Cocktail: The Autumnal

Gin and ginger ale

We’ve had lots to celebrate lately. The OH has just come through a really busy and important week at work, I’ve started two new jobs and as mentioned before, we’re in the final stages of buying a house. My oh my. I promise I will stop going on about it all soon, but it feels like we’re in a happy whirlwind right now!

A few things that have been getting me through this time include; good friends, films and lovely old gin (in moderation of course…ahem). To celebrate cocktail hour, Aldi kindly sent me a perfectly timed bottle of the multi award-winning Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin (£10.19) with cocktail making equipment, to create my favourite gin-based drink. They know how to spoil a lass.

Gin and ginger ale

Gin and ginger ale Gin and ginger ale Gin and ginger ale

During the summer I love a refreshing drink to while away a sunny afternoon but this summer of ours is soon going to change (it feels Autumnal already!) and I’ve been craving a little warmth in my Friday night tipple.

My favourite gin-based cocktail is simple; gin, ginger beer and lime with lots of ice. The lovely El from A Thrifty Mrs first introduced me to this beautiful bevvy as a change from my usual G&T; it is now a firm favourite. Apparently this is called a Foghorn, I call it The Autumnal.

Simply give half a lime a squeeze into a high ball glass full of ice. Add 50 ml of gin and top with ginger beer. Give your drink a quick stir, add a pretty straw and slurp away.

What’s your favourite gin-based cocktail?

Disclosure: Aldi provided me gin, cocktail equipment and Aldi vouchers for mixers.

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52 Lists: The things you can see right now


  1. Weekly planner
  2. Mug of tea
  3. Plate with leftover blueberry bagel crumbs
  4. Diary
  5. Laptop
  6. Work folders
  7. Vacuum cleaner
  8. DSLR camera
  9. Trees outside our window
    1. What can you see right now?
      P.S See my previous 52 lists here as part of the Made in Hunters 52 lists project

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5 Positive Things To Do This Week #97

lifestyle blog

  • Listen to Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton for an instant pick-me-up
  • Go blackberry picking. Just a bowl full from your friendly hedgerow will perk up your morning cereal this week.
  • Empty and clean out your handbags (tip over bin!) – you never know what you might find.
  • Have a cocktail and film night (yes, on a school night). See my favourite tipple later in the week.
  • Treat yourself to some speciality bread and gaze upon its awesomeness.

Brew up and see my previous 5 Positive Things To Do posts here.


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Tote of the Week and Giveaway: Jessica Zoob

jessica zoob tote bag

Happy Friday folks! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for the weekend ahead and spending some quality time relaxing with the OH. It’s been a busy week for us both so I’m looking forward to breakfast in bed tomorrow, reading my book, seeing family, watching Boyhood and perhaps going for a walk in this lovely town of ours. Or I might just watch a considerable amount of The X-Files, time will tell.

Anyhoo! It’s tote bag time and this week’s offering comes from contemporary artist, Jessica Zoob . I absolutely adore Jessica’s use of colour in this tote bag she so kindly sent me to feature on the blog. The layers and colours create amazing texture and the tote bag itself (I chose a large tote) is ample enough size for work files, groceries and all of life’s essentials.

jessica zoob tote bag

jessica zoob tote bag jessica zoob tote bag

Would you like to carry a piece of fine art on your daily jaunts? Well, my friends, Jessica is also offering readers of the blog the chance to win a limited edition tote bag of your choice. See below for details!


To be in with a chance of winning a Jessica Zoob tote bag of your choice, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below and a winner will be drawn at random within two days of the competition closing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions: Competition: UK entries and over 18s only. No cash alternative. Winners will be notified by email within two days of the competition closing date. Good Luck! ♥ Disclosure: I was sent a tote bag to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Cuppa and a Chat: How To Stay Positive When Buying A House

how to stay positive when buying a houseAll photographs via the Design Sponge Sneak Peek series.

Ha! The people who know me well and read that title will be spurting out their coffee onto their computer screen right now. You see, I haven’t been the positive or optimistic lass I usually am of late. Instead, I’ve been a nervous, anxious ridden numpty who daren’t look at the direction of the new house incase everything goes wrong. It doesn’t help that we can see it from our bedroom window across the other side of the valley!

You see I’m pretty good at offering 5 positive things to do every week, if they include skimming stones and baking cakes, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty I falter. But hey, I’m only human.

how to stay positive when buying a houseAll photographs via the Design Sponge Sneak Peek series.

You see, this house we are planning to live in and own feels just too good to be true. It not only means we will have more space than we are used to in our bedroom, lounge and kitchen but we will also have two extra rooms, one of which will be an office. It also has two rooms in the cellar (albeit dark and dingy – I imagine utility room awesomeness), it has an open fire, lots of lovely light and outdoor space so we can finally get a dog. Oh and it is in Hebden Bridge. It basically means the world. THE WORLD.

So you can imagine why I’ve swapped my regular English Breakfast brew to Camomile, why I now sleep 4-5 hours a night instead of 7-8 hours and why I have treated my under eye grey circles to a Lancome concealer.

how to stay positive when buying a houseAll photographs via the Design Sponge Sneak Peek series.

Nevertheless, throughout the past 6 weeks, I’ve learnt a few tricks and tips along the way on how to stay positive when buying a house. As we are still awaiting our completion date, I thought I’d share my thoughts!

  1. Stay busy. I feel pretty fortunate to have thrown myself into work lately, it really is helping with keeping my mind of house stuff. Instead of waking up thinking of the house, I’ve been waking up thinking of my new jobs. Hurrah!
  2. You are not alone. Lots of people go through the house buying process and have made it through to the other side. You will too.
  3. Look after yourself.  I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to take care of yourself with a good diet and exercise during this time (and all of  the time of course!). Great foods that fight stress are avocados (perfect on toast for lunch), blueberries (add to your cereal) and snack on vitamin-rich almonds.
  4. Stay away from negative folk sharing their bad house buying experience. I’ve heard lots (and lots) of stories and it hasn’t helped at all. Yes, you do need to be a little prepared for bumps in the road but you can’t worry or deal with them until they happen, so there is no need to be filling your brain with negative things.
  5. Take each day as it comes. Stay organised, chase up your solicitors, estate agent and bank. You pay them big bucks for this and they will be used to frantic emails from their customers.
  6. See the big picture. You are a lucky so and so to be able to have these kind of worries in today’s climate. If it all goes to pot, book yourself a holiday and start over again. Stay focused and try not to be overwhelmed. In the end, friends, family and memories are what is important; your future home (wherever it may be) is out there waiting for you.
how to stay positive when buying a houseAll photographs via the Design Sponge Sneak Peek series.

Do you have any tips for staying positive when buying a house?



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Accessories: 8 Stylish Umbrellas

I had a pretty spectacular weekend that consisted mostly of catching up on all the things I should have done weeks ago, whilst the sun was shining. My rainy day activities included tidying the house, organising stuff for my new jobs, doing a weekly food shop and watching copious amounts of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

As much as I am partial to our humble four walls, we can’t stay indoors all the time when the rain pours. So I’ve trawled the internet, in the name of all things pretty, for some rather lovely umbrella offerings to tide you over whilst the remains of Hurricane Bertha pass us by. From zebras and stripes to ditsy prints and maps, these delightful brollies will see you all the way to the pub and back. Enjoy!

pretty umbrellas

 Liberty London //Bailey & Quinn //  Dotcomgiftshop // Paperchase


affordable umbrellas

Cath Kidston // John Lewis // Orla Kiely // Kate Spade

What were your rainy day activities this weekend?

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