Our Perfect Spa Break at Rudding Park.

Hey guys,

Really excited to share this post with you! Earlier this week we got back from a dreamy spa break at Rudding Park which was the best last minute pre-birthday treat!
This week we were going to go on a boating trip on the Thames but the forecast was just looking so shocking and the river current so high we decided to postpone until August. Cue frantictically searching last minute.com and air B&B for a weather proof alternative.

I remembered about Rudding Park in Harrogate, only 30 minutes from our flat but I’d heard about their new rooftop spa and great food so gave them a call. They are currently running a midweek spring time offer which was too good to refuse and took the original quote for a full overnight spa package down by a significant amount. I rang Max while he was out at football to check I was ok to go ahead and book and luckily he was super keen (the boy loves a Spa).

We set off to Harrogate the next morning (with a pitstop to get a new tyre and an M&S meal deal) and had a little wander around the shops and picked up a little birthday treat in Jo Malone, but really we just couldn’t wait to get to Rudding Park and check-in.

When I rang them to book they asked if it was for a special occasion and I’d said its a last minute holiday alternative but also in the week of my birthday. When we checked in we were told we’d been upgraded to a suite as a ‘Happy Birthday’ from Rudding Park and were walked to the suite by a member of staff. I knew even the more basic room we had booked would be beautiful but the suite was even lovelier and we really were overwhelmed by what we were given.

The suite had a bedroom, lounge, a huge bathroom and a balcony which ran the whole length of it. They’d even left a bottle of pink fizz and a birthday card for me in coffee table.

I felt like I was walking around in a dream world and once I had finished taking snaps and popping open the fizz, I ran a bath in the beautiful rolltop tub complete with TV and Molton Brown goodies. I was unbelievably content lying in that tub with my glass of fizz watching the men’s gymnastics at the commonwealth games.

We then got ready and headed down to dinner at the Clocktower restaurant, a meal that was included in our package. The food in the Clocktower restaurant is a modern twist on British Comfort food, the food and service were perfect. We particularly loved the rhubarb cheesecake for pudding which was served in a perfect pink sphere on top of the biscuit crumble base. We then headed to the bar which had a very impressive gin collection and great cocktails. I had a lovely rhubarb gin and elderflower tonic but by the last few sips I was rushing as I was so excited to get into the massive bed.

That bed was honestly the best place I’ve ever watched Masterchef and I slept a dream on the soft sheets. Breakfast the next morning was just as lovely as the meal the night before, but really to me, you can’t go wrong with an smoked salmon and scrambled egg muffin.

We then headed over to the spa for the spa day. We could choose either the Monday or the Tuesday to use the spa but opted for the Tuesday. On arrival we were given a tour of the spa and bands to access our lockers with our towels, robes and flip flops inside. The spa really is beautiful, it’s kept in great condition and there’s plenty of staff about to order drinks and ask questions. The facilities are lovely and the spa wasn’t too busy so you really felt you could relax and make best use of all they have to offer. The new outside area is beautiful and I’m sure will be even better in the summer. There’s different saunas, steam rooms and pools as well as foot spas and heated relaxation beds where we enjoyed a read and a drink.

When we arrived at the spa we booked to have an additional treatment (because we hadn’t already been indulgent enough). We went for a do it yourself thermal mud treatment. The treatment and what to do was explained to us first by a member of staff and then we were left in our own private room. Laid out were different bowls of mud for different parts of the body as well as flannel mittens and a herbal salt scrub. Once the treatment started and we had started to apply the mud, the room then began to get hotter and hotter for the next 15 minutes. You can feel the mud cleaning out your skin as your pores open in the heat and it feels so good! After the 15 minutes showers then come on from the ceiling and using the flannel mittens and salt you can rub off the mud. I couldn’t recommend this treatment enough and will definitely be doing it again, my skin has never felt so good and it was a great experience to do as a couple.

It was a perfect 24 hours and I’m already dying to go back.

Maybe at May half term Maxie?

Katie x

What Mickey taught me.

For some reason, I’ve chosen to start writing this post on a day when I’ve already cried 6 times; once because of my very temperamental dishwasher, twice because of my sore eyes from last nights fake eyelashes, once when I couldn’t decide what to watch on Netflix and twice because Max forgot to get biscuits when he went to Aldi. It’s been a tough day, but I’m hoping writing this snaps me out of it.

