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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Birthday Lunch in a Treehouse

alnwick treehouse restaurant

Last Thursday Paul surprised me with lunch for my birthday in a treehouse! Yes, an actual restaurant in the trees -it has to be the most beautiful place I've ever eaten, inside and out. The inside feels so warm and welcoming and there is such a lovely calm atmosphere. We had driven for a couple of hours to get there and Paul had planned for us to go to the gardens after lunch, but with the rain being so bad we decided it would be a waste of money so ended up staying in the Treehouse for nearly 3 hours. The staff were so sweet and didn't once try to rush us away which I was thankful for as I could honestly have sat there all day with the fairy lights and being warmed by the log fire -chatting and sipping on hot chocolate. If you'd like you can find out more about the restaurant here, it's definitely somewhere we will visit again -I'd like to go in Winter when it's cold and snowy outside, I'd bet it's even more magical!

alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant

After a tasty starter and huge bowl of pasta -that I couldn't finish, I couldn't manage a dessert so I opted for hot chocolate with all the toppings. It seemed like the perfect thing to drink in a treehouse, with a log fire, while it rained outside...don't you think?

alnwick treehouse restaurant
My dress is from River island, you can find it here. I love the 70's vibe it has, I had my leather jacket with me but it was far too warm to wear it.

Outside the restaurant there's a rope bride trail so you can walk trough the trees, we stood under the shelter at one end waiting for the rain to ease off, it didn' we ran!  

alnwick treehouse restaurant
alnwick treehouse restaurant


Friday, 26 June 2015

Made Me Happy This Week: Birthday Edition

This week has been extra special and wonderful because on Thursday it was my birthday. We had the most amazing day! Paul surprised me and after a long drive (out of the country) we arrived in Alnwick, where we had a wonderful lunch in the most amazing restaurant I've ever seen! It was a treehouse, a full size restaurant built into the tree's! I am going to do a whole post with pictures to show just how beautiful it was, there were fairy lights everywhere and even a log fire. So this weeks "Made Me Happy" post is dedicated to my birthday :)

1. My amazingly tasty birthday cake that Paul made for me -from scratch! Paul doesn't really bake ever, apart from brownies, so the fact that he made me a cake, filled it with jam and butter cream then decorated it meant so much more than anything he could have bought. It tastes better too!

2. Breakfast in bed with a big cup of tea when I woke up, the best start to the day!

3. The 2 and a half hour drive to lunch, road trips -even the small ones, are so much fun! 

4. A free Nutella milkshake on our way home from Ed's Diner. You have to take advantage of your birthday freebies ;)

5. The most gorgeous gifts from very generous friends.

6. A new Jo Malone perfume from Paul that will now forever remind me of the day.

7. All the lovely birthday wishes from friends online and otherwise. 


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Summer Essentials

Summer has now officially begun so it's time to get organised with all those essentials for the upcoming months, they will different for everyone but I thought I'd share mine for some inspiration or ideas for new things. What are your summer must have's?

1- Summer Nail Colour. I'm very fickle with nail colour. I change all the time but blue is always a winner for me. Nail Inc 'Baker Street' is my go-to toe shade each year, it looks great with everything. I'm also loving the white trend that's around at the moment, these three Essie shades, new for this summer are ones I'll be keeping an eye out for. They are- Private Weekend, Salt Water Happy and Pret a Surfer. 

2- A Good Body Scrub! In summer we all have a little more skin on show and with it getting a lot more sun exposure it's a good idea to keep everything nice and smooth. One of my absolute favourites is the Rituals Fortune Scrub. Firstly it smells wonderful, sweet orange and cedar wood so it's a very uplifting scent, and secondly it works incredibly well.

3- Spf for Your Face. I try to always go for moisturiser and foundation with some spf for obvious reasons but in mid summer when the sun is hotter and harsher than normal I like to have the option for higher protection. I haven't had this Shiseido one in quite some time but I loved it and it was a great one for wearing with make-up. It also then gives you the option to wear an spf free product on top.

4- Bronzer. Even after a hot hot summer I'm never that tanned so my bronzer is never too heavy, I love this one from the Body Shop for an all over bronzy glow, and the shade range is great so even the fairest skin can use it.

