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10 July 2018

We're Having a Baby!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I've been a little quiet around these parts for the past few months, but it is all for good reason....we're having a baby! Our little Baby Hart is due in January.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will probably have already seen our big news, but it feels so good to finally be able to share it with our nearest and dearest. I can stop worrying about being invited out for drinks, as everyone who knows me, knows I love a gin and I'm sure it would have eventually roused suspicion if I suddenly started passing it up!

We found out we were expecting our little squidge on 4th May. It was actually a little comical looking back, as I wasn't expecting it to be our month and only took the test as I was due to start my period. I was hurryingly getting ready for work, so left it in the bathroom and carried on pottering about. It was actually my husband who alerted me to the fact that the test was positive, and I even brushed him off by saying 'there has to be two lines you know' but sure enough he was right, there they were, two pink lines.

With not much time to let the news sink in I had to set off to work, full of a bundle of emotions, and in fact a little disbelief! So much so that I went out and bought two more tests, just to be extra certain. Each one came back with the same two lines.

We decided to wait until we had our twelve week scan before sharing our news, as I'm very much a worrier by nature. Though let's be honest does the worrying ever stop now?!

I'm currently just over 14 weeks pregnant and so excited to continue on this journey, growing teeny Baby Hart. I can't wait to share this next chapter of our lives.


30 April 2018

An April Catch Up

I think I'm well overdue a catch up with you. This year is already whizzing by and with May on our door step and the smell of Spring (crosses fingers) in the air, I thought I had better touch base in real time over on this blog.

Every year that I've had Life In The Fashion Lane, I make a resolution to blog more. Yet when January rolls round, I blink, and its soon Summer and I've barely written anything! I'm not sure whether its the gloomy post Christmas weather that leaves me somewhat lack lustre in the blogging department, or the fact that I've just been so busy that I haven't had chance to sit down yet and write anything worth reading.

We've had an interesting start to the year, with my Dad celebrating his 50th and us going away for a mid week break. You'll have also seen we have another upcoming trip to North Yorkshire planned, which I'm super excited about.

My days have been jam packed, and when I'm not working, I have been sorting out things around the house and meeting up with my friends.

April has been a lovely month so far. The weather finally picked up for a few fleeting days, and we all got out and made the most of the sunshine. It's amazing what a tiny peek of sun can do for the soul. My mood was instantly lifted!

April started out with a trip to London with my friend Millie, to visit the Ideal Home Show. I'm obsessed with their magazine, so was extremely excited to see what the show would be like.

It was huge, and I'm still bowled over by how many stands there were. They had a lot of luxury items for sale, including concrete tables and hot tub's. My favourite part of the show  though, were the room set ups, I wish they'd had more of these as it's one of the reasons I love the magazine so much!

After the spending a few hours at the show and marvelling at all the décor, we got the tube and had a stroll around Covent Garden. Being from the Midlands I haven't ventured much into London, so it was lovely to visit Covent Garden for the first time.

We have also began work on transforming our garden this month, into a 'country cottage' haven. I have a whole separate series of posts coming up on our Garden Transformation, including this post here, all about our plans and inspiration.

We haven't done anything other than buy a shed and mow the lawn in the two years that we've been living here.  Our first year in the house saw us getting married and honeymooning in the Carribean, then the next year we focused on the interior of the house. This year, I hope by starting early, we can try and get the garden looking a little more like how we envision, and we can have our first garden party this summer! Though I won't lie, we're already behind thanks to the 'beast from the east' as most of March saw the garden covered in a thick blanket of snow.

I've met up with my friends a few times this month, for our mid week catch up. It's something I have really looked forward too and has been lovely to see them more often. We recently ventured into Chesterfield to try out Qoozies, whose interior is every blogger and Instagrammers dream. The food and smoothies are pretty scrumptious too!

It kind of makes me want to put faux flowers all around our house and on the ceilings, but I don't think Mr H would be too approving of it!

We sat in a very sunny window spot and watched the world go about it's business whilst having a catch up.

