Friday, 22 September 2017

The Autumn Tag

As today is officially the first day of Autumn, I thought what better way to mark it than with an Autumn tag post here on the blog. I couldn't find one I liked that I hadn't already done in the past, though, so I decided to come up with my own questions, and created my own tag to answer! 

I give you, The Autumn Tag:

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

When the evenings begin to get darker earlier, the air feels chillier in the mornings and evenings, the leaves begin to change colour, and kids go back to school after the Summer break. It actually feels like Autumn to me as soon as we reach the 1st of September, even if it's not officially Autumn until a few weeks later; it always feels like the start of a new season.

What do you love most about Autumn?

The explosion of colour. I love it when the leaves change from green to oranges, yellows, reds, and browns; everywhere looks so beautiful with a backdrop of all those fiery colours, especially here in The Cotswolds.

What do you hate about Autumn?

The dark evenings and shorter hours of daylight. It's depressing. I wish we could have summer daylight hours all year round.

What are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

I haven't got anything exciting planned, so I guess I'm most looking forward to seeing the leaves change. 

What are your goals for Autumn?

I want to blog, cross stitch, and read as much as possible, work on improving my photography, up my survey-answering game to earn some extra money for Christmas, sit down and reply to all blog comments, keep training Rosie, carve a pumpkin, go for an Autumn walk, and a bunch of other stuff you can read about here.

What's your favourite Autumn memory?

I don't have a particular favourite Autumn memory, but I get all nostalgic thinking about walking down to the bonfire through paths of fallen orange leaves, and watching the fireworks on the RAF base with my family year after year. Their firework displays were / are always magical. I also love remembering childhood Autumns when we would squeeze through tiny gaps between the garden fences behind our street and the RAF fence line to scavenge for conkers.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?

Going for long walks or drives in the countryside to enjoy the gorgeous Autumn scenery and the fresh air.

What's your favourite thing to do on a cosy dark Autumn evening in?

I love to curl up under a cosy blanket, put on a movie, and do some cross stitching, blogging, and / or reading.

Best way to spend a rainy day?

Curled up at home watching movies, reading, crafting, and blogging.

Do you decorate your home for Autumn?

I still live with my parents because of my chronic illnesses, who don't tend to switch up their decor from season to season, but I would if I had my own place. I like to add a few Autumn decorations to my bedroom, though, like sunflowers, munchkin pumpkins, candles, and cosy bedding when I can afford to.

What's your favourite Autumn movie?

My favourite Autumn movies are actually quite random. At this time of year I love to watch Practical Magic, Stepmom, You've Got Mail, Little Women, War of the Worlds, The Village, The Others, Hocus Pocus, Labyrinth, The Time Traveller's Wife, Mona Lisa Smile, the Scream movies, I Am Legend... and loads of others. Most movies that get me in to the Autumn mood aren't scary movies, but cheesy films with an Autumn setting.

What TV show are you most looking forward to watching this Autumn?

I can't wait for season two of Stranger Things. I got hooked on season one last Autumn, and the trailers for the new series look amazing.

What are your favourite Autumn songs?

Most of the songs I love to listen to in the Autumn aren't proper Autumn songs, but these are the songs that I associate most with Autumn, and listen to a lot at this time of year:

Fallen (entire album)- Evanescence 
Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy- Fall Out Boy
Suburban War- Arcade Fire
Pyro- Kings of Leon
Helena- My Chemical Romance
Wake Me Up When September Ends- Green Day
I Miss You- Blink 182
Two Beds and a Coffee Machine- Savage Garden
Lost In Paradise- Evanescence
As The World Falls Down- David Bowie / Labyrinth OST
Final Masquerade- Linkin Park
Love Will Tear Us Apart- Broken Social Scene
Not Like The Other Girls- The Rasmus
The Killing Moon- Echo and the Bunnymen
Head Over Heels- Tears For Fears
Set The Fire To The Third Bar- Snow Patrol
The Interview- AFI
Love Will Tear Us Apart- Joy Division
Broken- Seether and Amy Lee
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me- Fall Out Boy

What's your favourite Autumn candle?

I love a good Yankee Candle at this time of year, particularly Salted Caramel, Tarte Tatin, Pain au Raisin, and anything that smells like baked goods. They make the house feel extra cosy.

What's your favourite Autumn comfort food?