5- Non-Greasy Spf. My main dislike of wearing sunscreen is the sticky greasy feeling your left with throughout the day. While that's not a huge issue when your lying on a beach, it's a pain for normal day-to-day so this Eucerin one is great. It's a spray oil that's clear and dries without any sticky residue, and it's spf 50!

6- Highlighter. I'd say I use highlighter more than I contour, and this year I discovered the Clinique Chubby Stick Highlighter and I love the ease of it. Just swipe it on your cheek bones and rub it with your finger. 

7- Waterproof Mascara. I always try to wear waterproof mascara in summer, I normally end up with some smudging under my eyes and so in summer when that has a much higher chance of happening I like to be safe. One of favourites which I need to pick up soon is Maybelline Colossal. 

8 & 9- Foot Care. I don't know about you but by the time summer roll's around my feet need some attention to get back to looking sandal ready. For a few years now my go to products for this have been the Body Shop's peppermint range, mainly the scrub and the intensive foot rescue. Both are amazing and together leave your feet looking lovely and feeling super soft. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Made Me Happy This Week

{this tiny one's been with us a lot this week -it makes me happy when she's here}

It may be Friday evening but what have our wild crazy plans included? shopping! I joke, I actually love food shopping. I used to love going with my mum when I was younger and now we are "adults" it's even better seeing as we get to buy all the naughty treats that we want (hehe adult perks) -such as Malteaser Spread...amazing! I'd also like to apologise for the lack of posting around here lately. There is just so much going on that it can all build up and eat away at your time, mainly all the DIY that's going on in the house at the moment. Thank you for sticking me with and putting up with my bad habits, I do have some really good posts coming up soon though and I will be spending Sunday making plans, lists and getting properly organised with everything. Also maybe having a look online for an organiser Filofax type thing to keep me on track! Any suggestions?

1. Paul coming home early on Thursday night -I do like when that happens!

2. Being an adult means you can have dessert before dinner. Or as in our case earlier this week -dessert for dinner. Apple pie and custard, it had to be done.

3. Moving up one shade of foundation -this is quite exciting for me and my pale face! We may not have had many sunny days so far this summer but the few we have had I've spent nearly entirely outside and I can notice just enough of a tan so that I've had to change things.

4. A massive ASOS order arriving. I haven't made an order like that is quite a while so I forgot how exciting it is when it comes.

5. In that order where some samples, one of them being a small box of crackers! It made me giggle.

6. An afternoon catch up with my little brother. I haven't seen him in a while so that was nice, also he'd been cooking and that's always a bonus.

7. Making caramel shortbread for fathers day, it's always tempting to keep it -or make an extra for yourself.


Friday, 12 June 2015

Made Me Happy This Week

{enjoying the sunshine}

I've never been happier for a Friday night! I have spent the past two days painting old garden furniture so it looks all new and beautiful for some Summer BBQ's and time spent in the garden -I have to say it looks pretty damned good (if I do say so myself). Having said that I'm so glad it's done, when I say two days I mean two.whole.days! The rest of the weeks been pretty busy too so I'm so happy that after this post has been published I will be sitting down for some tasty enchiladas for dinner, maybe watching a film or two with Paul and a nice hot bath with bubbles -in other words, the perfect evening. It could be made that little bit more perfect with the addition of some baking but we'll see how things go.

1. Obviously our stylish new, freshly painted garden furniture...I thought it deserved a second mention.

2. Twinings vanilla chai lattes, they are perfection! They taste just like the kind you get in Starbucks and I'm loving having them at home, it makes me so sad the packet says limited edition -please keep them around Twinings!!

3. Look at that little face (in the picture above), I had to snap a photo quick so it's not perfect or anything special but I had to share it. If I thought she would have stayed put I would have taken a better one but she hates the camera and runs away most of the time I get one near her.

4. My new glasses, I am a little bit in love with them.

5. An afternoon in Princes Street Gardens, enjoying the sunshine and eating dried pineapple. If you've never tried it I recommend you do...its so sweet and tasty!

6. Sunshine and minimal make-up.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Summer To-Do List

Looking outside right now I have to admit, it doesn't exactly feel like Summer but in my head we are very nearly there so I wanted to put together a list of things I'd like to do on those gloriously sunny days. I like doing this every year, as a reminder really so we don't forget anything, they don't always end up on here but I think I'll start making them a regular thing.

1.Have beach day, a whole day of sun sea and sand.