Alongside meet ups with my friends and venturing into London, me and my Husband have had a few trips to local tea rooms and antique shops. We visited the most beautiful hotel, Kedleston Country House, and had a cheeky gin. I've asked my Husband if we can go back there for my Birthday for afternoon tea, as it was having a refurb when we visited and wasn't offering food.

The interior is stunning and I could have taken a million photo's if I was given the opportunity. The panelling, glass light fixtures and pale grey colour scheme is dreamy and definitely ignited a spark to get on with finishing some of the rooms in our house! My office in particular has been painted for months, but we've just been putting off wallpapering as we are complete newbies to it and I have visions of it going disastrously wrong!

In terms of moments at home in April, I have finally nailed a double chocolate chunk cookie recipe. This is great in one respect, as I've been wanting to practice my baking skills for a long time, but bad for my waistline! (well what's left of it!) My next bake I want to master is the humble chocolate brownie, which I've not had much luck with yet.

So there we have it, I hope you've enjoyed catching up with me, and that this month has been good to you- here is to May being even better. Bring on the long sunny days. I am well and truly looking forward to evenings in the garden and days exploring Derbyshire and beyond.


25 April 2018

Garden Transformation Plans and Inspiration

We are currently waiting for this awful weather we've been having to pass so that we can get stuck in to giving our garden a good transformation.

I've been scouring Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and more for inspiration. I've even been going to some open gardens for ideas on how to really transform our space (as well as the fact that I just love them!)

At the moment our garden is lacking character. It has a small courtyard outside our backdoor, followed by an extremely long lawn and at the end is a concrete plinth which is currently housing our shed.

We gave the garden a quick revamp last summer, with the addition of the shed, bird feeders, a little 2 chairs and table set, and an arch way. Stephen painted the fence, and I painted our gate, some planters and started on the shed. We just wanted to quickly create somewhere for us to sit and have a cup of tea in the summer sunshine.

Over this last year I have really gotten interested in gardening and growing plants. I have had my first go at growing tulips and alliums. Which, despite this horrible weather, went ok! Since then I have purchased a few more bulbs and seeds, as well as a climbing rose and some sweet peas. I'm waiting for this rain to pass before I can get started on sowing these, but I'm very aware that time is of the essence and I need to get them potted before the end of April!

This year, we want to start establishing our borders and create a larger social area, to have family and friends round in summer evenings. I look forward to enjoying a slab of home made cake and a gin cocktail in the sunshine, overlooking our growing garden bursting with flowers.

The first jobs on our list are, to dig out both the new larger seating area and the borders. We need to finish the shed and repair some of the winter damage that the storms have caused to it, and also replace the fence at the bottom of the garden, as it's currently just a wire one.

Once we have completed that, we will begin to plant out our seeds and purchase any larger plants.

We will be filling our seating area with small gravel, for a country cottage feel. I plan to surround it with raised beds of lavender and roses. I also want to hang festoon lights over the top of a large bench, complete with solar lanterns for a really romantic feel in the evenings.

Our borders will be a mix of wildflowers and cutting flowers. I want to see what works best in our garden and over the years really get it established.

I've been pinning away on my Pinterest so though I would share with you some of our inspiration for the garden.

I absolutely adore the top photo, and it's definitely the look we'd like to achieve in our own garden.

Have you recently started making over your garden
in preparation for those long summer days?

15 April 2018

Our Travel Plans for 2018

If you've stuck around on my blog for long enough, you will know that me and my Husband love to travel. We've been to so many incredible places over the years we've been together, and have definitely made the most of our free time.

Last year we decided to have more breaks in the UK, rather than just one trip abroad, and do you know what? I really enjoyed them. So much so, that we are doing it again this year. Don't get us wrong we still love to travel abroad, and have plans for a trip at some point in the future, Italian coast we're looking at you. For now though, let me share with you what we have planned for this year.

