Staycation Booking Tips

Hi, loves!

Last weekend Matt and I enjoyed a little staycation in our very favourite local hotel; Hotel du Vin, Newcastle. We’ve stayed there many times before and it always feels like such a treat, so much so that we rarely book anywhere else if we’re looking for a luxurious and romantic staycation! We especially love a night or two away from home because it’s just like a mini holiday for us, and we always treat it like that. We pack minimally, play tourist in our own city and just enjoy spending time together. I feel like it’s such a blessing that we’re able to take trips like this and I never want to take it for granted! I totally get this is not everyone’s cup of tea which is fine, but if you’re a fan of nights/weekends away I really hope this is helpful to you.

So, there’s several things to consider when you’re booking a staycation. Are you going to spend a lot of time in the hotel? Does it make sense to splurge a little more on your accommodation as you’re travelling less distance? Does the hotel look comfortable and cosy? Do you know of any friends or family who have stayed there before? Is it a suitable distance to the nightlife of the city/town you’re visiting? Is there anywhere to explore or play tourist nearby? If you want to really relax is there a spa facility?

Our checklist for a romantic weekend trip is pretty standard whether we’re staying close to home or travelling a few hours away. The five top things on our list are:
– a little bit of luxury that feels extra special
– the hotel being based close (ish) to shops restaurants and bars. We love to play tourist even in our own city and we went to make sure we can explore easily
– a roll top bath, because why the heck not?
– beautiful views
– a good deal on the room price, bonus points if it includes breakfast

For us, the benefit of a staycation is we’re jumping in the car and driving less than thirty minutes to our destination, and we want to R E L A X. We spend a lot of time in the hotel room before we go out for dinner, and also like to make the most of our morning there too. A roll top bath is obviously not a necessity for a hotel room, but hey… when in Rome Newcastle… Truthfully we are bath lovers, and a bubble bath sounds like a pretty fun way to spend time during a romantic weekend to me. Little luxuries of boutique hotels like fancy toiletries and a mini bar are great, but we try to take any extras we need… including our own cans of Diet Coke. I wish I was joking, hahaha. We usually book breakfast as an extra little treat because most days we don’t get to eat breakfast together due to our work schedules. And you all know, we love a breakfast date!

Choosing the right hotel for you and your needs is important; I personally think it’s extra special to be in a boutique hotel because there’s so many extra little touches that you don’t get in a large franchised hotel. We’ve stayed at several HdV’s (seriously guys, feel free to work with me!) and all of them have the same feel of a grand building, muted colour tones, huge comfy beds – which makes no difference because we always wake up right on the edge of Matt’s side, oops! – and friendly staff who look after you. I personally think Hotel du Vin’s have a very ‘homey’ feeling, it’s just really relaxing and quiet which is perfect for us. Every time we stay we also go for a walk along the Quayside which feels like something extra special too, because it’s somewhere we both love to be.

BOOKING (& PACKING!) TIPS

– read lots of blog posts and Trip Advisor reviews if you’ve never stayed at the hotel before
– look through the Instagram geotag to see real photos from guests
– check there is parking available on site, but remember it’s often charged separately to your hotel room
– set a budget beforehand so you aren’t tempted to book something too expensive
– plan ahead; if you stay on a Sunday evening you’ll normally get the best rates
– compare prices on different sites before booking, although often the best deal is with the hotel’s own website
– bring your own champagne/wine if you fancy a tipple in the room and you’re going all out on the romantic feeling. Glasses are always provided for free!
– you probably don’t need pj’s because hotel robes are the BEST
– whether you’re eating at the hotel or at a restaurant in the town/city, book ahead of time to avoid disappointment
– don’t overpack on the toiletries, it’s all there for you anyway
– check the hotel’s amenities for things that are important to you. Is there a hairdryer / coffee machine / fridge etc? Chances are, yes!
– make a (rough) itinerary of things to do and places to see so you aren’t tempted to spend all of your time lounging in your beautiful hotel room!
– pack snacks, nobody wants to be getting hangry

I hope this post was helpful to you if you’re thinking of planning a staycation any time soon! I’m still dreaming of that bubble bath… Have you stayed in a Hotel du Vin before? What hotels are your favourite for a luxury staycation? Do you have any additional booking tips to share with me and my readers?!

-G x

Easy Eco-Friendly Beauty Swaps

Hi, loves! Sustainability is something that’s become increasingly important to me over the past few years, and I really try my best to do my best. I am not saying by any means that I’m the most eco friendly person there is; I know I’m not. I do however try, and that’s the most important thing! Living sustainably would be so much easier if lots of people did little things in their everyday life, rather than a handful of people living perfectly. Y’know?

There’s lots of sustainable, eco-friendly things I do day-to-day without even thinking about, such as carrying a re-usable coffee cup with me, using re-usable bags when grocery shopping and Matt and I are making a conscious effort to eat less meat. I really think small changes that just become your way of life over time make such a huge difference, and I wanted to share a few beauty related things with you today. Some of these are things I have done for a long time, and some are things that I want to do in the near future! We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

FROM: Using makeup wipes
TO: Removing makeup with a cleansing balm and flannel

Okay so the Caroline Hirons fanatic in me cannot comprehend how anyone can use makeup wipes in 2020, but I know that some people still love them. Not only are makeup wipes terrible for your skin, they’re also terrible for the environment. Many opt for the biodegradable options – which often aren’t any better, FYI – but I’m very much with Queen C on this one: she says “wipes are for fannies, festivals or flights”. Nuff said. Using a cleansing balm and flannel instead is such a great alternative; it takes a very short amount of time, although you can totally take your time if you fancy a little more of a pamper night. Similarly to taking off my bra after a long day, I LOVE taking off my makeup too. I do sometimes use micellar water to remove my makeup, but most of the time I reach for my cleansing balm and flannel. I really recommend these flannels from M&S; they’re very soft on my sensitive skin, budget friendly and wash really well. You literally just throw them in the wash after each use and they last forever. My very favourite cleansing balms (which are also cruelty free!) are The Body Shop’s Camomile Cleansing Butter and Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. I use them both in the same way; I take a pea-sized amount between my fingers and rub all over my face. I take a little warm water on my fingers and massage the product in; this breaks down the balm to a milky oil consistency. I then wet my flannel with warm water to remove everything, it’s so easy!

FROM: Non-cruelty free brands
TO: Cruelty free brands

I only began to really think about this last year, and overhauled every product I was buying to be only cruelty free. Due to some skin issues caused by doing this I reverted to using some brands that do not fall under the cruelty free umbrella, and now I’m back in a weird phasing out stage again. Looking at the beauty products I buy, approximately 90% of them are cruelty free, and I’m always looking for alternatives to the other 10%. Some of my very favourite brands including Lush, The Body Shop, Too Faced and Dove are cruelty free, and thankfully more and more brands are following suit to become cruelty free. There’s a very fine line with what is defined as ‘cruelty free’ too, as many brands do not test on animals themselves, however they sell in China. As the law stands right now, any beauty products sold in China require animal testing to have the rights to sell.

FROM: Plastic toothbrushes
TO: Bamboo toothbrushes

Matt and I jumped on the bamboo toothbrush train fairly recently, and I have to say I’m SO impressed! We’ve all seen the photos of thousands of multi coloured plastic toothbrushes in landfill sites, and I knew that buying disposable plastic toothbrushes wasn’t something I wanted to carry on doing. We both use our electric toothbrushes most of the time, but for travelling (or when I forget to charge them…) it’s important to have a backup. I love that these are so aesthetically pleasing and for such a basic, everyday item they’re affordable. As toothbrushes are supposed to be replaced every three months they’re a great way to keep our ‘single-use plastic’ usage down. Despite David Attenborough’s pleas and much of what you read in the news, plastic in itself is *NOT* the problem, though. The problem is the way that plastic is disposed of. Or, honestly, the way it’s incorrectly disposed of. I really want to write a whole post talking about this but I’m not sure anyone would be interested!

FROM: Liquid hand wash
TO: Soap bars

I have to admit that there’s something about a bar of soap that makes me think of my grandma (just me?) but when brands such as Diptyque are flying the soap bar flag, I guess they’re cool now?! Buying bars of soap instead of hand wash is a more environmentally friendly way to live as it cuts out the unnecessary disposable plastic packaging. There are other alternatives too such as buying refillable bags to top up containers you already have, as the refillable bags are easier to recycle than a plastic bottle! Or, lots of people like pretty containers to house their soap next to the skin, so you can grab a decorative container and refill that each time.

