28 Jan 2020

Let’s Spend A Saturday In London (There Are Ballpools)

How To Spend A Saturday In London

A couple of weeks back, my pal and I met in London (a convenient middle ground) for a long overdue catch-up. It felt like one of the first days this winter that was properly cold and properly bright – the perfect crisp winter day. As a result we didn’t bother with public transport all day, choosing to stomp everywhere, take in London and enjoy the fresh vitamin D whilst catching up. Here’s how the day went:

Botanical Brunch @ Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals

We kicked off with brunch (how all Saturdays should start tbh); we’d booked a table at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals based on an Instagram recommendation – yes, this is how I find most places to eat these days. The whole restaurant is basically Instagram porn and – sucker than I am for anything photogenic – I very much approved. Mainly cos that spiral staircase. It wasn’t just style over substance though and the food is also worth shouting about. We both went for the Baltic hashbrowns, home-cured G&T salmon and horseradish crΓ¨me fraiche, although admittedly I was also incredible tempted by the blueberry bacon pancake stack (anyone else have a regular battle with sweet or savoury when out for brunch?). The hashbrowns were tasty and the dΓ©cor seriously easy on the eye. Plus the staff were really friendly so, yes, would highly recommend Mr Fogg’s. Equally, glad I went for the savoury in the end because next stop was…

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London

Cookies @ Crème

Oh man these cookies. I’ve had my eye on them for a while, ever since The Anna Edit brought them up and compared them to the NYC Levain bakery cookies (which as we all know, I became somewhat obsessed with). The CrΓ¨me shop is tiny, just like bakeries in NYC. The cookies are rock-cake like on the outside and squishy like a pillow on the inside – I recommend the miso and white chocolate flavour; trust me it works.

The John Soane Museum

Seeing as it was nearby and free, we took a quick wander around the John Soane museum; former home of architect John Soane and full of many, many, drawings and models. It was slightly surreal but the sheer number of models was breathtaking. A bit of a hidden treasure; it’s not one I would have usually bothered with or necessarily known about but it was worth a visit.

The Postal Museum

We basically paid £17 to ride the mail rail. Bear with me here. The Postal Museum itself is interesting and worth a visit, but I’m not sure I’d pay £17 for the privilege. There were, however, three things that made the cost seem worth it. The first being that we had our faces put on a stamp. That was lolz. The second was that there was an exhibition on the great train robbery which was really interesting. And the third was that we got to ride a miniature underground train. London used to have a tube network running beneath the streets just for post; mini tube carriages designed for transporting sacks of letters around the city. And you can take a ride on it. It’s hilariously cramped (designed for letters, not people) so don’t go if you get claustrophobic or don’t want to be up close and personal with your mate, but do go to see the real life tubes that the mail used to travel down for so many years and hear the real life stories of the people who used to work on the mail rail. V interesting.

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London


Ballie Ballerson

Somewhat of a jump from our afternoon of culture, our next stop was a ball pool bar. Because obviously. The fact that we got there at 5 and were both wearing sensible coats gives you an idea as to how often we go to underground bars these days but we were hardly there for the night out. Did somebody say ball pool?! I can’t remember something that has made us giggle as much (and this was before the mental cocktails we ordered, one of which had marshmallows which she set on fire). It was a hoot. If you ever want to escape adult life for a bit, go throw yourself into a ball pool and enjoy the giddy childish glee in seems to incite in grown adults.

We rounded off the day with pizza at Franco Manco (where else?) and sensibly-timed trains home because all that ball pool jumping was tiring.

How To Spend A Saturday In London

How To Spend A Saturday In London




21 Jan 2020

California Adventures: Visiting The Tallest Trees In The World

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting the famous redwoods, aka the tallest trees in the world, was high up on my list of things to do in California. Muir Woods is about 16 miles outside of San Francisco so for us, the easiest way to get there was to get the shuttle bus from Sausalito which is a city across the water from San Francisco. I’d heard good things about Sausalito so was happy to stop in on the way. We started the day picking up supplies at the market at the Ferry Building, and then hopped on the ferry across the water where we had great views of the bridges and Alcatraz. 

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Sausalito is picturesque with a Mediterranean vibe and colourful houses. There’s lots of cute boutique shops, on-the-water restaurants and dreamy views of that San Francisco skyline. We spent an hour walking along the waterfront and browsing the shops. I picked up a frozen hot chocolate from a local chocolate shop and felt pretty content with my life choices it’s got to be said. We then took the shuttle bus to Muir Woods which, admittedly, took longer than I expected which I think is due to all the hairpin turns through the mountains, as the distance is only a handful of miles as the crow flies. 