February |
New Mills, Derbyshire

You would have seen already that we had a few days away in the pretty Derbyshire town of New Mills. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage surrounded by stunning views, and enjoyed a break of lots of walking and relaxing. This trip was particularly special to us as it was one of our presents to my Dad for his Birthday. We made some fantastic memories, such as trying to get back to the cottage from the pub, when the paths had magically turned to ice within a few short hours!

It was lovely to escape for a mid week break in the middle of a cold, dreary, February, and I would highly recommend New Mills, it's a great place to explore Derbyshire from.

May |
Linton in Craven, North Yorkshire

We decided that February to June felt like such a long time, and that we needed a mini break to escape from it all. There are so many gorgeous places to visit in North Yorkshire that it took us a while to choose where to go, I knew I wanted to be near to Skipton, which is when we came across Linton in Craven. It's such a quaint place with plenty of spectacular views and a nearby pub. I cannot wait to explore from our pretty B&B base. Our room also has a huge bath tub in it, which I plan to make the most of! Especially if the weather doesn't make a drastic improvement.

June/July |
Tenby, Wales

My Mum and Dad booked a pretty little cottage in Tenby,  and they asked us if we would like to join them on their break, which of course we jumped at! Tenby looks like such a gorgeous town, with its colourful coastal houses and plenty of places to explore. I've been having a nosey at where to eat and what activities we can do when we get there, my favourite part of trip planning. Fish & Chips, and independent shops, are top of the list! Alongside some coastal walks and wildlife spotting.

We went away with my Mum and Dad last year to Brixham, Devon and absolutely loved it, so I can't wait for this years break with them. 

July |
Centre Parc's

In July I'm also heading to Centre Parc's with my friends. I've never actually been to a Centre Parc's before, so I'm excited to see what they're like! I look forward to spending quality time with my friends whilst relaxing in the spa and chatting away the day in such great company. 

September |
Road trip around Scotland 

This is our biggest trip of 2018, we are going on a driving tour around Scotland with my Husband, Mother-in-law and Father-in-law. It's something we have been discussing for a while and have finally got the ball rolling. We'll be stopping at Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Edinburgh, Fort William, and the Cairngorms. We wanted a nice mix of urban and rural, so I think this list strikes the right balance. We've actually visited Edinburgh already, as I took my Husband there for a surprise Birthday break for his 21st back in 2013! We're looking forward to going back again to see more of what Edinburgh has to offer.

I can't wait for this trip, and have already started researching where to eat (again!) and what to do in each of the places we'll be stopping at. High on my list is a trip to see Glenfinnan Viaduct, which may look very familiar if you're a Harry Potter fan.

I would love to hear any of your recommendations of things to see or do in Scotland too, so please leave them in a comment! We're planning lots of sight seeing, but would also love some ''off the beaten track'' things to do/see.

November | TBC

That's all of the trips we have currently planned. We're also looking at booking a weekend away in November again if we can afford it, for our second anniversary. I'd like to make it our tradition, that instead of buying each other gifts for our anniversary, we choose to go away somewhere for one night and make more memories instead. Our first anniversary was spent in the gorgeous Cotswold's and it was the best way to celebrate our first year as Husband and Wife.

We are yet to decide where to go this year. I'm a huge fan of country retreats, and with our anniversary being in November, I dream of nights by a roaring log fire with a hot chocolate in hand. If you have any UK countryside weekend break recommendations for us, please leave them in the comments!

So that's our plans for this year's travels, are you off anywhere exciting this year? 


11 March 2018

Our Escape to New Mills, Derbyshire

We recently escaped daily life, for a slice of country living. It's no secret that my dream is to move to a chocolate box village, surrounded by rolling hills. To be able to spend my days with plenty of walks with my two dogs (nope I don't own even one dog at the moment..) For now though, I will make the most of sneaky little trips to the English countryside.

It was a very special trip this time, in celebration of my Dad's 50th Birthday. Me and my brother had chipped together to take us all away, for some quality time together in beautiful surroundings.

I had come across the cottage we stayed in online, which you can read about here. I thought that it looked like the perfect place to get away from it all, yet be in walking distance to a few cafes and pubs. Idyllic for everyone.