FROM: Disposable cotton rounds
TO: Re-usable cotton rounds

I swear by re-usable cotton rounds! I made the change from disposable ones almost a year ago and unfortunately it has been a little trial and error finding the right ones, but this brand are my favourite out of all the ones I’ve tried! I use them to apply my toners in the morning and evening, and to remove my makeup with micellar water now and then. The pads allow the product to soak in enough to apply to my face and actually work, but don’t absorb the liquid completely like some other brands I’ve tried do. I just throw them in the washing machine alongside my flannels in the net washing bag they come with, and they come out good as new. Sometimes they stain a little – especially if I’ve used them to remove eyeliner or mascara – but the pads works just as well. They’re also really easy for travel as you can pop however many you’d need for your trip in your skincare bag and just bring them home to wash.

FROM: Regular shampoo/conditioner
TO: Shampoo/conditioner bars

Something I’m yet to try is a shampoo or conditioner bar, because honestly I have a pretty large stash of shampoo and conditioner to work through! The bonus of a hair bar is that there is no extra packaging at all, you can just keep them in re-usable metal tins and replace when the bar is gone. I tended to stock up when my favourites are on offer, and I very kindly was given some more expensive brands for Christmas, so it’s going to be a while before I need to replace them. However, I know lots of people swear by Lush’s hair bars! I’d love to hear your thoughts on these if you’ve tried them? Have they replaced regular shampoo/conditioner for you?

Photo contains gifted products

FROM: Plastic tampons/disposable applicators
TO: Cotton tampons with a re-usable applicator

Okay so I’ve tried the MoonCup for several months now and I’m still not completely sold. I like it – as much as you can like a period product – but I don’t necessarily feel comfortable using it in public or at work. As a result I only use the MoonCup at night time when I have the comfort of my own bathroom in the evening/morning! I was very kindly sent some Dame tampons by the lovely girls at Dame, and they are completely revolutionary. Dame markets themselves as ‘the only climate positive brand’ and their tampons don’t contain any plastics, chemicals or harsh additives which makes them better for both your body and the planet. Their applicator is sold for £24.99, but it’s re-usable with a patented ‘self cleaning’ technology, and the whole idea behind it is you never need to buy another applicator again. I really love this brand and I think their products are fantastic, I highly recommend them but I do wish the tampons were a little cheaper to purchase. Also, Dame is just as discreet as a regular tampon so you don’t ever need to worry about using it in public.

FROM: Plastic cotton buds
TO: Bamboo cotton buds

This is such a small change I feel like it’s not even something you’ll notice being different to what you normally use once you buy them. Bamboo cotton buds are biodegradable, and as a product we all use that’s really important. One thing to be careful of is many bamboo / recyclable cotton buds are packaged in plastic packaging, which kind of defeats the point of cutting down on plastic… I really like these ones, especially because they last forever as they come in a pack of 600. They’re also priced really well which makes a huge difference as many of the recyclable eco-friendly products are (in my opinion) quite expensive or overpriced.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this post was helpful and maybe gave you a few ideas of things to buy next time you run out of any of the things mentioned in this post. What are your favourite eco-friendly beauty swaps? Have you tried any of the products I talked about in this post?

-G x

Christmas In Edinburgh

Hi, loves! This past Saturday Matt and I headed up to Edinburgh for a fun little day trip to explore one of our favourite cities, finish up on a little extra holiday shopping and… well… eat all of the food (and drink all of the Irn Bru)! We live in the North of England and we are very used to the cold weather, but oh my gosh it was so freezing cold up in Scotland. Which, to be fair, I guess that’s to be expected in December! Matt and I have a tradition to visit a new city’s Christmas markets each year. Back in 2017 we headed to York, then last year we went to Manchester. It was so fun to see another city and how they do Christmas! We of course visit our hometown Christmas markets which are beautiful, but they’re not a patch on some other cities. Spoiler: Edinburgh is our favourite Christmas market we’ve visited so far! 🙂

We started our day bright dark and early, and we just had to make a Starbucks trip as soon as we got to the train station. As much as I love the holiday themed drinks at Starbucks/Costa, I opted for my ‘usual’ cold weather drink: an extra hot, hot chocolate with two pumps of vanilla and almond milk. It’s delish!

Hahahaha. We were going past Newcastle United’s training ground at the time I took this, look at his face!

I love you so much 🙂

The very second we came out of the train station we headed straight to H&M to buy gloves and an umbrella for Matt! He forgot to bring a hat (but ended up buying a cute lil Barbour cap during our day, I LOVE it on him. It’s very Peaky Blinders haha!) We got a SHOCK when we came out into the fresh air because it was so freezing cold, our cheeks and noses were instantly red! I was super toasty in my coat though #bestbuyever.

I’m so drawn to colorful wool patterns and Tartan is my JAM.

I have no words how amazing these pancakes are, I didn’t want to share with Matt, hahaha! There were ten little pancakes in the tray, smothered with Nutella and white chocolate that melted in and made the most delicious litle treat ever! I want to eat it again right now.

After walking all round the markets, we headed to wander around a few shops. We went into a store called Kingdom Of Sweets and found all of the Tony’s flavours…

…and best of all… USA Mountain Dew!!! The Mountain Dew we can buy here is really naff and just not the same at all. I was so excited to see these that I didn’t even care they were £1.99 each! We got three Mountain Dew’s and one Exotic Fanta for Matt. I couldn’t BELIEVE the price of Freddo’s! Like, what the HECK?!

The streets throughout Edinburgh are GORGEOUS, especially when decorated for Christmas. The streets by The Dome are our very favourite and they have the best shops, including so many that we don’t have here in Newcastle. I really wish I had taken photos in Harvey Nichol’s because it was just so pretty in there.

We HAD to make a stop at Anthropologie! Look how beautiful!

I was literally in love with these coasters. I bought one in a teal/dark green shade and Matt got me one in this light blue to put in my stocking! I just think they’re so pretty 🙂

Another shop we stopped by was Oliver Bonas. I’m dreaming of this sweet chest in our future home! How GORGEOUS!?

Many shops later, we stopped for lunch at All Bar One. We do have one of these in Newcastle that just opened a few months ago, but we haven’t had chance to visit yet. We ate breakfast here two years ago so it was really nice to come back! Matt got Tennent’s and I got Irn Bru… #wheninScotland. We also had delicious food and the atmosphere is just so lovely in there! It’s relaxed but busy, and just feels so homely and cosy. Matt went for a burger and I opted for mac n cheese, we were so happy, warm and full when we left!

We did have another little look around the markets, then headed up to the castle! The streets on the way up are so quaint and cute, I feel like they’re very ‘typically British’ and so photogenic. We’re so lucky that where we live in Northumberland has so many pretty castles and places of history, but I LOVE Edinburgh Castle so much. It absolutely beautiful and on a clear day you can see for miles!

The most handsome man I ever did see 🙂

I’m SO glad it wasn’t windy up there…

Matt may or may not have added this bottle of whisky to his Christmas List. I’m pretty sure Father Christmas will NOT be getting that memo!

A candid at the top of the very windy hill.

We sent this shirt photo to Debbie (Matt’s mum) to ask her opinion on whether or not Matt should get it. I loved it, Matt liked it, Debbie loved it. We bought it! He’s going to be wearing this on Christmas Day 🙂 …if you’re looking for a last minute gift, anything from Ted Baker is a WINNER. Matt wears Ted Baker shirts for so many occasions, and they’re such high quality.

More market wandering… more drinking inside the log cabins to warm the F up… we also grabbed Bailey’s hot chocolates but our hands were too freezing to take photos. They were really good, but we can do make better at home!

SO pretty!

The Dome lit up for Christmas is just SO STUNNING! If you get chance to visit Edinburgh at Christmas, do it!

After a little more wandering/browsing/shopping we headed to a bar (I’m pretty sure it was called The Refinery?) for a few drinks. Pints and gins all round! This was such a cute bar, it’s definitely Matt and I’s kind of vibe.

…just before we made a dash to Sainsbury’s to buy drinks/snacks for the train home we got a photo outside of the Tipi. How gorgoeus is this star!? I love this photo. And Matthew, I love you so much 🙂

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our little festive trip and seeing what we got up to. Have you ever visited Edinburgh at Christmas? Which are the best Christmas markets you’ve visited this year? I so wish we could have stayed for a whole weekend, we definitely want to visit again next year.

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! Happy FRIDAY! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be writing a new Feelin’ It Friday post. I really have missed writing them each week, but I’ve been so grateful to have a little extra time for Matt and I and taking a *little* bit of time back from my blog. I’m so happy it’s (almost) the weekend as Matt and I get a little more time together this weekend than we have the past few weeks! Something to note; I’ve switched up the format of this post and made it a little more photo heavy, I hope that makes it more fun?