This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing for a really long time, but always felt quite overwhelmed about how much there is to say. I’ve been wanting to write a bit of a recap and review of my 2 summers working at Disney World. While I was there, I kept a blog, which was the first blog I ever wrote and actually became quite popular as people followed me on the Disney journey. This came as a massive surprise to me as I only started it to keep my family in the loop and save me sending a lot of texts. (I’ll link it later in this post for anyone who’s interested in the full story!)

Four years on, my time working at Disney World is still one of my favourite subjects to talk about. That, and Making a Murderer, desserts and that my uncle is friends with Martin Freeman.

Working at Disney World will always be one of the biggest things that ever happened to me. There are times now, when life is good (but not quite as magical), when I’m cleaning the oven, waiting for the 7am bus to work or sometimes when I’m quite tipsy out in town, that I get a little wave of ‘Whoaaa! I literally worked at Disney World! How flipping cool am I?’

But, as you’ll know if you read my blog back then, it wasn’t all Disney magic and sunshine- it was really flipping hard at times,-but when I look back now, I see how much it changed me and shaped my work ethic and outlook on life.

It came at a time I really needed it. In the time between getting the job to actually leaving for Florida for the summer, I had a bit of a rough time: a bad break-up, uni struggles (the shock of actually having to do work in second year) and I  had been giving myself really unattainable weight loss goals which I was obviously failing because we lived next to a 24 hour McDonald’s. But in June 2013 I went from binge-watching TV shows in my university bedroom when I was meant to be revising, to standing in front of Cinderella’s castle as a cast member in the space of 3 days. It makes me emotional now to think about it, but at the time I was in a haze of jet lag, sun stroke, and thinking about how sticky I was in the formal dress I had to wear for our inductions.

Ways in which Disney changed how I work:
  • Feeling lucky. That sounds cheesy, but it’s true. No matter how hard it got I always felt lucky to be there and to have been chosen and have the chance to make some magic. This is something I try to keep with me at work now; to feel lucky to have the chance to make a difference and use that as motivation. (People I work with, please remind me of this at 7.30 on a Monday morning).
  • Everybody working on the same page. At Disney, I got the most support and best training I’ve ever had. It all begins with Traditions training which really drills in the importance of cast members and what you’re there to do. It’s is a bit much I guess, but there’s no doubting every person working in Disney World is working to help contribute to the Disney magic and everyone feels so supported and hyped to make it happen.
  • The Disney recruitment process has prepared me well for every other recruitment process I’ll ever go through. I’ll probably never again go through something as competitive and I don’t think my adrenaline levels have ever returned back to normal. I really didn’t think I could do it; I went to the first stage interview just for the experience. The fact I got in twice will always amaze me and has given me confidence and faith in myself going forward. 

In my first year, I had the role of a housekeeper at Old Key West resort, but I wasn’t really great at it so I began to do more running (taking things to guests like more shampoo or coffee filters) and checking VIP rooms would be ready  for them arriving. You know, housekeeping is really really exhausting- and the bed throws they use are really flipping heavy! It didn’t  come at all  naturally to me and there was no way I could compete with the super speedy Haitians; I was much more of a natural at driving round the resort in my buggy, waving at guests and posing in my costume and sunglasses.

I went back in Summer 2014 to work in Operations at Hollywood Studios which was so different. I worked on the Little Mermaid show, the Disney Junior show, the temporary Frozen attraction and did plenty of Frozen fireworks shifts. I got so much guest interaction and was really part of the magic. I got to spiel, which I hated with a vengeance as there’s not an actress within me at all. But at the end, I was pretty confident with my ‘Ahoy there sailors!’ safety speech and didn’t mess it up EVERY time.

Living and working in Disney, you get absorbed into this weird little bubble where the outside world doesn’t really exist anymore. A bubble where your life is ruled by crappy Transtar buses, tinder is full of characters and head shots, everyone speaks in Disney lingo and your life is documented by the Disney photopass guys. You can lose your grip on reality a bit because your reality becomes Disney. Everything is done in emphasised and heightened emotion; I had days where I cried with happiness and exhaustion, homesickness and from just being really excited.

