Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Recipe: Roasted vegetable Lasagne

I don't get to cook as often as I would like, but I've started trying to make more time to cook when I can. This recipe is one I've been doing for years, and it's one that never fails to turn out delicious. What's more, it's even more delicious the next day, reheated. It's also perfect because I'm trying to incorporate more meat free meals into my diet, and this is absolutely, 100% VEGETARIAN. Give it a try, and let me know how you get on.

Roasted Vegetable lasagne

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

1 small butternut squash
1 large carrot
1/2 a bulb of garlic
1 large yellow pepper
2 onions
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 can of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Grated cheddar cheese (or parmesan if you want to be authentic)
pinch salt
lasagne sheets
450ml milk
40g butter
40g butter
freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

1. Wash and cut the butternut squash, carrot, peeled garlic cloves, yellow pepper, sweet potato and 1 of the onions. Place them into an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of fresh chopped parsley. Place on the top shelf of the oven on gas 6 and roast for 40 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened.

2. Once the vegetables are roasted, in a separate large saucepan, chop and fry the other onion slowly until softened. Turn the heat down and add the can of tomatoes, tomato puree, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper along with the remainder of the chopped parsley. Add to this the roasted vegetables and stir thoroughly until the sauce and vegetables are hot and fully combined. Put to one side.

3. Meanwhile pour the milk into a separate saucepan. Add the butter and heat gently until melted. Add the flour to this, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a balloon whisk, continually stir over a low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Be patient, this bit takes time. Continue until the sauce is slightly thicker than a custard, remove from the heat.

4. In a medium sized lasagne dish, place a layer of vegetables in tomato sauce, followed by a layer of white sauce, followed by one layer of pasta sheets. Repeat this. Then place on top, one last layer of pasta sheets, and then grate cheese all over the top of the lasagne to your preferred thickness.

5. Set the oven to gas mark 4, and bake the lasagne in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

24 Hours in Haworth - Part 2

UK travel blog

Considering that we only spent one night in Haworth (and much of the day either side), we managed to cram a good deal into our short time there, and certainly felt like we'd seen a lot.

We started day two with a hearty fry up in the comfortable and spacious cafe area of the guest house that we were staying at. There's no better way to start the day whilst on a trip than with a hearty breakfast, I always feel. It keeps you going for a morning filled with sightseeing, without looking for the nearest sandwich outlet.

After breakfast, and moving the car to a 'free at the weekend' spot, we toddled over to the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Given the history and provenance of Haworth, a trip to the village isn't complete without a visit to this former home of the literary family. The ticket office is located in the book and gift shop, and of course there was no way I could come away empty handed. I decided, having never read it, to buy a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It was the feminist undertones that sold it to me, and the fact that I had never read anything by Anne Bronte. It's really nice too because if you buy a book from there they stamp inside the front cover to say it has been bought from the museum.


Anyway, I digress. Whilst the house looks vast, large, and the sort of abode that one couldn't help but be happy to live in, the small and rather 'cosy' rooms inside make it feel far less so. The museum is fantastic though, the rooms are laid out as they would have been when the Bronte's lived there, and the gowns on display were from a recent BBC drama about the Brontes, and whilst they weren't authentically belonging to the Brontes, they were obviously as good as it gets in terms of historical costume.

Yorkshire blogger

Upstairs, we got to view the small sleeping areas of each sister, along with the wonderful sketches of Charlotte Bronte. It's one thing to be so gifted an author, but imagine being able to draw like this too. It's amazing the creativity that can be borne of not having Instagram, hey?


Most disturbing was Branwell's room. Recreated in a dishevelled manner that one could reasonably assume that the troubled Branwell would inhabit and with an open notebook showing depictions (or predictions) of death, it was perhaps the saddest room in the house.


The exhibits end with more information around the Bronte's life, and in particular their father, Patrick, as well as displays of more of their notebooks, drawings, hairbrushes and other such belongings. At only £8.50 for an adult to go in, it was well worth the visit and not only did I learn so much, but strangely enough it reinvigorated my desire to be creative too, by whatever medium.

After our wander around the museum, we took a walk in the sunshine back through the graveyard and to the farthest point so we could view Penistone Hill, and if you don't know the significance of that (or why it could only be justified by a moody black and white image of it) then go and read Wuthering Heights and find out.