As I’m finishing up this post Matt has just left for work and it’s super dark out; I’m snuggled in bed with a pumpkin spice bagel, a cup of tea and Friends playing in the background. I love early mornings so much! Let’s get into it…

What I’m watching:
SO MANY TV SHOWS. Matt and I are still watching The Office throughout the week, I’m watching Friends and Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time (so is Matt by default, oops), and Graham Norton is back with another season of his show which makes me so happy! The main show I’m obviously most excited about right now is Strictly. Chris liked my tweet above and it went a little crazy hahaha, it’s so true though. I love Rosie (and Chris)! Caroline Hirons also liked another tweet and I mean, the fangirl’ing has been REAL this week.

I really think this is my favourite season of Strictly yet; most of the celebrities are SO GOOD and the competition is a little crazy. I’m still super pissed that Diane & Dev left two weeks ago as I really thought they’d be in the final, but the competition is so fun and I truly look forward to Saturday evenings so much. Matt has been watching along with me and although it’s far from his favourite show on TV, he’s actually been enjoying it too! My favourites are Chris & Karen (#TeamChris), Kelvin & Oti, Catherine & Johannes, Saffron & AJ and Karim & Amy. So you know, pretty much half of the contestants, hahaha. I also really love Motsi as a judge this year, she is SO FUN and just what the show needed!

What I’m reminiscing about:
Matt and I made the most of a super hectic, busy month (which doesn’t look to be slowing down into November either) and we squeezed in a fun Fall getaway! I just posted our photo diary this week from our trip which you can catch here if you missed it. I can’t tell you how fun it was to just unwind and relax together! We went for dinner, did a little shopping, explored some of our favourite places and just had SO MUCH FUN together. Matthew, I love you so much! Thank you for being the most amazing man 🙂

What I’m eating:
I am so happy about all of the Autumn/Halloween flavoured and themed products this year! I always enjoy seasonal goods, and this time of year is the start of the very best. I’ve been LOVING these pumpkin spiced bagels for breakfast from New York Bakery Co, they are just so delicious and hearty for the colder mornings. My mum also really enjoys them, and of course you just have to eat them toasted and smothered in butter. I’m actually eating one right now as I finish up writing and editing this post, I’m going to be so sad when they’re discontinued in the next few weeks!

What beauty product I’m obsessed with:
I’m not going to say TOO much on my Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre because it’s going to be featured in my upcoming Autumn skincare routine with a full review, but just know this is my favourite moisturiser I’ve ever used! EVER. It works so well under makeup or applied more thickly as an evening moisturiser, I’m just so happy with it. French pharmacy skincare products are so hyped up but for good reason, I can’t tell you how lovely it makes my skin look/feel. I can’t wait to share all of my thoughts in a post very soon! Also, the link I’ve shared with you to Feel Unique currently has 25% off…

What I’m burning:
All the Fall scents! My favourites are of course from Bath & Body Works and DW Home which I’ve been burning all month. I love pumpkin scents SO much, I’m not ready to jump into Christmas scents for a few more weeks yet. I got the sweetest surprise present from Matt and I’s friend Nathan; he went to America with his partner and they picked me up a Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow candle!! I’m so grateful; it’s a beautiful candle with the most comforting, cosy scent. It smells like freshly baked pumpkin muffins, which hey… I’m all about that.

What I’m showering with:
Hahaha I know that sounds SO WEIRD! Guys. I’m obsessed with Lush right now! I always buy way more during Autumn and Winter because that’s when all of the best stuff (in my opinion) comes out. My mum and I went shopping earlier in the month and as well as picking up a few birthday presents for her, I grabbed a bottle of the Yog Nog shower gel for myself. Lush’s website describes Yog Nog as a scent that’s reminiscent of caramel and custard and that is the great way to describe it. To me it smells kinda like cinder toffee and takes me right back to the old sweet shop in Beamish; it’s very reminiscent of my childhood in a strange way! I just LOVE it, and Matt has been stealing this to use almost every day too. Seriously… go to the store. Smell it. Buy it. Thank me later.

What I’m wearing:
The weather is getting pretty cold here in the North now, and it’s most definitely #sweaterweather. I have been wearing lots of cute and cosy sweaters that I’ll share on the blog sometime soon, but when I’ve been snuggled at home I’ve been wearing my new beautiful M&S dressing gown. I can’t tell you how soft it is, and I am obsessed with the colour! It’s the most beautiful baby blue that just makes me happy. Matt and I love M&S dressing gowns – I have another that I’ve had for literally three years and it’s still in perfect condition – and we spend most of our evenings super cosy in our robes! Confession time: I spent most of last weekend wearing my robe… I felt a little poorly so whilst Matt was at work I blogged, cleaned and tidied, but felt no need to get properly ready. I just kept showering or taking a bath and putting clean pj’s on, it was delightful!

What I’m reading:
I have a new blog love! I talk about my favourite blogs all the time – Mix and Match Mama, The Anna Edit and Savannah Said It are my go to’s every single day – but guys… I found Lauren via Instagram’s explore page and oh my gosh I just love her and her blog. The Lovely Lo Down is primarily fashion focused and Lauren wears the most sweet, darling outfits that I will now be forever trying to re-create! She also shares a little lifestyle content, and I’d love to see more of that from her as that’s always my favourite content to read. I have a question for you guys though… what is your favourite kind of content to read? Do you prefer fashion posts and outfit ideas? Or photo diaries? Or beauty favourites? Or wellness/self care related content? Please let me know!

What I’m working on:
Trying to relax and chill the F out. I’m really trying to live in the moment a little more, and I am trying to just enjoy each day as it is, without putting pressure on myself about other things. I can’t really stop feeling anxious or super stressed out, but I feel like being kind to myself during this phase is the best way to go about it, right? Sending all of my love to anyone else struggling a little right now.

What I’m looking forward to:
It’s almost bonfire night! The photo above is from last year’s celebrations, apologies it’s a little crap but it’s just so hard to take good photos of fireworks on an iPhone haha. I’m actually going to be recording a Weekend In My Life for the weekend before bonfire night, as Matt and I are celebrating a little early with our go-to firework display at Blyth Beach. This will be our third year in a row going to this display, it’s our very favourite! We have a fun weekend planned overall so it will be super fun to share with you guys 🙂 we’re also going to a mid-week display on bonfire night itself, I love fireworks!

What I’m excited about:
Next Sunday I’m sharing a new type of post with you, and it may be something I make into a monthly thing, if you like it of course! I’m sharing nine happy things from the month of October, and I’ve been recording things that could feature throughout the month. I have literally over thirty happy things to pick from so far, and we’ve still got almost a week left of October! It’s made me feel so grateful even though I’ve felt pretty down and anxious, and made my perspective completely flip. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Thank you so much for reading, loves! I hope you enjoyed this post, it felt so refreshing to write a #feelinitfriday again. I am planning to stick to monthly FIF’s for the next few months then maybe I’ll write every two weeks instead of once per month in 2020. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, see you on Sunday!

-G x

A Spontaneous Fall Trip: Photo Diary

Hi, loves! I am SO excited to share today’s post with you; a little recap in a photo diary style from Matt and I’s trip last week. Any regular readers may remember I’ve spoken a few times about the fact we were trying to plan a night away for our anniversary (which was back in September) and due to both of our work schedules we just couldn’t make it work in that month. Then, we hoped to book a weekend getaway in October but Matt’s work schedule was even more busy and it seemed it would be impossible to make it work. We decided we’d just go away around December time, but then Matt managed to get TWO week days off work, and I was so grateful to get the same days… hence our spontaneous trip!

Snapple fact: I’m literally the least spontaneous person EVER. I need structure and routine and planning, but we booked our hotel late on Friday night, then travelled early Tuesday morning. I know it’s only a one night trip and this is probably so normal to most people, but this was such a big deal for me! We decided to split our two days between York and Harrogate because we love both of those places and it’s been a hot minute since we last visited. York is a super special place to us as it’s where we went on our first date. Yep, we drove two and a half hours away from home on our very first date… thank God it went well, hahaha. Matt was obviously feeling confident because it was his suggestion! We also really love Harrogate; we stayed there for my birthday last year and it is just such a beautiful town. We unfortunately didn’t get to see very much of Harrogate at all as it was SO rainy and cold!

We set off bright dark and early so we could spend most of our day exploring and enjoying York, not stuck in the car. The roads were pretty clear which we were thankful for, and we had our favourite car snacks too! We sang along to our favourite songs and talked the whole way there, which is one of my very favourite things about road trips with Matt. It was a very grey day which is pretty common here from October through to March (!) but that didn’t dampen our spirits at all, we were so excited to get to our first stop; the pumpkin patch!

