite into my scents and I’m a big believer in scents affecting your mood. This little spray is really working for me, it’s an instant pick me up and even makes the coldest, darkest walks the bus stop a bit brighter.

3. Get my sewing mojo back. There was a time I was on fire and full of ideas of new projects and designs. I was never off the sewing machine and making embroidery hoops like my life depended on it. But as much as I do still love it but it’s hard to fit it in sometimes and when I do I don’t waste time experimenting, I stick to what I know and do it well and with purpose with a customer or an occasion already lined up for it. My half term is just a week away and I’m determined to have a day where I get out all my stuff and get crafting and come up with a plan for the next few months. My poor Etsy shop has been closed since before I went to Australia at the end of 2016 and it’s about time it was brought back to life. Plus I’ve been lucky enough to inherit the dreamiest stash of vintage Liberty fabric which needs some loving!

That’s all for now, it’s getting towards bed time so best get the kettle on for a camomile tea!

Katie x

Birch Box- January.

One way to get through January is definitely just to treat yourself. My thinking is if you’re getting up in the freezing dark every morning to get yourself to work, without Christmas on the horizon, then you definitely deserve it. So I decided to treat myself to a Birch Box subscription. I’ve been admiring them in social media for a while and decided it’s time I got in on the action. And I love a subscription, it’s like a surprise present in the post every month. The plan is I’ll post a mini review of each box on here every month and the products I really really love I’ll big up on insta.

So here’s what I think about my testers in from the January box:

Rituals the Ritual of Ayurveda Foaming Shower Gel: I had forgotten foam is really fun. Is that a really lame thing to say? It is though isn’t it. It’s so soft and smells amazing. I am in a very long term relationship with Body Shop shower gels but I would buy this product as a lovely treat.

amika Perk-up Dry Shampoo: I try not to use dry shampoo too often. My hair is so dark it often leaves very visible grey powdery patches which aren’t great. But on quite a desperate work morning I thought I’d give this one a go. There were no patches and it really perked my hair up. I’m impressed with this one and may be converted to the dry shampoo life.

Lord and Berry Concealer Stick: I wasn’t so sure about this one at first. My usual concealer (Benefit Boing Brightening) is very soft and creamy and the hard pencil just seemed a bit hard and industrial. But I decided to give it a go over my primer one weekend on the troublesome patches. Once on it did blend well and provided good coverage and in the pencil form was easy to target certain areas. I’ll definitely finish this tester off but but stay faithful to my Benefit.

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner (Charcoal): I love this charcoal colour, not too heavy but no too subtle either. It was easy to put on, quite soft and not too scratchy. It lasted all day with no smudging despite a few tears while watching a film at the cinema so I can confirm it is definitely waterproof! I’d buy this again. Best new pencil eyeliner I’ve tried in a while (but have to admit I am very far from the pencil eyeliner expert!)

Afterspa make-up remover: This can only be called magic. Ever since I was about 11 and and was allowed to start wearing make-up on Saturdays my mum has warned me about pulling my eyes to take off make up and how it can age you. So I’ve always been quite cautious about it and tried to go for a cotton wool dab with a nourishing make-up remover or Vaseline rather than a hard pull with a wipe. In recent months I’ve become a big fan of Micellar water but I don’t think I’ll be needing it now I have this! No idea how it works but it does and I love it. Just wet it, dab eyes with it and tah-dah! It goes through the washing machine too. I couldn’t recommend this enough.

Pop Eyeshadow Palette (this month’s free gift with new subscription): Not too much to say about this one really, does what it says on the tin. Really like the two-tone natural colours and goes on nicely. But once again I’m very faithful to my Benefit ‘They’re real’ eye palette and it would have to be something very very special to convert me.

Can’t wait for the February box!

Katie x

The Most Wonderful time of the Year.

Merry Christmas everyone, Let the festivities begin!