2. Raspberry picking. I did this last Summer and they were the best raspberries I've ever tasted so this year I want to go and get so much more, plus I'd take raspberries over strawberries any day. I've planned a few recipes for them already, homemade ice-cream for a start...well, it is Summer after all.

3. Picnics, as many as we can fit in. I love all kinds, from the simple sandwich and bag of crisps to the over the top elaborate baskets full of treats.

4. Have our first BBQ's at home, and obviously make some kick-ass burgers.

5.  A Summer road trip! I don't think I've seen enough of this beautiful country we live in, and we've been chatting about a weekend away here or there. Then we thought "a road trip"! Why not, we would get to see so much more than we would travelling by train or plane and it would all be on our own time. Some exciting planning ahead!

6. Visit some of the near by seaside towns, and always end the days with fish and chips and ice-cream of course.

7. Master a few recipes I've been wanting to try from my favourite cookbooks.

8. Paint all the garden furniture. My mum gave it to us when we moved in last year and it had been sitting in her garage for a long time so as you can imagine, it's in need of some love! I wan't to get it all painted and looking lovely so we have somewhere to sit outside when people come round.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Made Me Happy This Week

{"please can we stay in bed, just 5 more minutes?"}

It's Friday, how has that happened. I swear sometimes there aren't 7 days in a week. I have a very exciting night planned, a bath with lots of bubbles and maybe a face mask -we definitely live on the edge in this house! I'm also looking forward to our plan-less weekend, at the moment it looks as if it's going to consist of either lots of diy (and possible bbq buying) or lazy pyjama days with the possibility of some baking (I'm thinking these or these) and quite a few films. Hope you have a lovely one what ever you're doing :)

1. Spending a Wednesday evening stripping wallpaper in our extension! It wasn't my favourite -shall we say, and with the music loud and lots of laughing it was a very fun night.

2. Having Philip Kingsley Elasticizer back in my life, oh how I've missed it! It does such amazing things for my hair.

3. Laughing so much at my mums little dog and just how sweet she is. I left her alone for around 10 minutes and when I came back she brought me all of her toys one by one and them started to bring me socks from the laundry hamper...she does this all the time but it's usually just one thing. I asked a vet once why some dogs do it and she told me it's as if they are saying "hello, I'm so glad your's a gift!". It's honestly one of the most adorable things to see.

4. Iced lattes! They have returned to my life and I'm so glad for it. I've had two this week -it could have easily been 5 but I restrained myself.

5. Having a perfect catch up afternoon with my best friend who's been away for the past week. It was so lovely to see her and hear all about her trip to Italy.

6. I seem to have reverted back to childhood with my snacks this week which have mainly consisted of Babybell and Dairylea Dunkers. I don't even like Dairylea cheese but it's different somehow in those pots...or maybe it's just the sticks I like?

7. Having one of the most exciting conversations we've had in a while. Its just a conversation at the moment but I'm sure I'll share it all here if it becomes reality.


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

New Favourite Foundation Brush: Real Techniques - Expert Face Brush

I've realised over the past few years that I'm a creature of habit, I'd like to think of myself as the opposite but that's just not the case. When I find something I like I tend to stick to it, which is why I don't try as much make-up as I'd like to, I don't always try the new drinks at Starbucks or wear the new pyjamas I buy -instead opting for Paul's old t-shirts night after night. I've been wanting to try the "Expert Face Brush" from Real Techniques since the brushes where launched (around 3 years ago now I think) but have just these last few weeks actually done so.

It's fast become one of my favourite to use, leaving my poor buffing brush collecting dust. Before using it I actually expected it to be much like the buffing brush only that bit smaller, but it's completely different. The shape and tapered edges of the brush make applying foundation around your eyes and nose incredibly easy and it gives a lovely finish to your skin. The shape also give's you the option to either paint product on in the same way you would with a flat foundation brush, or buff product in as you would with others. I find this to be very helpful especially around my nose!

I prefer the finish this brush gives than the result I get from the buffing brush. It's a much smoother, much more even finish to your skin and I find it takes me less time to apply my foundation when I use it -and as with all Real Technique brushes it is so so soft!

Overall I love it! I can't believe I waited so long to buy it, and I'm looking forward to trying it out with other foundations :)

Do you have a favourite foundation brush?
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