…so very excited that I didn’t even check it was open mid-week. And guess what? IT WAS CLOSED. Hahaha. We pulled up to what was clearly a working farm with not another car in sight (just tractors and farm equipment) and the sweet farmer headed over right away to see us. We pretty quickly knew it wasn’t open, so explained we hadn’t checked before coming and before we could say any more he told us to park the car out of the mud and he’d meet us up at the top of the courtyard. Guys, he was SO NICE and let us explore anyway! He gave us a little private tour, showing us the barn and the Halloween activities that had been set up for the next few weeks. He then showed us around his land a little, and left us to explore his pumpkin patch and land for as long as we wanted to! There were chickens everywhere which was so fun to see. We were so grateful to get to visit because we had been so excited to see the pumpkin patch (okay, I was way more excited than Matt!) and I can’t believe I didn’t think to check if it was open. The farm was called Cundall Lodge Farm, and it’s also a B&B which looks so beautiful! Matt and I want to go back and stay here soon, the farmer was seriously so nice and the grounds are amazing.

Side note: I was SO FREAKING GLAD we had taken wellies with us, it was very very muddy! My wellies look like chelsea boots and are from J Crew, but I can’t find a link. Sorry! My colourblock sweater is linked here, I got a size Small and it’s pretty oversized but I love it.

He is just the most handsome man I ever did see! I LOVED this look on him!
A Barbour jacket + wellies = 😍😍😍

I actually really like that shot of me opening the car door, it’s a genuine candid Matt took that we didn’t plan ha! Thanks babe. We left the pumpkin patch covered in mud (seriously, our jeans somehow had mud EVERYWHERE) and headed into York city centre. We come to York pretty often but we very rarely go into the centre so I was super excited to wander around. We did a little shopping – I picked up this Disney tee in Zara and I’m obsessed with it! Matt so badly wants one of those coats pictured below but he can never quite decide on which. We also went to Expressions Clothing which is a vintage store selling lots of American brands and sportswear. I treated Matt to a rugby shirt for SUCH a good price, and I picked up an oversized Broncos tee that still had the tags on. I’m super excited to wear it with mom jeans and Vans!

After looking round a few more shops we headed for lunch at Lucky Days cafe – we first went here in December 2017 and ordered soup because we were so freezing. We remembered how amazing the food was so specifically went back for their soup, and it was just as good! Matt got thai green chicken and I went for broccoli and cheddar, and we split a red velvet cake. A perk of being an adult? You can eat dessert before your main course. Which we did… oops!

We spent another hour or so exploring York; venturing around the shambles and just enjoying being in a new city before making a quick visit to York Designer Outlet. We love the outlets, and I swear Matt snaps up every great deal there is! He got a new Ted Baker shirt, a Paul Smith shirt (sadly not the one I found below which was perfect for #spookyszn) and a Fred Perry polo shirt. I got a cute slogan t-shirt from Tommy Hilfiger which I love – it will be perfect with jeans/leggings and an oversized cardigan – and we of course made a visit to the Cadbury store and the Haribo store!

The outlets were SO EMPTY – we’d definitely recommend going mid-week instead of during the weekend if you can. Sometimes when we’ve been it’s been so busy you can barely look around the stores! We finished up our shopping and made our way to Harrogate to get cosy in our hotel. We stayed at the new Doubletree by Hilton, which we didn’t know had only become a Hilton three weeks before! The hotel was undergoing renovations but when it’s finished it is going to be SO BEAUTIFUL. We had a huge room that had just been done out (I really didn’t take many photos, sorry guys!) and had no complaints. As we booked pretty last minute we didn’t check TripAdvisor, but when I looked a day or two before I was slightly worried, the reviews were AWFUL. We had no need to be worried though, we had a great stay and the staff were really friendly. One thing I really love about Hilton hotels is that you get a warm chocolate chip cookie on arrival, that’s great service!

We took a few blog photos for this post (I swear Matt is the best boyfriend ever!!) and then got ready for our evening enjoying a few glasses of wine. We ate at one of our favourite restaurants, Gino’s, and the food as always was AMAZING. I love that they have a photo booth up on the top level of the restaurant, and a heated outside bar. We of course took photo booth photos as that’s another little tradition of ours, we’ve got tons! As it was a Tuesday night there wasn’t too much going on in the centre, so we headed back to our hotel for drinks in the beautiful lobby. We then took a few drinks upstairs and snuggled in bed to watch Chaos In The Cockpit… we always watch shows like this. No wonder I’m so scared of flying!! Also yes, date night and we prefer to spend it in bed. We’re 25 going on 85 HAH.

Oh hey there, you can see me in the mirror!

Okay so I took this photo because I need your guys’ advice/help!! After a full day of wearing makeup (which is almost every day because y’know… I love my makeup) my skin is SO RED. It is almost rash-like and so so hot to touch, and covers my cheeks, chin and nose. Has anyone else ever experienced this? My skin is looking and feeling SO good right now (except for acne scars and the odd spot), but this random redness – it almost looks like a rash? – is kinda freaking me out. Please help me!

Date night with you is my favourite. I love you, Matthew!

Any restaurant/bar that provides blankets is my kind of place!

The next morning we slept in a little, and enjoyed not having to rush around getting ready. We literally snuggled in bed for like, half an hour! It was perfect. I read a little whilst Matt caught up on a few e-mails, and we slowly got ready for our day! I am borderline obsessed with my Zara x Disney t-shirt, it is just soooo cute. I’m really going to miss wearing slogan/cute t-shirts as the weather gets colder and I have to wear a sweater every day! In the photo below Matt was totally stuffing his face with our Haribo pick n mix. Hahaha.

We were planning on going for breakfast in Harrogate but it was pouring rain and we really weren’t dressed for the weather so we decided to just head back up North early. We went into Newcastle city centre for a wander, browse of the shops and lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants; The Botanist. The food is always amazing and their cocktails are out of this world, although sadly we didn’t get any as it was 2pm on a Tuesday. #sigh #life (although, if you go… get a blueberry martini! I don’t even like a regular martini but wow, these are AMAZING and my ‘treat’ every time we go. Thank me later!)

We had the best afternoon wandering around our hometown, but we were so freaking tired. We headed home, unpacked the car and… took a nap. At 4pm on a week day. It was FANTASTIC! We highly recommend, guys. Toddlers are so lucky! I can’t even tell you how much we needed that nap; we woke up around 5.30pm, I took a shower and we headed over to Matt’s parents, where we just managed to stay awake past 10pm, hahaha. We had a lovely night visiting with them, watching football and eating dinner. I feel like all we did those two days was eat, but hey you have to enjoy yourself right?! We sadly had to be back at work the next day, but this was such a special trip for us and we had so much fun! Thank you for being my favourite travel partner, I love you Matthew 🙂

And thank YOU so much for reading and following along on our little Fall getaway! I hope you enjoyed this post, how beautiful is that pumpkin patch?! I feel so grateful and lucky we got to have a mini anniversary celebration after all, and I’m so thankful to be able to share it with you guys. Thank you for your continued support; you have no idea how much it means to me that you read my blog and I am so excited for all of the fun, festive content planned for the next few months 🙂 have you visited York or Harrogate before? Where’s your favourite road trip place?!

-G x

Travel Diaries: Stamford

Hi, loves! Today’s post is a photo diary instead of a typical WIML post, as we spent so much time with Matt’s family and just totally relaxed all weekend! I am so excited to be sharing our photos from Stamford with you, because I literally took so. dang. many. We spent August bank holiday weekend there; visiting Matt’s family, exploring the area and just enjoying a break from our usual day-to-day life. We love going for weekends away, and we try to visit somewhere every few months for a mini break. Our weekend was filled with love and laughter; we had the best time exploring and I’m so grateful to my favourite person for always making our travels so fun. Matthew; I love you, and I love doing life with you! Did you see what I packed for this trip? I’m linking that post here in case you missed it!

We headed off super early on Saturday morning, and what should have been a maximum three and a half hour drive took us five and a half… which is literally just our luck! The A1 was closed due to a lorry fire (thankfully nobody was hurt) but we took a huge detour and got stuck in SO MUCH traffic. Luckily we had snacks, our favourite podcast and each other so we were still pretty happy 🙂

I love you so much Matthew 🙂

…yes I am tucked in with my car blanket for the journey. I am a child. When we finally made it to Stamford, we headed straight for Matt’s aunts house! His parents, nana and cousins little boy were already there so we were so happy to see everyone. The garden was a total sun trap and it was SO HOT. Especially for us Northerners, ha! We caught up, ate and played in the sun – it was so nice to be with the family (and out of the car)! Later we headed to find our cute little apartment in the centre of town and walk around Stamford for a little while; it is the most beautiful place! Everywhere is just so picturesque, the photos really don’t do it justice. We walked around for an hour or so before popping to The London Inn for a few drinks, then we headed back to freshen up for the evening. I can’t believe we didn’t take any nice photos but Matt and I went out for dinner with his parents; we ate at Cosy Club which was amazing, we all had great meals! Debbie and I tried a delicious new rhubarb gin and we had such a fun night all together. Afterwards we met up with Matt’s cousin and his lovely girlfriend for drinks before snuggling back up in our cosy apartment; we had the perfect first day!