My Mum's apple pie with custard has always been a favourite of mine. 

What's your favourite seasonal Autumn drink?

I don't do the whole seasonal-flavoured thing, but I love to treat myself to the occasional Costa hot chocolate when the weather starts turning colder.

What are your favourite Autumn colours?

All of the colours of the foliage; the oranges, yellows, reds, and browns which blend together to create an explosion of colour.

What are your favourite Autumn fashion colours?

I love burgundy, forest green, teal, mustard, plum, raspberry, wine, and rust.

What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I really like the checked trend that's around at the moment, although I don't really follow specific trends. I just wear whatever I like regardless of whether it's in or not.

What's your favourite Autumn fragrance?

It has to be Red Delicious or Be Delicious by DKNY. The apple scents are perfect for Autumn.

What's your favourite Autumn make up look?

I love wearing gold, bronze, and green eyeshadows and liners with black or brown mascara.

What is your favourite eyeshadow palette for Autumn?

The Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette is rather gorgeous for Autumn; it has so many beautiful shades.

What's your favourite lipstick for Autumn?

I don't wear lipstick very often, but at this time of year I would go with a berry shade or a deep red.

What's your favourite nail polish shade for Autumn?

I can't get enough of forest green and burgundy nail shades at this time of year. My favourite was Racing Green by Barry M, but I think it's been discontinued, and right now I'm loving a Body Shop Colour Crush shade called Body Shop Green.

Do you like feeling the cold on your skin?

Yes, I love feeling the cold air on my face, as long as the rest of me is wrapped up warm enough. It's a welcome change to being boiling hot 24/7.

Do you go to a pumpkin patch or buy your pumpkins in store?

I've never been to a pumpkin patch. I'd love to go to one, but I've never come across one in my area. I guess they're more of an American thing? I've always bought my pumpkins from the supermarket or farm shop.

What's your favourite pumpkin recipe?

I've never tried anything pumpkin-flavoured. We don't really do the whole pumpkin-flavoured thing in England.

Do you enjoy carving pumpkins?

I do! I'm not very good at it, but I've always enjoyed carving them.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

I'm not planning on dressing up for Halloween. I haven't actually dressed up for Halloween since I was eleven!

How do you celebrate Halloween?

We don't make a huge deal out of Halloween in England- it's mostly observed by kids trick or treating. I've never done much to celebrate it as an adult, apart from carving a pumpkin, watching some Halloween / horror movies, and eating sweets. I would love to go all out for Halloween and celebrate it like they do in America, though. It looks like so much fun!

Do you decorate your home for Halloween?

Aside from a Jack O' Lantern or two, we don't decorate for Halloween at all. I might have to try a few more decorations this year, though.

What's your favourite Halloween movie?

My favourite Halloween movies have got to be Hocus Pocus, and the Scream movies- they're classics!

What's your favourite horror novel?

You can't beat some Stephen King at this time of the year. I particularly love The Stand, The Tommyknockers, The Shining, Pet Sematary, Under The Dome, Misery, and his short story 'The Mist'. 

Please feel free to steal the tag and answer the questions on your own blog! Remember to leave me a link to your post if you do- I'd love to see your answers!

What's your favourite thing about Autumn?

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wednesday Wish List

This week I've been coveting...

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These two beautiful dresses from Dolly & Dotty. The rose print polka dot Elizabeth dress is particularly stunning, but the mini flamingo Natalie dress is to die for, too.

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These peach and lemon novelty bags from Titina Store on Etsy are the cutest. They also have some gorgeous glittery mermaid sea shell bags that you'll want to check out if you're a novelty handbag addict like myself.

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I love these two pretty floral swing dresses from Collectif. They even have sleeves!

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How cute are these two novelty bags from Betsey Johnson?! The wicker lemon is so dreamy, and the purple sweetie would be perfect for accessorising some Christmas party outfits!

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Two beautiful printed frocks from Lindy Bop that need to get in my wardrobe now.

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I love these black and burgundy Emerson Place quilted totes and shoulder bags from Kate Spade. They're so classic, and would go with just about everything.

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These black and red dresses from Boohoo Plus are so pretty. I already have the Matilda smock in blue, but it's so lovely and comfy to wear that I'm tempted to pick up the red as well.

ASOS Curve Novelty Fox Robe

Could this fox robe from ASOS Curve be any cuter?