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Muir Woods is a majestic forest full of gigantic coastal redwood trees which are officially the tallest trees in the world. The tallest in Muir Woods is 258 feet but apparently they can get to heights of 380 feet. Mind blown. 

I have wanted to see the redwoods for a long time so it was pretty special to finally be able to crane my neck and take them in. What a view! Rusty red, endless trunks; they really are huge. I’ve never seen trees rise that tall; they create a canopy high above which the light filters through and dapples on the forest floor. 

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

There are boardwalks along the forest floor and you can venture off on paths that take you higher up which gives you a different perspective on the trees. Apart from a brief picnic stop, we spent the majority of the afternoon gently walking a couple of different trails, taking in the grandeur. The forest is amazingly peaceful; when you stray away from the boardwalk, you almost get a sense of being alone – lost in the woods so to speak. I hugged a tree, ducked under a tree, sat on a huge tree stump and gave myself neck ache by constantly staring upwards. 

There’s something so fairytale about a forest don’t ya think? The redwoods doubled that feeling, majestic and magical; I’m so glad I had the chance to tick them off my bucket list.  

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco

Visiting Muir Woods, San Francisco


20 Jan 2020

Six Months Of DIY

Six Months Of DIY

The title of this post should probably be ‘six months in Ely’ or ‘six months in our new home’ but nope, six months of DIY is the most accurate of the bunch. 

So yes, we have lived in our house for six months. Six months of painting and planning and ordering, six months of joy and FRUSTRATION, six months of WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG and DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY NEW CUSHIONS. It’s been a hoot. 

And we’re not done. But we are – as I constantly remind myself – getting there. 

I was unprepared for how time and money consuming doing up the house would be, and how many other aspects of life would be neglected as a result or how little exploring we would do of our new area because every weekend would be dominated by tackling the to-do list, pushing through so that we don’t still have unpainted rooms and unpacked boxes in 2032. 

Most rooms are now painted with furniture. We have renovated the master bedroom. The kitchen renovation is booked for February. I long for the day where I can start putting prints up because that means we’ve reached the minor details; that everything else is done. I mean obviously, house-related admin is never really done, it’ll be the garden afterwards and we’re casually ignoring the fact that when it’s windy out, the blinds flap even when the windows are closed. But done enough to not be the main focus of our lives. 

I’ve learned that painting a wall requires technique if you’re going to avoid a patchy effect, that my husband is a right dab-hand at DIY (he literally built the fitted wardrobe from scratch) and finding blinds that don’t have an offensive pattern is surprisingly difficult. 

Here’s to six months owning a house, and to putting down the paintbrushes and actually leaving said house at some point in the next six months. 

5 Jan 2020

Hello 2020

new year thoughts

Happy new year lads. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I’m back at work properly tomorrow (I’ve worked a couple of random one-off days over the festive period) and am torn between really not wanting to tackle my inbox and yet relishing the thought of some routine.

I’ve just been doing some new years admin (renewing my railcard, checking which dates I need to book off for weddings, planning a potential holiday for 2020) and it got me thinking how normally at this time of year, I like to write a ‘plans for the year ahead’ style blog post which usually involves a couple of cliched ‘be healthier’ style goals as well as all my plans (both concrete and hypothetical) for the year ahead. I love em, not going to lie. Me and planning go hand in hand; my job title is literally ‘Project Manager’ so yeah, I really enjoy a project plan what of it?

This year though, I want to take a different approach. I already have several things booked over the next few months including two weddings, a hen do and a new kitchen so, don’t get me wrong, I’m still project planning my year but rather than make specific goals, I want to adopt a mindset for the year. 

I almost felt a sense of alarm when I plotted out 2020 and realised that there is already something (sometimes more than one) in the diary every month between February and June, which says a lot about 2019 because normally I love seeing such plans neatly plotted in my calendar. Last year was intense. Our wedding, our honeymoon, buying a house and my hen do are the first things I think of when I remember last year; those key events standing out so brightly that it’s sometimes a struggle to remember what I did in between them. Once they were all over, life became a DIY blur. The year did not relent and I am not moaning at all but cor blimey, I need to change the pace. I wrote less, I read less, any kind of exercise routine I had collapsed post-June and I can’t remember what it feels like to be calm. This needs to change. 

I have no plans to change my job or my people or ‘better’ myself but I do want to lean back into the things that bring me joy, to find a sense of calm, to breathe. And to enjoy the time of life we are currently in rather than drifting around in a frantic state. 

Rather than this just being a wishwash claim that gets lost amongst the chaos of life and is forgotten about by February, I plan to use the next few days and weeks to gently tease out the specific things I want to address to bring about these subtle changes.  