This was our view from the apartment, it was so pretty in the late afternoon sun 🙂

The most English picture I think I’ve ever taken, lol!

So funny story… I jumped to the side of the road to take this picture of the tractor coming down the road and I think he thought I was a tourist (I mean, technically I was) because I must have looked so excited. He stopped to wave at me, hahahaha. Matt thought it was so funny!

Our Sunday was very chilled; we went for a breakfast date in the morning at the garden centre, it was so good! We love love love breakfast dates and we know good breakfast food, but this ticked every box. We’ve made a mental note to try breakfast at garden centres in our town to see if we love that too! After breakfast we visited with Matt’s nana; her village is so so tiny I can’t even explain it, they have like three shops! I I loved the area so much, it was super pretty and so remote. We spent the rest of our day visiting a little more with family and exploring the town; there was a classic car show in the centre which we looked around, but really I was only there for the ice cream van at the other side. #truth We got ready pretty early for the evening (it was BEYOND HOT – 34 degrees is just insane to us) and headed back to Matt’s aunt’s house to spend a little more time with the family before going out for the evening. We went to The Crown for dinner with Matt’s cousins and their partners, before spending the evening in the courtyard with them; it was so quirky and literally nothing like we have at home. The fairy lights made it beyond cute! We had such a fun night with everyone, and we’re already excited for our next trip down!

Eggs and avocado on toasted sourdough is HEAVEN to me!

Matt and I LOVE exploring garden centres. Like, seriously love them. I swear we’re 25 going on 75, hahaha.

I loved this little street! The light coming through the church on the next photo was surreal to us, so I had to snap a quick picture 🙂

It was HOT. Hahahaha.

Is this not the most quintessentially British pub you’ve ever seen?! Flowers are my favourite, and these were so pretty and vibrant!

On Monday morning we left pretty early and headed home via York; we went to the Designer Outlet and Matt did so well with his bargains, as always. I picked up a cute Levi’s tee that I’m sure you’ll see on the blog sooner rather than later! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you liked seeing a little snippet of Stamford! We really loved the quaint, cute town SO much because it’s just so different than where we live. It was REAL middle-of-nowhere countryside, I loved it! As you can probably tell from the photos in this post it was very pretty; literally every corner we turned there was something so sweet to look at. We’re hoping to go back in December and I really hope we can make that work; I’d love to see how the town looks decorated for Christmas! Have you ever been to Stamford? Where is your favourite places to travel in the UK?

-G x

Pack With Me: A Weekend Break

Happy Wednesday, loves! I’m so excited for this weekend for several reasons… especially because it’s bank holiday! Who doesn’t love three day weekends? I just wish they were every week. Secondly, Matt and I are going away for the weekend, which is our favourite thing to do. Thirdly, we’re visiting with Matt’s family! We’re so excited to spend time with them, admire the beautiful countryside and explore the cute little town we’re staying in. It’s so much hotter down South, and we are very excited to spend our last Summer weekend in the sun. I know Autumn technically doesn’t start until almost the end of September, but for me as soon as August is out, I’m all about Autumn. Who am I kidding, I’ve been ready for Autumn since JULY, lol! We’re also getting to squeeze in one more road trip, and boy do we love road trips! (Also, I’m so sorry about these photos. I know they’re not great I just didn’t have time to take better ones, please forgive me!!)

As any regular readers will know, I love packing whether it’s for a short trip or a holiday – just search ‘packing’ in the side bar and a ton of posts will come up – so I wanted to share with you all what I’m packing for our last weekend of Summer! In just a few weeks we’ll be living in coats, boots, scarves and hats (I’m SO excited, I can’t pretend I don’t love Autumn!) but it’s probably one of the last times we’ll be able to wear minimal clothing here in the UK. I’m extra excited to pack this time because, I finally get to make good use of our packing cubes that I purchased during Prime Day(s)!

When packing skincare products and toiletries for a short trip, I try to pack pretty minimal. I don’t need options and I don’t need products I’ve only just started trying out; if I’m going to get breakouts or irritated skin you can just guarantee it’s when we’re away from home! For that reason I like to take tried and tested products that my skin loves, and keep it super simple and easy with my skincare. As you’ll see in an upcoming post, I’m currently obsessed with Pixi’s new Vitamin C Tonic, it’s working miracles for my skin! I love to take sheet masks with me when we’re travelling as they make for great pick-me-up’s if you’re skin is feeling a little naff, and they’re super easy with no mess if you only have ten minutes whilst you’re getting ready for the day or evening.

For my toiletries, I like to take small travel-sized products because this isn’t where I want to take up a lot of space. I decant my favourite shampoo and conditioner as I really don’t like to mix up my hair products; when I find something that works I run with it. I can save space to be without my trusty banana hair mask from The Body Shop (just for a few days!) and I really try not to overpack. Matt shares whichever shampoo and shower gel I take, but he’s not at all fussed what I choose. We’re staying in an apartment that provides a hairdryer – something you should always check before you travel – and I’ll probably only wash my hair once anyway.

I find makeup is the hardest thing to be minimal with as I like to switch up my products, and I don’t know how my skin will react whilst we’re away. We all have good skin days and bad skin days, so I just have to hope for the best that my makeup will cover any imperfections (and last all day/night). Lip products are the hardest for me to cull (hence taking five) but I’d definitely rather have ‘too many’ options than not enough, and they’re so little they take up hardly any space anyway! I really really love my new Pillowtalk eyeshadow palette, it’s by far the prettiest palette I’ve ever owned and it creates the most beautiful looks.

Skincare:
The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter | Muslin Cloths | Bioderma Micellar Water | Re-Usable Cotton Pads | The Body Shop Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator *gifted | Facetheory Radiant Eye Cream | The Body Shop Seaweed Oil Control Gel Cream *gifted | Pixi Vitamin C Tonic | Pixi Glow Tonic | The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil | The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution *gifted | The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Sheet Mask | Carmex Watermelon Lip Balm

Toiletries:
The Body Shop Tahitian Tiare Shower Gel | Gillette Satin Care Shaving Gel | Gillette Venus Swirl Razor | Bedhead Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner (decanted) | Travel Bottles | Morrocanoil Treatment Light | Johnson’s Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses | The Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui Body Lotion | MAC Turquatic Rollerball Perfume | Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Perfume | IGK First Class Dry Shampoo | Straighteners (similar) | The Wet Brush Detangler

Makeup:
Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier | Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 1N1 | Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer in C6 | Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer in 1N | Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder | The Body Shop Honey Bronze in Shade 3 | Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Blush in First Love | NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Brunette | NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel | Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette in Pillowtalk | Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black | Colorpop Highlight in Flexitarian | Brushes mostly Zoeva | Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Cali Rose | Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk | Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk | Physician’s Formula Velvet Liquid Lipstick in All Natural Nude | Mac Fix + (Travel Size)

I always like to travel in something comfy, and normally I’d stay away from jeans at all costs. However, when I was clearing out my wardrobe – my post is finally coming on that next week – I re-discovered a pair of Tori mom jeans I forgot I owned. I’ve since bought another pair (which I can’t find online, sorry!) and I love them so much. They’re comfortable, forgiving and don’t make me feel like my waist is being cut off, and they’re super cute! I’m pairing with a cute slogan t-shirt – how perfect is this ‘long weekend’ tee from J Crew?! – a cosy cardigan and my comfiest Adidas Coast star trainers, as our travel day is also our first day in Stamford and we’re going to be doing a lot of visiting with family and exploring.

We’re not too sure on our our plans for Saturday night but we do know we’re going out for dinner, so I’ve packed a midi skirt with a black cami and option of a black t-shirt just depending of how I feel. Paired with my super comfortable black heeled sandals, this is such an easy outfit and one that I know I’ll feel good in! On Sunday we’re up early for a breakfast date and another day of exploring/visiting family, so I’m going with a slogan t-shirt and a midi skirt, again paired with my Adidas trainers. On Sunday night we’re going out for dinner with Matt’s cousins and their partners, and I’m not sure where we’re going so packed two options, just incase. The first being (you guessed it) my favourite Zara leopard print midi skirt with cami, and the second a blouse and jeans. Both of the outfits work with my black heeled sandals so I don’t need to take any other shoes! I find making sure your shoes, bag and jewellery work with any outfit option is key, and really helps you to not overpack.

On Monday we’re unfortunately heading back up North, so again I’m opting for those same jeans I wore on the way down (with the option of leggings, depending how much I eat over the weekend LOL) and a slouchy Levi’s tee. I find that I’m always wearing a t-shirt these days, they’re my favourite because they’re cute, comfy and go with anything. I’ve packed an extra comfy cardigan to keep me warm if I get a little chilly; I’m always cold and I know Matt will have the air con on during the drive down! The only other clothing items I’m taking are underwear and my cutest silky pajamas (they’re on sale right now and perfect for the upcoming Autumn months!) so I can get ready comfortably at the apartment – I never sleep in pj’s but I have an obsession with buying them!! I also always overpack my underwear; for a three day trip I literally will take ten pairs. I don’t know why but I’ve done this ever since I can remember, it’s such a bad habit!