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I'm obsessed with Modcloth's vintage-style projector bag. I've never seen a novelty bag quite like it; it's amazing. The little cat cross body is pretty darn cute, also.

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And finally, I also adore these two sealife pins from Punky Pins- especially the manatee! It might just be the best pin ever!

If you'd like to see more of the fashion pieces on my wish list, check out my style wish list boards on Pinterest. You can also find all previous Wednesday Wish List posts here.

What's on your wish list this week?

Monday, 18 September 2017

50 Things To Do This Autumn

The evenings are getting darker, the weather is getting colder, and the leaves are beginning to change. It can only mean one thing- Autumn is on its way!

I'm already looking forward to taking walks to crunch through paths of fallen leaves, cosy dark evenings spent crafting at home, going to the bonfire to watch the fireworks, carving pumpkins, keeping warm in cosy layers, seeing the scenery transform in to an explosion of colour, and all of those great Autumn pleasures. I love this time of year!

If you're looking for ways to embrace all things Autumn, or you're having trouble coming up with things to do now the weather is turning colder, never fear. I've put together a list of things to do this Autumn, and I'm here to share it with you today.

Here's my list of 50 things to do this Autumn:

1. Go for a walk in the countryside.
2. Crunch through paths of fallen leaves.
3. Curl up under a cosy blanket with a good book.
4. Carve a pumpkin.
5. Go to a bonfire.
6. Watch a fireworks display.
7. Go blackberry, apple, and / or plum picking.
8. Make an apple pie or crumble. (Or pumpkin pie if that's your jam).
9. Start a new craft project.
10. Buy munchkin pumpkins to decorate your home with, just because they're super cute.
11. Explore a cemetery or two.
12. Throw a Halloween party.
13. Have a Halloween / horror movie marathon.
14. Pick your own pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or pick-your-own farm.
15. Make soup from scratch and enjoy with fresh homemade bread.
16. Travel somewhere pretty to see the leaves change.
17. Learn to knit or crochet a cosy blanket or scarf.
18. Decorate your home for Halloween.
19. Attend a Harvest festival.
20. Visit a maize maze.
21. Take a random drive through the countryside to enjoy the pretty Autumnal scenery.
22. Make something pumpkin-flavoured.
23. Dress up for Halloween.
24. Jump in a pile of leaves.
25. Take photos of the colourful countryside.

26. Wrap up warm and spend an evening stargazing.
27. Make an Autumn wreath to hang on the door.
28. Paint the pretty Autumn scenery.
29. Collect colourful leaves, pinecones, conkers, acorns, and other Autumn foliage for natural decorations or blog photo props.
30. Watch a horror movie at the cinema.
31. Buy some cosy new jumpers, gloves, hats, and scarves.
32. Make and eat a candy / toffee apple.
33. Visited a haunted place or  take a tour of haunted places in your local area
34. Celebrate Oktoberfest.
35. Take your kids Trick or Treating.
36. Light lots of delicious Autumn-scented candles on your cosy dark evenings spent at home.
37. Take photos on a foggy morning.
38. Go for a walk in a woods.
39. Toast marshmallows or s'mores on an open fire.
40. Make an Autumn or Halloween playlist.
41. Take your Autumn / Winter wardrobe out of storage and pack your Summer clothes away.
42. Make and enjoy hearty comfort food like stews, cottage pie, and chilli.
43. Visit a farmer's market to buy delicious local produce.
44. Make chocolate, or sweets for Trick or Treaters, and hand them out on Halloween.
45. Make apple cider.
46. Read lots of horror novels.
47. List your goals for the rest of the year, and work on achieving them.
48. Treat yourself to some new stationery.
49. Watch non-scary Autumnal films like Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, You've Got Mail, Stepmom, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
50. Record your Autumn adventures in your art or bullet journal.

What are your favourite things to do during the Autumn? What are you most looking forward to?

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday Favourites #293

Apparently it's Sunday again already, so I thought I'd better bring you another batch of my Sunday Favourites. Enjoy!

I love this DIY colourful pine cone fall wreath from Sarah Hearts.

This sleeping cat necklace from Glitter Punk Jewellery is so gorgeous.

I'm loving this piece of DIY colourful collage wall art from Sarah Hearts.