Penistone Hill Haworth

Overall, we had a wonderful time in Haworth. I would definitely go again, and if you are thinking of going then perhaps my top tips below will help with your planning:

Where to stay - The Apothecary Guest House
Where to eat - The White Lion
Best for tea and cake - Cobbles and Clay
Do not miss - The Bronte Parsonage Museum

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

24 Hours in Haworth - Part 1

yorkshire lifestyle blogger

One of the many joys of living in Yorkshire is that is occupies such a vast swathe of the country, and contains everything from vibrant cities to coastal towns, moors and dales and everything in between. It's an explorers dream. In my short time living here I've explored so much and yet I don't feel like I've even scratched the surface, and the novelty of being able to drive for 2 hours without even leaving the county boundaries never fails to amaze me.

Last weekend I did a little bit more exploration, visiting the small and yet vibrant village of Haworth in Keighley. Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't but the chances are that if you know a little about the Bronte sisters, then it's probably a place name that you are familiar with.

Haworth west yorkshire


My first impressions of the quaint little West Yorkshire village as I drove up the steep, cobbled main street to the 'Apothecary Guest House' was one of utter surprise. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting, I mean I know that the village gets busy during the annual 1940s festival, but the vibrant street lined with coffee shops and tea rooms, gift shops and vintage and retro boutiques really exceeded all of my expectations. It was beautiful, and I couldn't wait to park up and find out more.

Yorkshire travel blogger

Our guest house was delightful. Warm, cosy and with a perfect view out over the main square, it was the perfect base and as soon as we dropped our bags we ventured out onto the street to peruse shops. The Cabinet of Curiosities, the former apothecary where Branwell Bronte would buy Laudanum is now the most beautiful shop selling bath salts and soaps and beard paraphernalia.

As mentioned before, Haworth hosts an annual 1940s festival, and there is a strong vintage offering in the village. With 2 well stocked vintage emporiums, as well as the wonderfully quirky 'Wave of Nostalgia' boutique where you can order handmade 1950s style dresses from the very retro and extremely friendly owner. It's worth mentioning that Haworth in general has a very olde worlde, and quite eccentric feel to it. When you are on that main street, it's almost like you are in another world, or at least another century.


After tea and cake at 'Villette' coffee shop, and a freshen up at the guest house we were back out in the main village square to join the nightly Haworth ghost tour. Now, I've been on a fair few of these ghost tours in my time, and find they range from being a completely cringeworthy money making scam, to being something vaguely interesting, a little bit amusing and a necessary part of being a tourist. The one in Haworth, however, I did genuinely enjoy. In fairness, I wouldn't have sold it as a ghost tour, per se, but with the tales of disease, hauntings, witchcraft and murder it was more of a macabre history tour. It was fascinating, and at only £8 per person, it was good value too. I did feel a little melancholy afterwards because, what belies this most beautiful village is a history of sadness, poverty and misfortune which bears no resemblance to the modern day Haworth.


We finished off the evening by eating the most delicious dinner (I had a beautiful Game pie) at the traditional and comfortable 'White Lion Hotel' before heading the village's weekly karaoke at the welcoming and lively Black Bull, wondering if we would run into the ghost of Branwell Bronte purported to reside there.

It was a great afternoon with lots to do, and who would guess that such a small place would have enough to fill 2 blog posts, but you will have to come back later in the week to hear what we got up to on the second half of our trip.

Monday, 17 April 2017

My 5 Top Tips For Your Weightloss Success

I want to be clear from the outset of this blog post, I don’t believe that anyone should embark on a weightloss programme in order to accommodate society’s norms or expectations. You may be 100% happy with your body at whatever weight it is, but the fact is that, like me at the start of last year, you may not be entirely happy with your body and weight at the moment, and it's fine to admit that too. It might be something that’s found its way into this years goals, or it may just be something you are considering but haven’t totally decided.
Yep - too many chins 