The jewellery I’m taking is just my regular everyday stuff that I always wear; my Pandora rings, Pandora bracelet, Missoma initial necklace (I added the moon charm) and my Fitbit. I don’t like to have to continuously swap out jewellery so keep it pretty simple, although I do wish I was able to accessorize my outfits the way others do. I also am only taking one bag, my trusty little Whistles Verity backpack – I’ve owned this for at least three years and it still looks good as new – it’s super roomy which is perfect for during the day and it can work for the night times too. Also, does anyone else’s boyfriend/husband always give them tons of things to carry when you’re out?! I swear I have three things of my own in my bag then Matt’s sunglasses, wallet, car key etc take up so much space, hah!

My favourite category to pack is always the miscellaneous stuff because I feel like that’s one category you can’t really cut down and the over-packer in me relishes in it! Matt and I very rarely travel with our laptops because we just don’t really need them, but taking my iPad is SO easy and it means we can use it to watch a little Netflix or Amazon Prime, and I can read on it. I also like to record any blogging info on the go and sometimes I prefer to do this on my phone, sometimes on my iPad, it just depends on the day! I think pretty much all hotels/air bnb’s have wifi these days, and it’s never been an issue for us before. Of course we make sure to take our chargers, I always take the book I’m currently reading and Matt loves his Four Four Two magazines. I can’t go on a road trip without my car blanket, and we both love to take snacks, they’re the best part of a road trip! We’ve stocked up on Sweet & Smokin’ Hippeas, Tony’s Chocomolonely and all of the Haribos… *makes mental note to pack bananas and trail mix*

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed having a sneak peek into what I packed! I know people love posts like this – me too! – and I’m pretty sure it’s just because we’re all super nosy, LOL. Do you have any fun plans for the bank holiday weekend? Are you going away for the weekend too? I’m going to be recording a Weekend In My Life/Travel Diary post, so that will be up soon. I’m making it my goal to get a cute full length picture of Matt and I, we barely ever get good photos together and it’s something we always get mad about!

-G x

Travel Diaries: Croatia

Hi, loves! Matt and I just got back at the beginning of this month from the most perfect week in *in our opinion* the most beautiful hotel on the Adriatic Coast. We stayed at the TUI Sensimar Adriatic Beach and every second since we came home we’ve wished we were back there! We would 100000% recommend this hotel if you’re looking for a chilled holiday not too far from home. The staff were incredible, the food and drinks were amazing (strawberry daiquiris became our drink of the holiday), the rooms were gorgeous and the views were straight out of a TUI advert. We literally couldn’t have asked for more, it was beyond what we expected or even imagined! We were staying on the side of a freaking mountain, and the views from every direction were breathtaking. The Biokovo mountain towered over us and the incredible coastline beneath it, it was the most peaceful of places. The sea was so. dang. clear. and I swear the photos don’t even do it justice!

It was so hot during our holiday which was a little uncharacteristic for the time of year as Europe was experiencing some kind of freak heatwave throughout June. It was 36 degrees even at 6pm in the evening, which is crazy to us! We spent our days swimming, eating delicious food, drinking our way through the cocktail menu, laying on sun loungers and exploring along the local beach and nearby harbour. We spent one evening in Makarska, which is a larger town around 25 minutes away from the hotel and we were so in love with the whole place, it was so beautiful! There was a lot more going on here compared to the sleepy relaxation of our resort, and it was so fun to be able to see another little town of the Adriatic. We explored quaint streets, drank local beers and watched another gorgeous sunset at the harbour. It truly was such a perfect holiday!

Something you may know about me, is that watching sunsets with Matt is literally my favourite way to spend an evening, and these were the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen! Our beaches right by our hometown do have beautiful sunsets, but seriously nothing will compare to the ones we saw in Croatia. Every evening we looked forward to watching them, it literally was surreal to watch! We even saw dolphins during sunset some evenings, they were so close to the hotel whilst we ate dinner and the moment could not have been more amazing! I posted a few videos on my Instagram and got so many messages of people asking where the heck we were and how the sunsets were so dang pretty… they’re saved in my Croatia highlight on my Instagram profile if you want to take a look, along with some other fun videos and photos that aren’t in this post.

Editing this blog post and putting all of our photos together has made me SO sad and nostalgic!! We seriously couldn’t have asked for more, it’s absolutely our favourite place we’ve ever been, and I can’t wait to go back one day. If you have any questions please feel free to ask below or message me on Instagram! Looking at these photos I SO BADLY want to just jump through my screen and go back. Why can’t we blue skidoo like in Blues Clues? Matt and I are already talking about our holiday for next Summer and we have SUCH a big list to make our way through. Even though there are so many countries and islands we want to explore, we know one year we’ll head back to Adriatic Beach. I fully realise that I’m so so lucky to be able to holiday with my love every year – twice next year, we’re so excited! – and I never ever take it for granted! I love every second we spend together but holidays are just a little bit extra special aren’t they?

Just a slight disclaimer: this post is not a day by day account of what we got up to! The photos are in chronological order but I didn’t take many photos on some days, and on some days I took SO. MANY. Apologies in advance that some of them probably look exactly the same, I promise they’re not haha! It was so hard not to keep snapping photos every time we walked around the resort because everything was so. dang. beautiful. 

We landed around 8.30pm, and were treated to a dusky pink sky. We had NO idea how beautiful the sunsets would be every night!

We didn’t get to our hotel until just before midnight, so we had no idea what the area around us looked like. We woke up at 6.30am on our first day (LOL we were so excited!) and stepped out onto our balcony to this. We never got over how beautiful this view was!

How badly do you want to be in that water!?

We were obsessed with this chocolate throughout our holiday! I was so sad when I couldn’t find it in Home Bargains with the other Milka chocolate bars 😦

We loved going for a walk down by the beach in the afternoons to work off our lunch. If you headed right out of the hotel you came to this gorgeous teeny little harbour town. There were maybe thirty houses, one bakery and one bar. It was SO quiet and beautiful!

Bae always trying to ruin my shots!

If you turned left out of the hotel and through this little arch, you came to a nudist beach! LOL we saw way more than we bargained for on this walk. (But the views out to sea were amazing!) The water was even clearer along this stretch.

Each evening we’d head down to the beach to watch the sunset in total peace and quiet. There was usually just a handful of people here, but some evenings there was just us two! All you could hear was the crashing of the waves on the shore, and the golden hours in Croatia were everything. Oh, how I want to be back!

The mountain was incredible. It’s visible from every part of the hotel, and were the prettiest backdrop you could ask for!

This was our view on the way down to the pool each morning (yep, we’re totally those people that put their towels on sun beds before we go for breakfast!) and we stopped and stared out every. single. morning.

This lemon tree was right outside of our apartment block! We got the short straw and were on the top floor of the furthest away building. However, the views were out of this world, and we toned our butts up going up and down thousands of steps every day! LOL!

That golden hour glow *ft squinting eyes because dang the sun is bright*

😍😍😍 the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. So lucky to be yours, Matthew!

Some of our favourite views were from up on the Mojito Terrace, it was so magical!

Hahahahaha. This photo makes us DIE laughing. My mum and dad were on holiday at the same time as us and sending us typical ‘mum and dad selfies’ so we sent them one back. Hahahaha.

🤩 I love this photo!

This was the very last set of steps (the FOURTH set!) between our apartment and the beach, coming down was easy but heading back up was a STRUGGLE in 36 degree heat! We loved walking down to the pool then up to breakfast every morning, it was so freaking peaceful.

He’s so shy…

I realise this is the worst picture ever, but I was trying to capture the butterflies! Seriously I’ve never seen so many butterflies in my life as we did on this holiday, and they were SO friendly. They’d land on you and just sit super still, so beautiful!

My dress wasn’t this tight, it was actually super flowy but I was holding it at the front because I wore a dress on the only windy night of our holiday 🙂 an *actual* candid photo!

The strawberry daiquiris were everything 🙂

Our favourite spot ❤️

This was along a main street at the top of our hotel – I would NOT have liked to drive on these roads haha! My poor little car would have fell down one of the pot holes for sure. The views walking along to our favourite little shop were so cute though!

Our first view when we stepped off the bus in Makarska! The harbour was insanely beautiful, and everywhere was so. dang. clean. There wasn’t a spot of litter anywhere!

I just love him so much!

I am so lucky to do life with you. I love you, Matt ❤️

This is one of my favourite photos of our whole holiday! Dreaming of being back in paradise.