Day One.

It took us around an hour and a half's drive, up through the peak district, passing through Bakewell and Buxton, and arriving in the High Peak. We reached New Mills at around Mid Day and spent some time exploring the town, before heading down to the Millenium Bridge. 

  New Mills is a town in the High Peak, where the rivers Sett and Goyt join. It's built up of winding streets lined with pretty stone cottages (many of which have fox door knockers which I absolutely must have) and a span of panoramic views wherever you turn.

We weaved our way down to the Millenium Bridge, which was a magical sight in itself, but the fact that it was gently snowing too made it even more glorious. The view at the top of the steps, looking down to the mills and bridge is just breath taking. We pottered along for a little while, before the snow started to hit a little harder and we all decided that it was high time for some food and coffee. We definitely needed to thaw out!

We walked back up to the main street in New Mills and came across Clock Work Café. It was the perfect place to stop for a bits to eat, right in the centre of New Mills and not too far walk from our cottage. We warmed up with the ultimate comfort foods, I had hash brown with a cheese and onion pie, which hit the spot nicely.

By the time that we had finished our food, we decided we had best check in to our Cottage. Brow Farm is a short drive from New Mills centre (only a couple of minutes) and is situated at the bottom of a long drive way. We let ourselves in to the cottage and immediately felt at home.

The underfloor heating on the ground floor was heaven on our aching feet, and we had been given some divine gooey chocolate brownies to enjoy, which we did with a nice hot cup of tea.

At around 5:30 we decided to walk down to the Pride of the Peaks pub for a quick drink. We managed to snag a spot right beside the roaring open fire, and spent a couple hours here sipping on gin and chatting. On our way back to the cottage we grabbed some fish and chips from The Crispy Cod for tea and spent the rest of the night relaxing. We ended up watching our wedding speeches, which was so nice to reminisce over.

The walk home was very eventful, as due to all the snow freezing in a matter of two hours, the streets were like ice rinks! We were having to waddle and cling on so we didn't fall. Something to laugh about now but at the time I was slightly hysterical.

Day Two

Today was much brighter than yesterday and the snow had finally stopped. We all got up and enjoyed breakfast together, we gave my dad his birthday presents, which I'm very pleased to report he loved! Then we set off on one of the walks we'd seen in a leaflet. 

The walk took us down some seriously beautiful streets, the houses were all gorgeous with pretty, colourful doors and little plant pots dotted outside. It was also a steep hilly walk, which had all of us exhausted by the time we had made it to the starting point! 

The walk began from the Pack Horse Inn Pub, ironically where we were going to eat that evening! It took us up another fairly steep hill through lots of fields. When we reached the top the views were incredible, and definitely worth it! 

The route was a circular trail, taking you through numerous fields, which were pretty muddy at times!

Overall it took us around an hour or so to complete, and was thoroughly enjoyable!

By the time we had reached our Cottage we slurped down a nice hot cup of tea and a chocolate brownie, before retiring ourselves to a well deserved afternoon nap.

Later in the evening we headed out for my Dad's Birthday meal, back at the Pack Horse Inn, we had seen that it was very popular and it looked lovely when we had been by it earlier in the day. This time though we drove up to it!

The food was absolutely delicious and I would highly recommend a visit to the Pack Horse Inn if you're in the New Mills area. We headed back down to the centre for one more quick drink in the Royal Oak, whose décor was seriously dreamy, with lots of panelling and patterned tiles.

Our final morning in the cottage was spent soaking in the last of the view (and underfloor heating). Luckily/unluckily, however you may see it, I woke up very early with a cold and couldn't settle. I made my way into the kitchen for a drink, and i'm so glad I did as the sun was just rising.

So that brings us to the end of our trip to New Mills. We had a wonderful mid week break, and if you're looking for an escape to Derbyshire, New Mills is one that should be on your list. It has plenty of walks, and is great for reaching other parts of Derbyshire too, so if you have a few more days than we did, you can tick off some more places on your Derbyshire list!

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