In June last year, I had seen one too many photos of me that I didn’t like. A bit too much flesh at the top of my arms, a few too many chins, and my size 16 waistbands were starting to feel snug. I’d always told myself that at almost 6ft tall, a size 16 wasn’t too big, but when I ventured onto the NHS website and my BMI put me into the overweight category I took action and, between then and now, I’ve lost 19lb, and 2 dress sizes. I haven’t done anything revolutionary, no juice diets, bootcamps or any other means of torture here, I love my food far too much for all that nonsense, but I thought that I’d share my top tips for weight loss with you in case you are about to embark on a similar journey.
*Note: I am not a healthcare professional, this is not medical advice and it is usually wise to seek medical advice before losing weight.
1. It’s not a diet, it’s a change of lifestyle
As soon as you declare that you are going on a diet you will immediately crave ALL of the chocolate, cakes, sugary drinks and crisps that the supermarket has to offer. It’s important to completely change your relationship with food, to educate yourself on calories and nutrition and to understand what you’re putting into your body. This is the only way that you will not only lose weight, but maintain the weightloss once it’s gone. My particular weakness was Haribo jelly sweets, and I would think nothing of polishing off an entire large bag whilst I waited for my train home during the evening. It wasn’t until I paid more attention to the calorie count that I realised that one bag was over 600 calories. That’s the average calorie count of a decent meal really, but it wouldn’t fill me up. Why was I eating it? It was boredom and routine, not hunger since a bag of Haribo isn’t going to fulfil any hunger for any amount of time.
It’s difficult at the beginning to understand where all of these excess calories are coming from, but once you do and you start to make educated choices, you will start to see results. That’s not to say you have to cut out all of the sweet treats or snacks, but there have been days when I’ve been dieting when I’ve eaten a giant piece of cake, but accepted that the calories are akin to half a meal and therefore only eaten a low calorie soup for my evening meal. Yes, I’ve felt hungry, but I’ve enjoyed the cake and consciously made the trade off. I wouldn’t recommend doing that all the time, but on occasion it’s fine.
2. Find an App that works for you
There are hundreds of apps for dieting. Some are free, some you have to pay for. I tried a few before someone recommended ‘My Net Diary’ to me. I loved it, you either get it to calculate your daily calorie intake based on how much you want to lose and by when, or you tell it how many calories you want to live on and it will calculate when you will have reached your target weight by. The database is massive, so you can find most foods in there to log, and it really helped me with my awareness of what I was putting into my body and the nutritional choices I was making. Even if that isn’t the right app for you, you will find one that you like, and once you do you should stick with it, adapting it to your different needs at different stages of your healthy eating programme. Even though I reached my target weight before the work Christmas party, I still use My Net Diary to monitor what I’m eating and maintain the weight I worked hard to achieve.
3. Find a friend
It’s not impossible to lose weight when you’re doing it alone, but the moral support of doing it with a friend or partner shouldn’t be underestimated. When I was losing weight I had the joint benefit of people on my team at work being on diets, but also my husband too. It made food choices much easier since people at work weren’t bringing in junk food to tempt me, and the Mr. wasn’t eating biscuits/crips/junk food either. It definitely helps if you work in tandem.
4. It’s a marathon not a sprint
From the outset you need to be realistic about the amount of weight you want to lose in any given timescale, and the amount of calories you can restrict yourself to. Reduce your calories too much and you will trigger a starvation effect in your body whereby it will try to hold on to every morsel that passes your lips. Weight lost in this way is also harder to maintain, as soon as you return to normal eating habits the body will remember the starvation and grab on to every calorie to store for future starvation cycles. It’s a vicious circle of yo-yo dieting that isn’t good for your body or your self esteem. I aimed at losing 1lb per week, which was sufficient to get me to my target, and you can find more information on the internet or from nutrition professionals on how many calories your body should be consuming as a minimum. It’s not the same for everybody, it depends on age, height, activity levels etc etc.
5. Reconnect with your body
About a week into my own weight loss journey, I was astounded to discover the feeling of slight hunger at certain times of the day. Yes, this was my body telling me that it needed some food, but the thing that astounded me was that I had become totally unfamiliar with this feeling. I actually couldn’t remember the last time I had felt hunger at all. That triggered me to question why I had been eating so much, if it wasn’t hunger, i.e. my body telling me it needed food, so it must have been habit/boredom/greed. Whatever it was, it was all of that unnecessary eating that lead me to being overweight in the first place. Some may find that feeling of hunger uncomfortable, but for me it was confirmation that I was doing what my body needed again. Nowadays, before I eat I question why I am eating, is it because my body needs sustenance or is it because of some other reason? This reconnection with self really helps.