Strange stories from the Disney bubble:
  • I got bitten by a poisonous spider. Got a ride in an ambulance. Had to spend a day in Celebration hospital which was nicer than a lot of hotels I’ve stayed in on my travels, but it was all a little tainted by the fact I was so poorly. I’m a bit weird about spiders now.
  • Characters are just a part of life. I found myself having conversations in the break room with a half dressed Mr Incredible or Princess Sofia the First. It’s quite forbidden in Disney to say who somebody actually is when they’re a character. You can’t go round saying ‘oh that’s Britney, she’s Ariel’ that would really ruin the magic if a guest heard. Instead you say ‘she’s friends with Ariel’.
  • Oh WOW – people were so excited by me being English. Whenever I opened my mouth, I got a bit of a ‘woaa’. It’s made me feel quite patriotic now  that I see how others see our country. And when I worked in housekeeping and was officially the only English person to ever work in Old Key West housekeeping, I was like a local celeb. It was a real ego boost.
  • The incident with the fire. There’s not much I can say about this as I signed some confidentiality forms when I started working for Disney and they like to keep these things under wrap. But what I will say is, when I first started doing fireworks shifts they talked us all through the procedure of what to do if a firework fallout caused a fire finishing emphatically with ‘but it’s never happened in Hollywood studios history’. Erm. Ah-hem, that’s changed. I think I might have gone down in HS history. There was a fire! 

There are a lot of perks to being a Disney Cast member including free park entry, cheap merchandise, accommodation pools and just the fact you actually get to live in Disney World. However,  there are also quite a lot of challenges: the really unreliable cast buses don’t really fit with how strict they are about you arriving for work on time;  sharing apartments with international strangers brings up some interesting scenarios; and fitting a food shop in at Walmart is near enough impossible, so you end up living on the Mickey shaped biscuits you can buy in the merchandise shops and using your roommates shampoo whilst hoping they never confront you about it. Oh and the laundry- that was a flipping nightmare! There were never any machines free and when you did get a dryer your clothes came out hotter than the sun which wasn’t ideal when it was 42 degrees. Shifts were so long, feet swell so much in the heat, my body got a bit broken from lack of nutrients and it’s just impossible to achieve the work/life/sleep balance.

Some of my happiest Disney memories:
  • My first traditions. Traditions is the first training you do before you start your own individual placement training. It’s cheesy and very ‘Disney’. You get a tour of the Magic Kingdom and the cast tunnels underneath. As you enter the tunnels from the cast entrance, there’s a sign above that says ‘Here walk the greatest cast members in the world’. That really got to me and left me thinking, ‘how on earth did little old me get here?’
  • On my second summer working there, I was having a really shitty day. I was knackered, feeling ill and in the middle of a week of crazily long shifts and fireworks support. We had cleared our attraction as it was a firework fall out zone and were guarding the entrance arch to make sure no guests sneaked in. It had been raining and we were soggy and muggy and I was itchy from my wet costume because I hadn’t got my waterproofs on fast enough. Guests were surrounding us waiting for the frozen fireworks to start when another cast member started singing along to the Frozen soundtrack that was playing. One by one, we all started to join in and the guests did too. We all stopped as soon as the first firework went up and it was a real goosebumps Disney magic moment on a day when I was really feeling like I was losing it.
  • When my parents and brother came to visit in my first summer. The first morning we were all together, we went to Epcot and straight to character meet and greet. I was just so happy and we took one of my favourite photos of all time of me and my Dad. Another highlight of my parents’ visit was discovering Jelly Rolls…
  • Jelly Rolls! My Disney summers would have been so different without Jelly Rolls. When I think of the happiest moments of my life, I think of Jelly Rolls –  from the first time I was there with my parents, to all the drunken times there with friends. So let me explain Jelly Rolls. It’s a pocket of extra happiness within the happiest place in the world. It’s on the Boardwalk and is a duelling piano bar. There are 2 pianos in the centre and you request songs for the piano players/singers to play by writing them in napkins and leaving them on the piano with a dollar bill. You can pretty much request anything and they’ll do it. The cocktails are strong and by the end of the night you’re tipsy, almost crying with happiness and screaming for more- I think it’s the best place I’ve ever ever been and I’ll miss it forever. It’s the reason Piano Man and Chicken Fried will always be in my all time favourite songs list.
  • Funnel Cakes and Garlic Mashed Potato. Very self-explanatory, definitely a happy highlight.
  • I think I only went to a Disney water park once over the 2 summers, mainly because they’re not free to cast like all the other parks and the weather in the peak of summer is very stormy so it’s difficult to fit a full day in. The one time I did go  was at the start of my second summer there when I went with some friends to Blizzard Beach and it was in between the rides and the loops round the lazy river that I remember having one of those, ‘Yeh! I’ve really made it!’ moments. How happy I was feeling that day is definitely shown in the picture below of me with one of my best Disney friends.
  • Extra Magic Hours Dance Parties! These were always the highlight of my working week! Once a week we opened our Disney Junior arena up as a disco for all the guests entitled to Extra Magic hours. The characters came out and the kids just went wild and it was basically our job to just be there and dance and make sure nobody got on the stage. The one memory from these parties that still makes me howl is when Goofy got a bit too excited spinning a child around and fell over. Honestly one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
  • Cast accommodation pool parties. Such a bizarre, but such a fun experience!
  • In my second summer, a group of us megabussed to Miami to see Beyonce and Jay-Z at the Miami stadium. It’s one of my most favourite and surreal memories.
  • The best things to come out of it all are my friends and the memories. There’s no way you can’t be friends forever with the people you’ve had those experiences with. Life has taken us to really different places since, but those memories in our little Disney bubble will never go away. There’s no way you can’t be friends forever with someone with whom you’ve fallen asleep on on the late bus back from Magic Kingdom; who has seen you cry with happiness when you see a raccoon at the pool when you’re having a drunken midnight swim; who has seen you look like death while pretending you’re fine when you’re recovering from a poisonous spider bite; and who has seen you absolutely lose your shit when the pianists finally play your song request in Jelly Rolls.
  • My final happiest moment to share was when another special visitor came over from the UK- my best friend, Soph! We were both Disney World fans growing up and holidayed there with our families, but at the end of my final summer there she came out to meet me and we had two magical days there together; it was a childhood dream come true! However, at the end of that final day, I still needed her to leave me alone so I could walk out of the Magic Kingdom for the last time as a cast member, on my own. I knew how I’d emotional I’d feel and knew it was something I needed to do alone. 