I know some people like to pick a ‘word of the year’ in January and, whilst this has never really felt like my jam before, the concept has been unconsciously floating around my mind over the last few days. The words that have come up the most are purposeful, simplify, focus and calm, and I feel they sum up the approach I want to take towards my daily routine, travel, health and hobbies. 

At the risk of this is starting to sound like some kind of mindfulness class, I’m going to return to catching up on Doctor Who. Gary’s making soup and we’ve taken the Christmas tree down… guess the festive season is well and truly over eh? 

Let’s do this 2020!




Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A Photo A Day | December 2019

A Photo A Day, December 2019
1 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
A brand new tree for a brand new(ish) home πŸ’• I take the start of the festive month v seriously so you bet that the music started first thing, the prosecco flowed, the tree went up and the cheeseboard came out 😍

A Photo A Day, December 2019
2 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
A month of this makes my heart happy ❤️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
3 December 2019
Location: Ely
Alright now sky, this is just showing off 😱

A Photo A Day, December 2019
4 December 2019
Location: Kings Cross station, London
Did I mention I bloody love Christmas trees...?

A Photo A Day, December 2019
5 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Have come to the conclusion that I would very much like a wreath on my door all year round.

A Photo A Day, December 2019
6 December 2019
Location: Cambridge
Booked the date for the kitchen renovation > Christmas shopping in Cambridge > sack off half the shopping to hide from the rain in the pub > home in time to watch a Christmas film πŸŽ„

A Photo A Day, December 2019
7 December 2019
Location: Ely
Saturday walks πŸŒž

A Photo A Day, December 2019
8 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Sunday baking πŸ§

A Photo A Day, December 2019
9 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
All things festive at home...

A Photo A Day, December 2019
10 December 2019
Location: London
...and all things festive at work

A Photo A Day, December 2019
11 December 2019
Location: London
Winter nights 

A Photo A Day, December 2019
12 December 2019
Location: Trafalgar Square, London
Cute scenes in between meetings.  

A Photo A Day, December 2019
13 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Trying to forget the election results with a bath. Let's all be kind. Better. 

A Photo A Day, December 2019
14 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
The best kind of Saturdays are when your best pal comes to stay and brings you flooring & homemade wine ❤️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
15 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Sunday nights in December 🎁 πŸ“€ 🍫

A Photo A Day, December 2019
16 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Realised the mince pie wasn’t in focus approximately five seconds after taking the photo. Couldn’t retake as had already eaten mince pie 🀷🏻‍♀️πŸŽ„

A Photo A Day, December 2019
17 December 2019
Location: Bedfordshire
Back to the rents for the annual put-family-tree-up shenanigans πŸŽ„

A Photo A Day, December 2019
18 December 2019
Location: Ely
Still not used to those Ely misty sunrises πŸŒ…πŸ˜

A Photo A Day, December 2019
19 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Date nights finish at 9 with peppermint teas these days 🀷🏻‍♀️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
20 December 2019
Location: Sheffield
Back up north and I dig out-of-focus Christmas trees okay 🀷🏻‍♀️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
21 December 2019
Location: Sheffield Winter Gardens
Braved the city centre the Saturday before Christmas for lunch, cinema & winter gardens πŸ₯°

A Photo A Day, December 2019
22 December 2019
Location: Chesterfield
Chasing a bit of family history πŸ‘€

A Photo A Day, December 2019
23 December 2019
Location: Sheffield
Happy Christmas Eve Eve πŸŽ„

A Photo A Day, December 2019
24 December 2019
Location: Bedfordshire
Christmas Eve πŸŽ„

A Photo A Day, December 2019
25 December 2019
Location: Bedfordshire
Christmas Day πŸŽ„ 
A Photo A Day, December 2019
26 December 2019
Location: Ikea
The bank account probably thought it would at least have a break from house-related purchases on a bank holiday because no sane person goes to Ikea on Boxing Day...



A Photo A Day, December 2019
27 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
The post-Christmas lull where all sense of time, routine and a diet of nothing but left over cheese & mince pies has well and truly gone out the window 🀷🏻‍♀️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
28 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Progress! After being a dumping ground/building site for six months, we can finally move into the master bedroom πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ›Œ

A Photo A Day, December 2019
29 December 2019
Location: Ely
Absolute stunner 😍

A Photo A Day, December 2019
30 December 2019
Location: Ely cathedral
Sneaking in one last cathedral photo before the year is out 🀷🏻‍♀️

A Photo A Day, December 2019
31 December 2019
Location: Home, Ely
The grand finale so to speak...