I feel so much better now, and much happier with the way I look. I'm in maintenance now, and of course I've devoured Easter eggs, drank champagne and eaten too much at the chinese restaurant on various occasions. The trick is, don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day and you can easily get back on the wagon.
Have you had some successes at weight loss? Do you have any helpful top tips?

Monday, 10 April 2017

Wardrobe spring clean

I had such a busy weekend, but in a pleasureable way. It was unseasonally warm so ice cream and pizza, as well as battling the Easter holiday seaside crowds was a must.


I also decided to take stock of my wardrobe. I often get tired of my wardrobe and have a good clearout, but I hadn't really found the time to do that for a while. Having lost 19lbs over the past year, a fair bit of what I owned didn't even fit me any longer. Add to that the fact that I've become a little bit tired of always being in a vintage frock for every single occasion, and what I was left with was a very uninspiring selection.

I decided to tackle two birds with one stone, unpacking my spring/summer wardrobe and clearing out in one fell swoop. I ended up, not with 3 piles of clothes, but 4; keep, keep but need altering, sell, charity shop.

I've managed to list about half of what I have to sell on eBay, I have 2 dresses I need to alter (which I will hopefully find time to do over the Easter weekend) and a small pile to go off to the charity shop.

Funny, for such a hoarder, I felt quite refreshed to be letting go of pretty much everything that's going. Maybe my style is changing a bit, and it's important to move with who you become. I'll always love vintage and dresses, but there's room for a different style in there too.

Some of the items I'm selling on eBay

If you want to keep an eye on what I'm selling then head over to my eBay and check it out.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Press Play

That was one hell of a long pause. I mean, it's well over a month. What can I say? There's been a lot of things going on in the interim, things changing, trips to visit the inlaws, wedding anniversary, Mother's day, trips to Whitby/Leeds/York. I mean really, these were all things I should absolutely have been blogging about, yes? I didn't though, c'est la vie. Things have settled back down a bit now though, and whilst I have some fun things planned for summer, mostly I'm back into a normal routine now, which means I should be able to find the time to blog again. Who knows, I might even find the time to read and knit again too. Rock 'n' roll, I know.
Sewing blogger

Something I have been finding the time for though is dressmaking. Now that I have my special sewing space, I have more incentive to make clothes. I can just take time out, me and the fabric, and make! I was keen to finish this vintage vogue pattern before going off to spend a weekend with the inlaws, and whilst I finished it by the skin of my teeth, I did finish it.

1950s fashion blogger

It was an absolute pain in the arse to sew up! It was the whole underarm gusset thing that drove me to the brink of tears, and whilst I don't think that I will be making any more of these any time soon, I am super pleased with how this one turned out.


I love the fabric, it's a good heavy weight cotton with a nice drape that lends itself nicely to the front pleats and I do feel nice wearing it. If any of you follow me on Pinterest though, you've probably seen that the clothes I've been pinning of late are of a much simpler cut, and whilst I haven't done any real homemade wardrobe planning yet, I definitely see some simpler shapes and designs on the horizon.


Anyway, hopefully this marks a return to my regular once per week slot, but if not, well don't worry... I'm probably off having fun somewhere or other.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Not Quite Valentines Date

Valentines day this year was something of a disaster. There were a few reasons, thankfully none of them relationship related, but the fact that Mr. was miles away on a training course certainly put a dampner on things too. That's why we decided to celebrate Valentines on the previous Saturday.

I've heard a few bloggers and couples comment, especially when they've been together for some years, that they don't 'do' Valentines day. Each to their own though, I quite like it, so does the Mr. We most definitely 'do' Valentines day.

Kitted out in our Vintage finery
Wearing: Shoes - Irregular Choice, Bag - Vintage, Dress - Vintage, Fascinator - Gift

We didn't really do much in the day, other than exchange our gifts. He'd bought two new millinery books for me (I feel a new craft coming on) and I'd bought him a new shirt. Rock 'n' roll, I know. Anyway, that evening I had booked us a table at a local Indian restaurant. We got super glammed up in our vintage finery, and set off there fairly early and I was really surprised by how busy it was. What a good job I had booked.