It’s weird looking back at photos of that time now. I feel like a different person. And not just because I’m about 2 stone heavier and my UK winter skin is currently blueish.

I don’t know if it’s a good thing, a bad thing or just something that was destined to happen.

Things that will forever have a different meaning after being a cast member:
  • The word ‘bump’.  In Disney, when you bump someone, it means you take over their position 15 minutes before the end of the shift and let them begin their 15 minutes mooching and chatting to guests before they finish. It’s a very exciting time. So now when I hear someone’s had a bump, it’s my instinct to be like ‘Ooo yay’, but out of Disney bumps aren’t that great.
  • The song ‘A Star is Born’ from Hercules. For some reason, it’s the song that is played in Hollywood Studios when the last guest has left at the end of the day. When I hear it now, it brings back feelings of exhaustion, panic that I haven’t filled out the closing paperwork properly and anxiety about whether or not I’ll make the last bus back to my accommodation.
  • The smell of popcorn- if you know, you know.
  • Frozen! Don’t.  Just DON’T.  I  officially got over that one when I heard the soundtrack for the 300th time.
  • (There are so many more.  I’ll keep adding to this post over the next few weeks when I think of them! And any other ex cast members, please feel free to get in touch and remind me of some!)

I had my time in that bubble – a bubble  that I’ll probably never get back so it’s time to carry on with my life and find the magic in everyday. But certain smells and certain songs and  certain memories will always make my tummy flip.

When I think of going back to Disney World in the future, I do get a lump in my throat. I can’t imagine what I’d feel if I ever walked back into Magic Kingdom with my own children. I could give the cast members a little understanding look when they’re trying to clear areas for the fireworks or a guest is kicking off because the show is full and their family are already in there. I could get a tear in my eye at the fireworks once more and get that dreamy family photo with Mickey.

But you know what, when it comes to everyone having their share of Disney magic, I’ve probably had enough for 50 people. And when it comes to it. if we decide to take the kids around Scotland in a camper, then that would be pretty magical too.

We’re good me and Mickey.

Katie x

If you’d like to read all my other Disney blogs which I wrote during those summers:

http://www.mickeyminnieandkatie.blogspot.com

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

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

20 facts about me.

Hey everyone,

So I thought I’d copy some other blogs I’ve been looking at and do a 20 facts about me post to introduce myself a little bit more. This took a lot of thinking about, especially as I didn’t want to choose really obvious things, 20 is quite a big number!

Also using this post to share these photos of my dream dress! I’m going to a couple of weddings this summer and found this dress in Marks and Spencers to wear for them. I love the style and colour and it’s the comfiest dress to wear. It’s so silky it feels luxurious but for a highstreet price! I’m a big fan of anything from M and S, their jeans, pants, christmas wrapping paper, melt in the middle chocolate puddings…

 

So here we gooo….