Most people who know me know that I am one of those really annoying Christmas enthusiasts. I love it and nothing offends me more than the words ‘we’re not going all out for Christmas this year, just a quiet one’. Why would anybody ever do that to themselves?
It’s perfect: the time of year when chocolate for breakfast, day time drinking and eating till you need to lie down are just the polite things to do.
I’m guilty of taking It quite seriously, I begin mentally menu planning in September, begin stocking up for the Christmas treat table in October, recipe rehearsals in November, usually have shopping done by the start of December and I once spent 4 hours in Middlesbrough town centre in a dilemma over which was the best wrapping, ribbon and tag combination. And don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve listened to Micheal Buble’s Christmas album.
(This years wrapping paper is from Tesco, with personalised ceramic tags from Luna Moon Creations on Etsy.)
It’s my thing. It’s genuinely maybe my main talent.
This time last year I was coming to the end of 2 months travelling in Australia and New Zealand so I missed the whole Christmas build up. We had a late Christmas Day when I got back, just before New Year, which was lovely, but I do feel I have to compensate a little this year for missing last. And, with breaking up from school super early on the 15th, there are 9 full days of pre-christmas festive activities. And by pre-christmas festive activities, I mainly mean watching every crappy Hallmark Christmas film and baking mince pies.
I’ve come up with a list of Christmas pointers and necessities! It’s based on a list I first wrote in 2014 for the blog I kept while living in Italy. I’ve updated it and added to it for this post, but most of it still -and always will -stand true:
1. When Christmas shopping, don’t follow people’s ‘lists’. Never. It’s not about what they want to have, it’s about what you want them to have. I know my Dad hates novelty socks, but I love to see my Dad in novelty socks, so he’ll just have to act grateful and wear them when he’s with me. And that’s what Christmas is all about.
2. You should probably emphasise that it’s very important that other people do actually follow your ‘list’ although they can deviate from the list if they think of something better, more personal and more expensive. They’re the rules of lists.
3. Buy everything in Christmas packaging. I’m a sales man’s dream in December. Do I need Cornflakes?Do I regularly eat cornflakes? No. But am I going to buy a giant box with Santa on it? Yes, of course I bloody am.
4. Do the Christmas food shop in Marks and Spencer’s at 4 a.m. This is completely pointless as it’s just as busy as it is during the day. But still it’s fun and festive and you pick out something nice for your  breakfast when you get in.
5. Buy posh crisps in obscure flavours. You’ll find them in April and be really confused as to why you thought they were a good idea, but still, you’ll eat them one night when you’re peckish.
6. Take a day, or in my case 9,  before Christmas to literally just watch Christmas films and all the greatest Christmas specials.
7. Take a day after Christmas just to simply enjoy and immerse yourself in all of your presents. This day was a lot more fun when I didn’t just get shower gel and underwear,but it’s still always a lovely day.
8. Present displays. No grandparents or aunties or cousins ask to see my presents anymore, but I still like to make a little display in my room.
9. ‘He’s been’ have absolutely got to be your first words on Christmas morning.
10. As of 1st December (or maybe a week or so before), make everything Christmas themed. Socks, towels, toilet roll, bedding, hand wash, washing up liquid, bleach. Everything.
(Our pretty festive flat! Pretty mistletoe heart is from Rose and Ena, find them on Instagram!)
11. Supermarket tour. Go to every supermarket as you never know what they’ll have that’s a bit different. And buy all flavoured fresh creams you can find. Yup yup. That’s an important one. You probably won’t get round to trying them all but it’s comforting to know you can if you want. Also track down the shop with the best offer on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges; this year Tesco did buy 1 get 2 free -an absolute steal!
12. My Mam suggested the tip of don’t buy crackers because they are completely pointless. But my tip would be this: if your Mam says this, buy her crackers as a Christmas present. They are not pointless; they’re fun and festive.
13. Have family nights after Christmas where you watch each others new DVD’s. It’s this tradition that enlightened my Mam about the delight of Gatsby and made us realise my Dad is just too Boro Bloke to understand Les Mis.
(This was one from my original post from 2014 which I loved and didn’t want to take out but now I’m wondering if getting DVD’s is still a thing?! 2014 was a simpler time…)
14. Do not, do not, ever, let your brother win the argument of ‘we’re in our twenties now and we’re too old for hanging- up -stocking photos’. He’s wrong. Never too old. Also force your other half to have a photo with you too. It’s unlikely the photos will ever be shared ‘cos they’re never flattering as you’ll be make-up free and in your jarmies but it’s still quite important to have them.
15. Shop Small wherever you can. Attend local Christmas markets and craft fayres. Browse on Etsy, Not on the Highstreet and on Instagram. There are some beautiful prezzies, food and decorations out there and it’s so important to put money into small businesses. I’ll do a post on my favourite small shops sometime soon!
16. To feel super Christmassy and have a really lovely time go to a Christmas market. I think all cities now have one?! Get tipsy on mulled wine, pose in your cosy winter attire and eat a giant sausage. This year we had a girls’ weekend in Bath for the markets (more details at the end of this post!).
17. Christmas clothes and pyjamas are an absolute must. Update your whole wardrobe and underwear drawer to include festive pieces. Christmas jumpers, pyjamas and novelty socks are the most important I think! And in a world where there’s Primark, it isn’t very expensive to do!
18. It’s the only time of year when anybody in the UK buys a Radio Times. But it really wouldn’t be Christmas without it- it’s part of the family at Christmas time. And it’s so lovely to spend time reading through it choosing all the things you fancy sleeping through on cosy Christmas evenings and then rewatching the next day with a brew.
19. Boil a ham. It’s not Christmas till you’ve boiled a ham. Then live off it for days. It’s nice to boil it in cola, but then you can’t use the stock for soup, so, you decide.
20. Go all out on Christmas fragrances, everywhere. All the time. No non -cinnamon air until the middle January (See my previous blog post for some inspiration!).
As I mentioned a little bit earlier, at the start of the month, I went on a festive girls’ weekend to Bath! It was a perfect little weekend break! We went to the spa, ate and drank a lot and browsed the beautiful Christmas markets. With the cathedral as their back drop, they really did look beautiful and it was lovely to walk around sipping mulled wine. It’s such a beautiful city,I would 100% recommend it for a Christmassy mini break, but check the market dates as they finish Mid-December and be ready for crowds if you’re heading there on a weekend!
Speak again in the new year!
Bring on 2018!
Katie.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