We enjoyed a set meal, which was far too large for us. I do love curry, I can quite happily binge on curry, and starting off with Prawn Puri, followed by a whole curry to myself, rice, naan and Saag Aloo, yep, that was a curry binge.
vintage eccentric style

I felt like I needed to be rolled up the road afterwards, but I still didn't turn down the complimentary Cognac at the end of my meal.

We set off to a pub which, we were surprised to find was a bit dead. It's a while since we'd been to it, but there was absolutely nothing going on whatsoever, which was a huge disappointment. Talk about all dressed up with nowhere to go.

We decided to quit that joint, and head off to a new swanky wine bar that we'd heard about on the posh side of town. Now, I love a swanky wine bar, but the hubby can be a bit hit and miss. Imagine my surprise though when he loved it just as much as I did. That's certainly testimony to the atmosphere that the bar had.

It was buzzing. Of course, I think it helped that the Mr. seemed to attract a hipster fanclub because of his beard and the way he was dressed. They were adamant he looked like Christoph Waltz in Django unchained. Yeah, I can see the likeness!

Image from: http://www.movieactors.com/actors/christophwaltz.htm

Eventually we peeled off and braved the cold gales rattling in off the North sea and headed home. We had a fabulous night, and whilst it wasn't Valentines day, it was our Valentines day, and it couldn't have been any better.


Monday, 13 February 2017

What I Wore: Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunch outfit fashion blogger

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I need no excuse to dress up. Whilst some view Sunday as a day for tracksuit bottoms and Ugg boots, if I'm going out for lunch then I'm not going to miss the opportunity to don a frock and put my makeup on.


Granted, I'm not going to put on my best evening dress because that would be REALLY overdressed, and I've had this beautiful silk dress from Monsoon for some years now so I personally don't feel too dressed up in it. I still always feel nicely presented whilst wearing it though, and think that its flowing sheer layers are perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

luxury fashion blogger
Shoes - Jimmy Choo, Dress - Monsoon, Bag - Michael Kors

I completed the look with my trusty Jimmy Choos, and a beautiful, and surprisingly practical tiny little red handbag from Michael Kors.


Despite the appearance of blue skies and sunshine it was absolutely freezing taking these photographs, so it wasn't long before I had to put my coat back on, the life of a blogger isn't all glamorous you know!


Monday, 6 February 2017

Books: The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

I had wanted to read 'The Miniaturist' for some time, certainly since it had been released. When one of my friends offered to lend it to me, it found its way straight on to my 2017 books to read list, and was the first one that I plumped for.

I don't tend to read many novels, preferring biographical or other factual books as a rule, but I often find that once I start with a well written novel, I can't put it down. This book fit that description perfectly and I found myself getting through it very quickly, purely because I could not leave it alone.

Set in 17th century Amsterdam, the tale follows a young woman, Nella, as she embarks on her marriage to a wealthy merchant. All is not as it seems, however, in what should be an idyllic life and behind closed doors the perfect facades of the family that she has married into quickly melt away. Nella has been bought, by her wealthy new husband, a miniature model of their home, and begins to order miniature figures to put into it, but there is a mysterious element with the illusive and mysterious miniaturist. As life in her new home unravels the miniaturist seems to provide some chilling premonitions as to the outcome of events.

This was definitely the right book to start my year out on, and if you like tales of mystery with lots of twists and turns, then this is definitely a book that you don't want to miss.

What novels have you been reading lately?

Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday Lunch with a Sea View - White Lodge Hotel, Filey

In these dark days of winter it seems that fresh, bright, spring-like days are few and far between. When they do arrive though, I can't help but start to think of all of the opportunities that are on their way for enjoyable lunches out; Mothering Sunday, Easter or just those sunny Sundays when you just don't want to cook. It's not like there needs to be an excuse. I've found an ideal venue for just such occasions.


Standing proud on the beautiful Victorian Crescent in the quiet seaside town of Filey, the White Lodge Hotel holds an enviable position overlooking the sea.


The hotel has made the most of this by positioning its' inviting and largely glass fronted restaurant to make the maximum benefit of the wide expansive views. When we visited on Sunday and were shown to our seat at the front of the restaurant, I couldn't have been happier at the view I was set to enjoy over my Sunday lunch, not least because it was such a rare clear and sunny day.