I want to make this pretty in pink pastel candied popcorn recipe from Studio DIY! I'm pretty sure it will make any movie night or girls' night in a million times cooler.

These DIY palm leaf push pins by A Kailo Chic Life are really cute.

Aww Sam's new kitchen has a rainbow floor, and man am I jealous! I need that in my house!

Oh Happy Day's ombre leaf backdrop would make a fun background for Autumn outfit photos.

I love this DIY woven wicker storage basket from A Kailo Chic Life. I'm gonna have to try this.

This DIY modern bowl planter from Lovely Indeed is pretty darn lovely.

A unicorn candle that cries waxy rainbow tears!

This mandarin duck embroidery by Pete Cromer for Thread Folk is so beautiful.

Sara's colourful outfit is anything but boring. I adore it!

This fun rainbow heart cross stitch from Lucky Star Stitches.

Colourful unicorn noodles are now a thing. I don't think I could eat them, but they look so pretty.

Lovely Links

If you'd like to see more stuff like this, check out my Pinterest and Tumblr. You can also find all previous Sunday Favourites posts here.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Cornish Adventures Part Four: Perranporth Beach

While I was on holiday in Cornwall with my family in June, I finally got to visit my favourite place in the world again after seven unnaturally long years away- Perranporth Beach, a gorgeous sandy beach about six miles down the coast from Newquay in North Cornwall.

Due to the weather, my health, and the fact my brother-in-law doesn't like the beach after all his deployments in the Middle East, I didn't get to spend anywhere near as much time there as I wanted to, but when it comes to Perranporth Beach, I'll gladly take two short visits over no time at all. 

On the Tuesday afternoon, Marie and I sat overlooking the beach from the sea front with an ice cream watching cute dogs playing on the beach, and some crazy guy wind-sailing close to the rocks in the violent looking swell still raging from the storm the night before. The waves were enormous and the wind was still pretty strong, so I can only assume he had a death wish.

The view of golden yellow sand, teal-blue sea punctuated with roaring white-tipped waves, and cloudy blue skies was absolutely blissful. I felt so content I could have happily stayed there all day enjoying the view, but just seeing the beach wasn't enough. I was dying to step foot on the beach and go for a paddle in the sea, but Marie wasn't up for it, and we had to get back to the brother-in-law who we'd left behind in the caravan. So near but yet so far. It was torture!

Thankfully on the second to last day of the holiday, the Thursday afternoon, my feet finally made contact with the sand.

We headed in to Perranporth mid-afternoon, but before we went to the beach, we revisited Perran Dairy Ice Cream Parlour as a birthday treat for the sister. Unfortunately for me, my stomach still felt tender after making myself ill with my last ice cream (lactose intolerance sucks!), so I was modest and just got a scoop of the most amazing Ferrero Rocher ice cream and tried not to eat it all, while Marie and Steve got ice cream sundaes. The Ferrero Rocher ice cream was delicious, but not quite as good as the amazing Snickers ice cream I'd bought there earlier in the week, which is still one of the best ice creams I've ever eaten. I highly recommend it, so if you're ever in Perranporth, you need to visit Perran Dairy because their ice creams are phenomenal; so rich and creamy and full of flavour! I'd happily go back for another Snickers ice cream right about now... 

After we'd eaten our fill of ice cream, we browsed around a few of Perranporth's seaside shops, and then made our way to the beach.

I can't tell you how happy I was to finally step foot on that beach and feel the soft golden sand between my toes after so many years away! I instantly felt all my troubles magically lift away, and a total sense of peace and contentment wash over me. I don't know what it is about that place, but it makes me feel so happy I always feel like I don't have a care in the world while I'm there. It's my happy place.

My family have been holidaying in Perranporth since I was a baby, so it's a place very dear to my heart. When I was growing up, we spent a week there most summers, and as an adult, I've returned a few times with my sisters, so it's full of happy memories and nostalgia for me.

We walked barefoot along the sand towards the sea taking in the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of the beach that brought back a life time of happy memories. Childhood summer days spent body boarding in the powerful waves, building epic sandcastles, getting shaped in to sand-mermaids, exploring rock pools, and eating ice creams. Paddling in the sea with my sisters in my early twenties, getting stung by a jelly fish, walks between Perran Sands and Perranporth beaches, sunbathing on the sand, and strenuous walks up and down the cliffs to and from the holiday park that never failed to remind me how unfit I was. It all came flooding back. 