So we are now soo close to it being the best time of year and I’m officially on my full festive setting. I’m planning a full post all about how I like to spend Christmas (mainly sitting down and eating) for the next few weeks, but as a little warm up I thought I’d share some of my favourite candles and home fragrances that are perfect for your festive season! As usual I went a little bit OTT with my buying. Theres not a room in the flat that hasn’t been touched by the scent of Christmas but thats exactly the way it should be I think!

So here we go… kicking it off with the candles..

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Golden Yuletide Spice – The Rose and Thistle Wax Patisserie

I’ve been following this little shop on Instagram for a while and her scents sounded delicious so requested a candle for my Christmas collection. This scent is available in wax melt form and is perfect if you like Spicy scents!

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Spice- Soul Candles

This is perfect. A really luxurious, spicy, festive scent. I’ve recently discovered Soul Candles and love the look of their Relaxing Aromatherapy candles too (I think I’ll treat myself in the new year!). It burns so cleanly and evenly. The scent throw is subtle in my big lounge but so lovely and comforting.

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Cinnamon Sugar and Spice- Lollyrocket Candles

I mentioned LollyRocket in my Autumn candle blog post. Her Coffee and Maple candle fragranced my lazy Saturday mornings for weeks. So when she released her Christmas collection I was straight in there. There’s a choice of design and festive scents. The cinnamon sugar and spice is the the perfect Christmas kitchen scent but it was a hard choice between that and the others!

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Gingerbread- Wickford & Co at Home Bargains.

I saw a lot of hype about these and the other scents in their Christmas collection on Instagram so thought I’d give one a go, and for less than a pound it would have been silly not to even try. On cold sniff it did smell quite nice and did release the scent really subtly when burning, it hardly filled the room but I did go for the littlest jar! All in all, not bad value for money!

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Winter Mint- DW Candles at Home Sense/TK Maxx

I’ve been a fan of DW candles for a while. You can always find them by the till or in the candle section of Home Sense or TK Maxx. They’re a real bargain and most of the scents are really lovely. They burn really nicely and even the little ones really throw the scent. I never thought I’d be such a fan of a minty fragrance but this one is so refreshing! And as a little bonus the boxes for their Christmas collection are adorable!