Yorkshire lifestyle blog
A perfect view for Sunday lunch

I must admit that, prior to my visit to the restaurant I was little bit concerned about the expanse of glass in the restaurant. That's a strange statement, I know, but I have been to many glass fronted restaurants before and found that they are terribly chilly and that I spend the entire visit trying to stay warm. I need not have had any such concerns for The White Lodges' restaurant, it was perfectly cosy. Decorated in a modern neutral colour scheme, they have still managed to maintain a somewhat traditional feel to the hotel and restaurant, which to my mind is absolutely perfect and emanates a warm and yet up to date feel.


The popularity of the restaurant locally was obvious since, shortly after we took our seats at 1pm, lots of other diners started to file in creating a lovely buzzing atmosphere. There's nothing worse than being the only diners in an empty restaurant. Looking at the menu, it was pretty easy to see what the attraction was. There is a great range for all tastes, including vegetarian and fish options, which can often be hard to come by on a Sunday lunch menu. Add to this the fact that all of the produce, including all of the fish, meat and poultry is sourced locally, and that a 3-course offering comes in at a reasonable £19.95 (with main only and 2-course options available too), it's hardly surprising that diners frequent this venue.

We had the same starters, a lovely light carrot and orange soup. I'm sometimes wary of ordering soup as a starter; if it's made too thick and heavy then you end up full before your main course. We had no such worries with this flavourful and light soup with the most delicious homemade croutons. The soup was perfect with a distinct taste of orange flowing through it, and whilst all of the other starter options sounded absolutely delicious, I was very pleased that I had opted for this beautiful light soup.

Luxury lifestyle blog
A perfect soup starter

It wasn't too long before we were enjoying our main courses, and now seems an opportune time to mention the lovely service that we received at the restaurant too. The waitresses to our table were attentive without being intrusive, friendly, welcoming and accommodating. Part of the experience of eating out is always the quality of the service, and it was certainly one piece of a very pleasing jigsaw at The White Lodge.
Mouthwatering tuna steak

Back to those main courses. I'm trying to eat less meat in my diet, so I was thrilled to see a tasty and inviting fish option. The herb crusted tuna steak with parmentier potatoes and sauce vierge certainly did not disappoint. The serving was most generous, the tuna was cooked to absolute perfection and the tastes, oh my word the tastes, that herb crust was an item of taste perfection, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The vegetables, which came separately, were cooked perfectly and complimented the dish wonderfully.
Yorkshire lifestyle blogger

The Mr. ordered an oven roasted chicken supreme with a creamy mushroom sauce. I had a little taste, just in the interests of being able to tell you what it was like you understand, and again it was cooked to absolute perfection and looked sublime.

After such a feast, I thought I would struggle to manage a pudding too, but let it never be said that I'm a quitter. I was torn between the fresh fruit platter with lemon creme fraiche, and vanilla creme brulee with a berry compote and biscotti. In the end I plumped for the creme brulee. Creme brulee is something I'm always a little apprehensive about because they are either absolutely amazing, or really really bad. I'm pleased to report that this was the former and not the latter. The tart berry compote contrasted perfectly with the rich vanilla tastes of the brulee. I have to admit, in true bad blogger style, I took a taste before I took a photograph! I just couldn't wait to crack that caramelised sugar top... I'm sorry (I'm not really, it was delicious and I'm not ashamed!)

Creme Brulee perfection

Finally, we retired to the comfortable bar area to enjoy a rich tasty coffee in the comfort of wing back chairs, before leaving for a wander around the nearby park to walk off some of the delicious food that we had enjoyed.
Yorkshire lifestyle blog
A relaxing bar area at the White Lodge Hotel

We had an absolutely lovely afternoon with perfect service, beautiful food and a stunning location and I would heartily recommend that you check out The White Lodge hotel as soon as you can.

luxury lifestyle blog

Monday, 23 January 2017

Outfit: mid-century for the Office

vintage style blogger

I don't do too many outfit posts. I think that I would like to do more this year, especially since one of my intentions at the start of the year was around style, and really getting back to that vintage look that I love. I thought the perfect start was an all out 1940s look that I wore to work during my first week back after Christmas.

vintage yorkshire blogger

Back at the start of December, my friend and purveyor of exceptional vintage goods, Vix, sent me a surprise parcel in the post. You can't imagine my elation to open the package and find within the most beautiful red Travilla suit jacket. For those of you who don't know who Travilla was, he made all of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell's costumes for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as many of Marilyn's other clothes. He was renowned for making clothes that embraced and accentuated the female form, and I've been obsessed (although never owned any) for some time. As soon as I tore open the packaging and saw what was inside, I didn't even have to think of an outfit to put together because all I could envisage was Jane Russell's outfit in these early scenes of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and I know that would be my inspiration.