We stopped in the most gorgeous little street to enjoy drinks and listen to live music. The video from this night is SO much better than the photos, but I couldn’t upload to my blog. It’s in my Instagram highlight! I cried when we were sitting here because I was just so happy. LOL. The most perfect Saturday date night with my love!

My favorite Summer lipstick! The Duchess by Charlotte Tilbury, which was a present from Matt, the little cutie

Matt is literally shaking his butt in the first picture because we had just eaten such an amazing dinner at the hotel’s a la carte restaurant and he was so happy hahaha. Life with this one is always so fun 😍 (also can we just take a moment to acknowledge the fact I have actual CANKLES!!! It was so hot my feet swelled up like crazy hahaha).

We both got the tomato and basil soup to start. It was so buttery and had rice in the bottom!

Matthew got beef with mushroom gravy and truffle mash potato…

…and I got sea bass on a bed of spinach risotto and roasted veggies. This was the best meal I’ve ever eaten, Matt had a taste and was so sad he didn’t opt for this too!

Our desserts were just as good as our app and main! Tiramisu for Matthew…

…and limoncello cheesecake for me. Every couple staying on an all inclusive package at the hotel was gifted one free evening meal at this restaurant, and if you’re planning to go we HIGHLY recommend eating here! If we’d visited earlier in our holiday we definitely would have went back again, as you could pay to eat there are very discounted prices too. It was truly the perfect way to spend our last night in Croatia!

Hvala, Hrvatska. The most perfect week, with my best friend in the whole world. I’m so grateful for you Matthew, and I can’t wait to explore the world with you for the rest of our lives! I love you so much baby.

Thank you so much for reading, and re-living our holiday with me! Don’t you just want to be there right now? Me too. We seriously can’t wait to plan our holiday for next Summer! We’re going to Florida next September with my mum, dad and brother for my dad’s 60th birthday celebration – I finally get to take Matt to Disney World!!! – and I can barely wait, I feel so lucky we’re going to have two holidays to look forward to in 2020. Do you have any trips planned for this year or next? Where would you love to go? I’m planning to write a travel bucket list over the next few weeks, because I’d love to share that with you! If you’ve written any posts about your recent holidays, please leave them below so I can go read them and live vicariously through you!

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! Happy, happy Friday!! I can’t quite tell you how excited I am to be back writing again, I missed you guys! Today’s post is another kinda short and sweet one, but they’re still fun, right? Matt and I had the most amazing holiday and I’m so dang excited to share everything with you on the blog next week. If you weren’t following along on Instagram stories, go check out my Croatia highlight saved on my profile for a sneak peak of our trip and what we got up to! We came back feeling so happy and grateful, although we’ve never been so sad to come home from a trip EVER. The holiday blues are real guys! So, what’s going on in my life?!

What I’ve been eating:
After eating a week of incredible quality all-inclusive food, with hundreds of options, we’ve actually really enjoyed cooking since we got back. We’ve opted for our tried and tested favourites of pasta dishes, fish with roasted veggies and lots of comfort foods 🙂 we made enchiladas last night and they were so. dang. good. I chipped the back of my front tooth on holiday (you can’t tell at all but I had a bit of a meltdown when it happened because it felt like a HUGE part of my tooth came out. Thankfully that wasn’t the case at all but this would only happen to me, it’s just my luck!) and I’ve been so scared to eat anything that I have to bite into. I’m even more scared for a trip to the dentist to fix it – it’s beyond a JOKE as a 25 year old woman how scared I am of the dentist! – but I’m being super careful about the food I’m eating so I don’t have to bite into things!

What I’m blown away about:
Whilst we were in Croatia I got tagged in two Summer Bucket List posts – this one by Gemma, then this one by Laura – who were inspired to write them after reading my post. I mean, what the heck?! I read and loved them both, please go spread a little love and give them a read (and follow!) too. I love that this little blogging community is always so welcoming and open to others, and that we really support each other and want the best for each other. Sharing each other’s blog posts, leaving comments, liking posts etc is so important and something I’m truly trying to actively do more. I am really focused on growing my blog more and creating fun, exciting content, and I feel so lucky to have inspired other bloggers in some small way!

What I’m reminiscing about:
Croatia!! Guys, we’re SO sad to be home. We had the most amazing holiday and I can’t quite believe it’s already been and gone, the week flew by! We stayed in the most beautiful hotel, with amazing sea and mountain views that looked like they were straight out of a TUI advert, it was beyond what we expected or even imagined. Our days were spent swimming, relaxing for hours at the beach or pool and soaking up the (crazy hot!) Croatian sun, which is just exactly what we needed. Spending pretty much every second of every day with my favorite person was so good for the soul! We recharged and relaxed, and even though I had a bit of a wobble with my anxiety for one day of our holiday – that was less than ideal! – I’m still in a little bubble of happiness from our trip. I really am so excited to share our photos with you! Here’s a sneak peek…

What I’ve been up to this week:
We spent Monday in holiday bliss, and traveled back to England on Monday night. We had booked a hotel in Manchester for that night because we knew we’d be exhausted, and I’m so glad we already planned that because for a short haul flight our travel day was LONG. We had a two hour coach ride on the hottest, sweatiest bus you can imagine with no air con from our hotel to the airport, then waited three and a half hours at the worst airport we’ve ever been to before finally flying home! The pilot kindly told told us as we sat on the runway that the BACK ENGINE WASN’T WORKING. Anyone who knows me IRL will know this made me freak. out. hahahaha. It was fine, but I mean, who tells a plane full of people they’re about to fly through the air with one of the engines not working?! I held onto Matt for dear life pretty much the whole flight. We grabbed Diet Cokes and Doritos from the airport and snuggled in for a midnight feast at our hotel, which was so needed! Tuesday rolled around way too quickly, so we headed back up North and spent our day catching up with our families, relaxing and preparing to go back to work. From Wednesday we’ve just been getting back into the swing of work, and we’re already counting down to next weekend when Matt is off work and we have fun things planned!

What I’m up to this weekend:
Not very much! Matt is unfortunately working all weekend, and I have a ton of stuff to catch up on with my blog so I’m going to be working too. I’m so thankful we make the most of our mornings and evenings together every day, because you just have to be grateful for the time you can squeeze in when life is busy. We hate when he works all weekend, and I miss him so much! Lol, he’s literally only going to be out of the house for just over eight hours each day, but that’s a long time, y’know? I’m excited to write and edit new posts and take photos, and I’m also going to be working on our Croatia photo diary which is going to take up a LOT of time. I also really want to deep clean our bedroom, it needs it! We are however making plans this weekend, which always makes me so excited! We’re booking our tickets to see Toy Story 4 (we can’t wait!), planning a date day and date night and we’re also booking our hotel for a super fun trip next month 🙂 I know we’ve literally just got home but I can’t wait for a few nights away! I love making memories with Matt, and we love having things to look forward to. My personality is that I kinda need something to look forward to, it makes crappy days so much easier to deal with!

What I’m thinking about:
How fun all of the 4th of July celebrations looked! I’ve seen countless Instagram stories showcasing BBQ’s, fireworks and parades, and I’d LOVE to experience being in the USA for the holiday one year! Of course the reason Americans celebrate is because it was the 4th of July, 1776 that they became independent from us, Great Britain. Lol, I see the irony! Still, I love any kind of holiday that involves fireworks, now I’m just counting down to Bonfire Night… I’m actually VERY excited for Autumn, although I realise Summer literally just started. I’m already dreaming of cosy sweaters, riding boots and pumpkin spiced everything!

Thank you so much for reading guys, I’m sorry this week’s #feelinitfriday is so short! I wrote this post up before work as Matt and I were up from 6am this morning because he started work early, and I had SO much fun sitting down and pouring all of my thoughts into a blog post. I’m so happy I started my #feelinitfriday series, and I’m pretty sure they will be more of a weekly thing than every two weeks. Please let me know what you’d like to see in these posts, as I really want to make sure it’s content you enjoy and feel excited to read! Matt and I have tons of fun plans coming up and although we’re very sad our holiday is over, we can’t wait for all of the exciting things we’re going to be doing. We’re going to start checking off our Summer bucket list from next weekend, I just can’t wait! What are your plans for this weekend? I hope you’re not working like us, and have so much fun!

-G x

My Carry On Bag Essentials

Hey, hey, hey, how’s my best girlfriends?! Name that movie. Sorry, I’m literally giddy as I’m carrying out a final edit on this post because Matt and I go on holiday tomorrow! By the time this post goes live we’ll actually be in the beautiful country of Croatia (I may have mentioned it once or twice…?) and I’m pretty sure I’ll be spamming my Instagram feed 24/7. Sorry not sorry. I’m so flipping excited to spend a week relaxing, exploring and soaking up the sun with my love! Just like I did last year, I’m sharing with you what I’m packing in my carry on. I’m not delving into every single thing like I did in that post – which you can see here – but there’s lot of similar things appearing in both posts!