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All is Bright- Yankee Candle

I mentioned this one in my Autumn post but as it is technically part of their Christmas collection thought I’d include it in this post too! Its fruity and zingy but still very festive smelling too. I think this is my favourite Yankee Christmas scent and such a refreshing change from all the spice (which I do love but a change is nice!).

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Mandarin, Clove and Cinnamon- Marks and Spencer

To me, M&S is a big part of Christmas. They provide the good food, a lot of the good gifts, the lovely adverts and the scents! I can’t remember a Christmas without M&S Mandarin, Clove and Cinnamon candles and the oil version of this scent is how I fragrance my handmade Christmas tree decorations! They change the designs of the candles every year and I’m loving this years glittery rim star in the lovely box, these are a perfect prezzie!

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Sweet Berry Joy- Glade

I picked this up when it was on offer in the Supermarket. And although the packaging isn’t the most inspiring theres no denying Glade candles do the job of throwing out a lovely smell.

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White Pine and Holly Berry- Tesco

A cheap and cheerful find which was worth every penny. Smells lovely and fresh and clean and the fragrance really filled the room!

Now, I’ve spoken before of my wax melt love and it’s just as strong in the festive Season! Wax Melts by Francesca has been my favourite wax vendor this season. Her range of Christmas scents is fab and my monthly subscription box has never been a disappointment! I’m particularly loving my ‘Winter Season’- a dupe of White Company Winter and ‘Christmas Trees’. Cleaves have also not disappointed, her Christmas Spice is the exact scent I was looking for to melt in cosy Christmas evenings and was well worth the stress of quickly checking out on restock night before she sold out! Wax melts by Francesca and Cleaves have also provided perfect Eucalyptus and mint fragrances for when the winter cold hits! (I’ve also found them really useful to help clear a migraine).

If you’re feeling a little confused about my wax melt love have a little look at my previous blog post on Autumn fragrances where I talk about the benefits of them and the best vendors a to buy from!

So as you probably already know I am quite the fan of a reed diffuser and despite many hours in White Company umming and ahhing over their Winter Diffuser I decided to keep it quite cheap with my festive diffusers (and just add the White Company one to my Christmas list).

I bought the Spiced Pear Cider diffuser from Tesco’s seasonal home fragrance range. I’ve had one in the past I was impressed with so knew I wasn’t wasting my few pound! These dinky diffusers do look very pretty, really simple with a coloured ribbon and release a lovely subtle scent. They also last quite I bit longer than the box suggests! This scent is lovely and spicy and perfect for a Christmassy kitchen! In the last few days I’ve also picked up the frosted cranberry version for our bedroom!

I also bought a Woodwick and Co Vanilla Snowflake diffuser from Home Bargains. It was questionably cheap so my hopes weren’t too high but was very pleasantly surprised. There’s no denying it releases it’s scent well and fills my little spare room with a lovely fragrance. £1.99 well spent and I’d definitely think about buying more diffusers from this brand in the future.

Now I’m going to quickly mention Zoflora. If you know about Zoflora then you KNOW about Zoflora. If you don’t you’re missing out. My mum has always used Zoflora so when we got our flat I was quick to stock up and started wiping EVERYTHING with it. It’s a concentrated disinfectant which can be bought in most supermarkets and places like Home Bargains. You dilute it and start wiping! It’s heavily fragranced so I avoid using it in food prep areas but keen to use it anywhere else. But the main reason I’m mentioning it in this post is because of their Christmas and Winter fragrances. I have memories of my mum passing me a washing up bowl full of Winter Spice Zoflora and asking me to wipe all doors, walls and skirting boards ready for having family round for Christmas parties. And to me now it is just one of the main scents of Christmas. Their other seasonal fragrances are just as festive and lovely. My top tip is to wipe down the radiators with it before turning them on, they then release a lovely scent when they heat up!

Hope this inspired you with some Christmassy scent purchases for your homes! I’ll be back soon with more festive talk!

Katie xxx

Our Perfect break at Howgill’s Hideaway.