Pairing the jacket with a beautiful vintage skirt that the Mr. bought me for Christmas, and my trusty comfy Van Dal shoes, I think I had the look nailed.


Never one to be lukewarm on the style I plump for, I decided to also experiment with some victory rolls, and the fantastic snood that I bought from Gin Poodle on Etsy. My hair is getting so long now, I love to find new ways to keep it out of my face and these snoods are the perfect option.

A closer view of the hair

I admit, this was a bit of an all or nothing look for work, but I felt very smart, stylish and glamorous all in one and I have finally got the Jane Russell outfit that I've always craved.

Monday, 16 January 2017

A Day Out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire wildlife park review

During the Christmas break, in that lull you get between Christmas and New Year, where the only obvious thing to do seems to be to join the hoards and descend on the nearest town to see what bargains you can bag, the Mr. and I opted to pay a visit, on a crisp, clear day, to Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Well placed near the M18 at Doncaster, the park is sufficiently easy to get to, and priced at only £15 for adult entry, we didn't think it was too expensive either. We arrived early in the morning, and whilst there was a queue to get in, it wasn't ridiculous and moved quite quickly. 

lifestyle blogger Yorkshire

Inside is well signposted, and there's no set way of going around the park. We opted to head in the direction of the Baboons first, passing by what looked like a family friendly eatery on the way. 


The Mr. is a huge lover of natural history, and there's rarely a day goes by in our house where one animal documentary or another isn't on. That said, he's always quite reluctant about zoos and safari parks since there's always a concern about the way the animals may be treated, or that they may be in small enclosures. Of course, he'd done the research before we visited here, but as we actually circulated the park, one of the main things which really stood out was how much space there was. The enclosures, whilst of course they could never match up to the arctic tundras, or wild Siberia, didn't seem too enclosed, and some of the smaller animals such as the lemurs even seemed to have a relative freedom which allowed the visitors to get quite up close and personal with them.
 

The park has a fantastic range of animals, and never in my life did I think I would get to see a real life polar bear. It's hard to believe when you see one of these beautiful animals sleeping, that inside that enclosure, you would be prey! Even harder to believe is that, possibly within my lifetime, there's a very distinct possibility that these animals will face extinction, and because of our own greed and lack of respect for the planet that we occupy. It's really sad. 

polar bear yorkshire wildlife park

The animal I was most excited to see was the giant otters. Such adorable creatures, and they didn't disappoint with their funny little noises and excitable natures. 


The Mr. and I had, thankfully, brought a packed lunch with us. I say thankfully because, what with it being out of season, many of the food outlets were sadly closed. Having gone through much of the big cat area, and covered at least half of the park, we did find a nice little coffee shop next to the Giraffe enclosure, which being the only one open was pretty busy, but they did do a nice coffee and that's all that matters.


The big cats in residence at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are really impressive, with beautiful Lions rescued from a zoo in Romania, as well as stunning tigers and a leopard, and specially constructed viewing platforms affording clear views. It is little wonder that this place seemed to be quite popular amongst hobby photographers and their long lenses. Not that they were necessary, I'm happy with the results my little Canon compact achieved. 


We were at the park for hours, and for me, despite all of the big impressive animals, the most exciting experiences were the enclosures where you could go in with the animals; wallabies, lemur, capobara, they were experiences that were very exciting and I imagine would be a major boon for families with young children.


As the sun started to go down over the park, and the lions began to roar as if they were out on the great plains of Africa, it was time to go home. We were exhausted from an entire day spent walking around the huge grounds of the park, but had such an amazing day out that I would happily do again. 


If you are looking for an interesting day out and love animals (or photography) then I would highly recommend a trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. 

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