1.
October- November is my favourite time of year and I’m getting giddy at how close it is getting. I love the cosy nights, Christmas buzz, watching Strictly Come Dancing religiously every Saturday night, adding pumpkin to every dish and making everything smell of cinnamon. I also feel a bit more comfortable fashion wise when it’s cold, I love boots, thick tights and chunky knits.

2.
I missed this season last year as I went travelling around Australia and New Zealand in a campervan with my friend Sophie. It was tough going at times but we had an amazing time and saw the most beautiful places (writing a blog post about it is on my to do list!).

3.
I lived in Italy for year from 2014-2015 working as an Au Pair and English teacher just outside Milan. I’m still really close to the family I lived with and they feel just as much like my family as my actual family. I learnt Italian at night school while I was there, I can follow conversations in Italian but don’t really have the confidence to try joining in!

4.
I used to work for Walt Disney World in Orlando. I worked for 2 summers in 2013 and 2014. The first year I was a Housekeeper at Old Key West Resort and the second year I worked in Animation Courtyard in Hollywood studios, seating guests for the shows, spieling the health and safety rules and quite often parking strollers.

5.
The summers after working at WDW I did some travelling in America with my friends, lots of amazing memories and very drunken times were had (will never be able to look at a fireball shot again in my life).

6.
I’m a really big fan of Craft Beers, love trying different ones, especially local brews. My boyfriend designs beer cans and bottles and I love going to a bar and seeing his designs behind the bar (look out for the Bad Co collection!).

7.
I never have any idea what’s in the charts at that moment. I’m a bit of an old soul when it comes to music! My spotify playlists are full of old songs and I only listen to Radio 2. I love the Beach Boys, Carole King, Chuck Berry and Frankie Valli. (But I do really really love anything by Little Mix after a few drinks).

8.
I first met my boyfriend when I was 11 when my friend dared me to go up to him and touch his hair (he had massive afro hair at school). I got close to him and bottled it! We got together properly when I was 23 and I haven’t looked back since (well maybe been a bit tempted sometimes when he leaves wet towels lying about or doesn’t empty the dishwasher).

9.
My favourite TV show ever ever is the Royle Family, I could watch it every night, sometimes when the TV schedule is a bit dry I do. I know every word but I still just love it. My other favourites are period dramas, crime dramas and a good documentary (especially one about a conspiracy!).

10.
I run a small business called Dirty Little Daffodil, I do family portrait cross stitches, cushions and bunting. I love sewing and crafting! My idea of a perfect afternoon is radio on, candle burning, cup of tea and getting on with some crafty projects!

11.
I’m a real foodie and love cooking, baking and eating out. My bookcase is overflowing with cookbooks but I still have such a long wish list of more! I love watching cooking programmes too and always so content watching Saturday kitchen with a bacon bun and a brew on a weekend morning. My all time favourite food hero is Nigella Lawson, she’s my ultimate girl crush and she always has recipes for what I fancy.

12.
Despite not being afraid of a bit of indulgence I am actually a qualified nutritionist! I did my degree at Sheffield Hallam University and loved every second of uni life. I am really passionate about about food and eating properly but am a firm believer in a bit of what you fancy does you good.

13.
My idea of food heaven is anything carby, I love pasta, potatoes and bread. My dream dish is pasta with chilli and prawns and garlic bread! My food hell is Melon, never liked it and no idea why! I’d probably be a lot thinner if my heaven and hell were the other way round!

14.
I think I spend more on my flat looking and smelling nice than I do myself! I love interiors and home fragrances! (I’ll write a post about these too!)

15.
I love pyjamas and loungewear, it’s pretty rare to catch me in the flat wearing anything else, comfort first.

16.
I used to have a Bernese Mountain Dog called Oscar, we all loved him more than anything. He died in 2014 but still has the biggest piece of my heart and he will always be the best looking dog to walk the earth.

17.
My favourite shop in the world is Liberty London, I could spend days in there and I’m obsessed with everything they sell, particularly the fabrics!

18.
My favourite films are About Time, The Great Gatsby and the Jurassic Park (and world!) series. 

19.
I drink a lot of tea! If I’m having a day in the flat pottering about I can easily get into double figures. I love a good proper brew or green tea. I love the taste of coffee too but it makes me feel like my head’s going to fall off and the end of the world is coming. I decided to be sophisticated and order an Americano on a date once, safe to say it didn’t end well!

 20.
I like to write a lot of lists! Of stuff to do, buy, things I have done, things I have bought. It makes me feel a lot more organised than I actually am!

 

There we go! Tah-Dah!