I love love love packing (seriously, just search ‘packing’ in the side bar and a ton of posts will come up) and it’s something I genuinely look forward to doing. I get kinda stressed about all of the things we need to do before a trip, but really I love every minute of it once I get started! Matt and I are checking two big suitcases, and taking two backpacks for our carry on so we’ve got plenty of space for all of our stuff. Well, Matt literally takes a hoodie, magazine, snacks, headphones and a phone charger in his carry on bag – I don’t know how he travels so light! I am the complete opposite, but again, he’s the yin to my yang when it comes to organisation 🙂

I’m taking the same backpack I took last year because I just really love it; it’s still in perfect condition and it’s so dang cute, although unfortunately it’s not available to purchase any more. I got it from the Vans X Lazy Oaf collaboration, but honestly any Vans backpack is super cute and great value for money, they’re incredible quality and I get so much use out of mine when we’re travelling. I love this one as an alternative! I always use a backpack for travelling because I take quite a lot with me, and it’s way better for my back to even out the weight across both of my shoulders. I also like to store my bag under the seat in front of me during the flight, and I know this backpack fits perfectly so doesn’t have to go in the overhead locker. So, let’s get into sharing the ten essential things I ‘need’ to have in my carry on bag:

1. My crossbody bag. This is where all the actual essentials are kept! I use my Kate Spade crossbody on a day-to-day basis and although I wouldn’t usually take this on holiday with us, I decided to this time. I struggled to find a crossbody bag I liked that I would use after our holiday, so I figured why not use what I have! This bag is the perfect size to keep our passports (I’m definitely the passport keeper in our relationship!), my YSL card holder, our money, a lip balm, medication, headphones, battery pack/cable and a pen. Also, I’ll definitely be stashing my favourite Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and a few beauty products in here as they always live in my bag. I keep this inside my backpack until we’re through security as you’re only allowed to take one bag, then I take it out and keep it to the front of my body whilst we’re wandering around. Quite often in airports Matt will sit with all the bags whilst I grab us food/drinks (and go for another ‘quick look’ in Boots) so this also means I don’t need to carry my whole backpack!

2. My re-usable water bottle. It’s no surprise to anybody that knows me in real life that I’m literally obsessed with my Chilly’s bottle! I have been drinking so much more water since I purchased it, and I literally don’t ever need to buy plastic water bottles. Any cafe within the airport will fill it up – for free! – and after doing a lot of research I’ve found out the tap water in Croatia is more than safe to drink. Phew! I hope to take this down to the pool/beach each day, and an added bonus is my water will stay cold all day. Although, let’s be real. How much water am I really going to be drinking when our all-inclusive includes every kind of cocktail you can imagine?!

3. Snacks. If you know Matt and I you’ll know we need snacks to function! I’m not the biggest fan of airplane food (I mean, I don’t think anyone is) so I prefer to take some things with me just incase. We pack protein bars, some of our favourite sweets and trail mix for Matt so we’re covered! We try to eat in the airport before we leave, and we’ll pick up fruit, crisps, drinks and maybe a sandwich in the airport for the flight/coach journey too. I don’t ever really eat chewing gum but I always take it when we’re travelling because 1. my ears pop really bad and 2. I always feel like being on a plane makes my breath gross! Haha, TMI I’m sure!

4. The in-flight beauty bits. Okay, so I take WAY more products than ones I’ll actually need during our flight (or before, or afterwards) as I’m so scared of our luggage getting lost or damaged. I take my whole makeup bag, brushes included, and I don’t mind having a little extra weight to carry because of it. I mean, my makeup is expensive and I love it so I want to keep it safe, and I take a few essential skincare bits too. I do take my liquid products out of my makeup bag though, as it’s really important to keep your liquids separate. I love my Space NK travel bag, it’s incredible and fits so much in such a small space. The only things I will likely reach for during our travel day are my Bath & Body works hand sanitizer (which Matt always uses too), NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder, L’Occitane hand cream, MAC Turquatic rollerball, mini Dove deodorant, my current favourite lip balm and my mini This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less spray if I start to feel a little nervous or anxious. I also like to take sheet masks which we may use during the flight if we get a little bored, or if not we can use them during our holiday! I packed these ones from The Body Shop, I freaking love them and they always make our skin look so good! I always take some ‘liquids’ – like my lip balm, lip gloss, hand cream etc – out of my liquids bag and put them back into my crossbody once we’re through security, too.

5. Reading material. I love love love reading, and I like to read on the plane to take my mind off the fact we’re hurtling through the sky in a little metal can. Dramatic? Maybe. I’ve packed a few books for our trip as I love to lay by the pool or at the beach reading, but I’m only taking one in my carry on. I ordered One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid after how much I loved Forever, Interrupted and I can’t wait to get stuck in! As I mentioned in this post, I’ve got After I Do and How Do You Like Me Now? packed in my suitcase, and I’ll pick up at least one more book at the airport. I really love browsing WH Smith and buying a new book, it’s kind of an airport tradition for me!

6. Wipes, for everything. I really think wipes are an essential when you’re travelling, especially on an airplane! I’m that weirdo that likes to clean down our tray tables and arm rests as soon as we’re sat down (I watched some random video years ago about all of the germs found on a plane and it made me feel so sick! It takes two seconds, so why not?) We also use wipes to wipe our hands before/after eating as getting up and down to go to the toilet isn’t always possible. I love these Cheeky Panda wipes, they’re in a perfectly sized travel pack and also bio-degradable!

7. Battery pack and iPhone cables. Keeping mine and Matt’s phones charged at all times is really important to us when we’re travelling. Whether it’s to take photos, access our flight information or check in with our family, we don’t want to worry about running out of battery! This one is incredible, I picked it up from Amazon and it charges both Matt’s and my phone a few times each. We’ll also use this on our trip whilst we’re out exploring or laying around the pool! As I mentioned in my last post, we always pack travel adaptors in our carry on bags so we don’t have to find them in our luggage when get to the hotel which is a huge help!

8. An outfit (or two), spare underwear and a bikini. LOL, I’m a worrier, what can I say? I have the weirdest fear about our luggage not making it to our destination at the same time we do, and so as well as packing my makeup/skincare must-haves, I also pack a few clothing items. I’m taking the denim shorts Matt bought me for my birthday, two cute tops, a skirt, two pairs of underwear and my favourite bikini. Better safe than sorry, right?

9. Fluffy socks and a comfy sweater. I seriously am cold ALL of the time, and I get especially cold on planes. They are just always so. dang. cold. I wear a jacket almost the whole flight, and I’d much rather take an extra layer for when I need it, because I will need it! When I’m sitting for a long period of time I also want to be comfy, so as soon as we’re seated I’ll slide off my Birks and put my fluffy socks on. I then will snuggle in to Matt for take off like my life depends on it because I really am scared of flying, lol!

10. Sunglasses, glasses and contacts. I am so blind! I couldn’t imagine how rubbish it would be if I couldn’t see on holiday, so these are a necessity! It’s very rare I’d ever wear my glasses whilst we’re away, but I’d rather have them with me just incase. I take a few spare pairs of contact lenses with me, and my favourite eye drops because planes are SO bad for drying out your eyes, then pack the rest in my suitcase. I’m pretty sure my sunglasses will be on top of my head from the moment we leave our hotel in Manchester to getting to our hotel in Croatia!

11. A foldable tote bag. I love to take an extra tote bag in either Matt or I’s backpack because they come in so handy! As I mentioned above, we’ll be buying snacks, probably definitely books and maybe a few duty free treats, and we really don’t want to purchase a plastic bag to put them in. The tote bag can be used throughout the holiday too, when we’re wandering along to the supermarket (0.4 miles from our hotel, thanks Trip Advisor!) or if we need an extra bag to carry our stuff down to the beach.

12. Headphones. Have you ever took a flight without headphones and had to use the crappy ones they provide? It is miserable! A few years ago I flew from AMS > JFK without my own headphones, and I literally could have cried!! I just use the basic Apple ones you get with your phone, because I only ever use my headphones when we’re travelling. I was going to treat myself to a pair of AirPods but I really don’t see the point as I’d not get my money’s worth out of them, but they are super cute!

Of course when we get home I’ll be sharing a photo diary from our trip with you, which is the kind of post I love to create, and to read from other bloggers! I’ve got a few holiday themed posts planned that will also be going up throughout July – my everyday holiday essentials, outfit ideas and something different that I’ve never done before. In the meantime you could always check out our Kos photo diary – I look back at this post all the time because the photos just make me so happy!

Thank you so much for reading! What are your carry on bag essentials? Are you an over packer just like me? If you’re not… TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

-G x