Happy Half Term holidays! Well actually mine is now coming to an end… It went way too fast but I am feeling ready for Autumn 2 half term and for the countdown to Christmas to really begin! I’ve had a lovely break catching up with friends, giving the flat a big Autumn clean and a lovely glamping mini-break with Maxie.

I’ve written in the blog before about how much I love camping/glamping and I love it most in the Autumn when it’s colder and cosier and the countryside looks beautiful and colourful.

We found this trip’s site on Air B&B. Me and Max have a bit of love/hate relationship with Air B&B, I love it, he hates it and doesn’t understand why we just don’t book a hotel. But even Max admitted Howgill’s Hideaway was a brilliant find and has soared to the top of our list of favourite glamping sites (followed closely by the yurts at Mason’s in the Yorkshire Dales).

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Howgill’s Hideaway is in the Howgill fells (unsurprisingly) just between the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales. The scenery is beautiful!

They have 3 pods which all face out to the beautiful views. The pods are so cosy inside with a mini kitchenette, double bed, sofa bed and a mini desk. Even a TV which was a real surprise and came in very useful for checking in on the Strictly results! They each have their own firepit too, which we loved. And as they provide the wood, matches, fire starters, marshmallows and skewers, via the honesty shop, it was really easy to get it started and get toasting marshmallows and drinking beer around it (not singing campfire songs, Max refused).

The three pods share a toilet and shower block which is a short walk from the pods but behind them as to not ruin the view! There were 2 showers and 4 toilets which were kept really clean and quite toasty warm which was lovely!

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I think I love glamping so much because it’s just so acceptable to do all the lame but relaxing things you always kinda want to do but never really have time. And when you’re camping its totally fine drink more hot chocolate than you’d ever drink at home with all the squirt cream and marshmallows you can fit on. This camping trip we took a jigsaw. A jigsaw! We’re in our mid twenties! But, although I don’t think we’d ever properly admit it to eachother, we really enjoyed it. We did terrible, barely even got the edges finished in the 48 hours we had there but the subdued project in our cosy pod really did feel lovely.

One of the biggest perks of Howgill’s Hideaway was the breakfast hamper deliveries. You do have to pay a bit extra for them (£5 pp per morning) but they’re fab, presented so beautifully and having one dropped off outside your pod for you feels such a treat. You do have to cook it all yourself but the little kitchenettes in the pods are really well equipped so it’s easy to do so. On arrival we even had some home baked cupcakes waiting for us in the pod and more freshly baked cakes and biscuits, fresh eggs and sweetie bags were available to buy in the honesty shop.

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On our only full day out in the Howgill fells we drove to Kendal, one of the nearest towns to the site. To get there we had to (actually there was probably another route but we were feeling quite daring) drive over the narrowest bridge in the world (probably not an official title). It was only 6ft and a little bit wide, the parking sensors were doing a constant beep all the way across and the bridge wall was just centimetres away from the sides of Max’s precious car. But we made it across with no scrapes thanks to Max’s good driving and we successfully did it another 2 times coming back and heading out the next day. Kendal is a really pretty little town with a fab chocolate shop and tearoom called The Famous 1657 Chocolate House. It has an insane hot chocolate menu, we spent a lovely hour in there keeping warm!

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On our last day once we’d left our little pod we drove to Keswick which is about 45 minutes away from the site. I’ve always loved Keswick and it just looks so pretty in the Autumn! We went to the Pencil Museum first (Max’s idea) which was actually pretty good but heaving as it was a misty cold day in half term! We then walked around the town and shops to the lake before going for a pub lunch. The Dog and Gun pub is in the town centre and was recommended by my Mum and Dad who have very regular day trips to Keswick to go walking and stock up on Mr Vikki’s chutneys and Curry Sauces (they are the literal best and sold in most of the delis and gift shops in Keswick).

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Like everywhere the shops in Keswick are starting to get very Christmassy! This picture I took in a shop called the Orchid House, couldn’t resist buying a bauble from there! Christmas is getting so close now and I’m already feeling festive and starting to get things sorted. I think my next few posts will have a real christmassy theme!

Katie xxx