I was pleased to see little had changed in the landscape since my last visit, apart from the addition of a hideous block of holiday apartments being built in the cliff side, and the Alcatraz beach shop being a flight of steps lower to the sand. It was still as beautiful and unspoilt as it has always been. 

In my opinion, Perranporth Beach is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and the best beach in Cornwall. It's a stunning three mile stretch of clean golden sand beach, edged with tall grassy cliffs, and a great expanse of teal-blue sea with powerful waves that are perfect for surfing, body-boarding, and wind-sailing. The waves at Perranporth are huge, and the tides and currents are strong, but you're usually safe to paddle and swim in the shallows, as long as you keep between the lifeguard flags, use common sense, and don't go beyond your depth. Cornwall has some of the biggest waves in the world, so if you want to go home with your life, you've got to play it safe. 

There are also caves, nooks, and arches in the cliffs, rock pools to explore, and even a tidal pool to swim in at Chapel Rock (the rock with the Cornish flag on top). 

There's so much to explore, see, and do. You can swim, body-board, sunbathe, play beach sports, learn to surf, walk your dogs... sometimes you'll even see people horse-riding along the sand. There's even a pub on the beach called The Watering Hole where you can enjoy a few drinks with your feet in the sand, while enjoying the beautiful view of the beach! I've never actually been, but I think it would be the perfect place to sit and watch the sunset on a balmy summer's evening.

Perranporth Beach is actually made up of two beaches- Perranporth and Perran Sands, which separate in to two distinct beaches at high tide. At low tide, they blend together, and you can walk the full three scenic miles between the two, which I'd highly recommend because it's such a gorgeous walk. We arrived when the tide was coming in, so we didn't have that option, and sadly I haven't got photos of that stretch of beach to share today.

To be honest, it was probably a good thing we went when the tide was coming in because it's a long walk down to the water, particularly when the tide is out, and walking even a short distance with chronic pain and illness is painful and exhausting. Every step along the beach was painful, so I was grateful to have a little less distance to cover.

I had hoped to visit the beach at low tide on a day when the sun was shining and the sky was blue to show you how beautiful and tropical Perranporth Beach looks during the summer, but we weren't so lucky with the weather during our trip. When we stepped foot on the beach, it was just beginning to brighten up after a morning of rain, and the sky was full of clouds, so my photos really don't do the place justice. Just take my word for it: on hot sunny days, the place looks so idyllic you wouldn't even think you were in England.

When we reached the surf, Marie and I both rolled up our leggings, and had a paddle in the sea, while Steve stood and watched from dry land. The water was freezing for June, but I didn't care. I waded in deeper to my knees, and would have gone right in for a swim, had I been wearing my swimming costume. I stood and felt the pull of the tides around my feet, and revelled in the sound of the water as my legs waded through the surf. I took a million photos, and a shaky video of the sea and the beach around us with my crappy old camera. We watched a pair of dogs frolicking in the waves beside us, and Marie and I took a bunch of selfies together that will never see the light of day. It was blissful. I wanted to stay there forever.

After a while, the brother-in-law decided to walk back to the holiday park, and headed off to take the steep path up the cliffs we'd all taken so many times before. He'd never walked up them, so we gave him directions, and he left us to enjoy ourselves. 

We spent a while longer standing in the shallows enjoying the water and the sun on our skin, before following the curve of the water around, and strolling back along the beach the way we'd came.

When we got back to the car, I was in agony and aching all over, but the pain was definitely worth it. While it wasn't the long visit I was hoping for, we had such a fun, blissful hour or so on the beach, and I was so pleased I managed to visit my favourite place in the world before we left. It was the one place I'd longed to visit more than all my other favourite Cornish places combined, and I made it. I was proud of myself for it.

We drove the mile back to the holiday park with sand in between our toes, shocked to discover Steve had made it back to the caravan before us  I still don't know how he managed it- he must have ran all the way up.

Tuckered out from our walk on the beach, we spent the evening in the caravan, watching movies, and celebrating Marie's birthday with a big slice of chocolate cake, hoping for good weather the next day so we could take another day trip.

Look out for the final post in my Cornish Adventures series about our visit to St. Michael's Mount, coming soon.

Where's your favourite place in the world? Are you a fan of the seaside?

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