UK Lifestyle Blog

10 February 2018

Our Stay at Brow Farm, New Mills

Our escape to the High Peak was made extremely special due to our stay at Brow Farm, New Mills. Me and my brother has been looking for the perfect accommodation to take our dad away for his birthday. I was scouring the internet (like I do most days) when I came across Brow Farm.

If you've read my blog for a while you will know that my dream home is a cottage in the countryside, with a pretty view that I can spend hours pottering in the garden admiring. My only problem? can't afford it..Yet. I can however, afford to live the dream for a few days, and Brow Farm Cottage is all kinds of house 'goals'. From the gorgeous stone exterior, to the panoramic view of rolling hills, it certainly does not disappoint.

You approach Brow Farm down a long drive, where you can find ample parking at the bottom, right next to the cottage. This meant that transferring the bags from the car to inside was extremely easy (great if you're an over packer like me!).

 The first thing you will notice when you pull up is the view. I could go on about that view over and over, it's just stunning. I can only imagine how beautiful it looks on a summers night, sat outside with a gin in hand.

You enter the cottage into the large airy hallway, it's bright with gloriously high ceilings and wooden beams. Like I mentioned earlier, if your a fan of modern country cottages this one is right up your street.

  Our first port of call was exploring the entire cottage before unpacking! After checking out all of the bedrooms and picking out which ones we wanted, my parents got the upstairs double bedroom with the en-suite (it was my dads birthday after all) and we had a lovely spacious double on the ground floor. There is also a family bathroom downstairs, which has both a walk in shower (complete with rainfall shower head eek!) and a tub, perfect for a long soak after those idyllic country walks.

My absolute favourite part of the cottage has to be to kitchen/dining room. The room is one huge open plan space, with lots of windows giving it such a bright feel. Normally when you think of open plan in February, you think it must be cold? Nope. Under floor heating. I have since decided that I need this putting in all through our house, it really is a game changer. Taking off your shoes at the end of the day and no need for slippers.

The d├ęcor is kept very minimal, with a nod to the countryside shown through adorable little duck ornaments and pretty patterned cushions. There is a huge farmhouse style table taking centre stage, ideal for getting the whole family round for some scrumptious home cooked food, or if you're like us..a take away!

It really is the perfect entertaining space. There's a sofa in the corner, which is great for looking at the view through the windows, or reading a good book. There's also a breakfast bar too which makes a great perch to enjoy your morning coffee.

The kitchen itself comes with all the necessities that you would need for your stay, kettle, toaster, oven and washing machine. What really grabbed us though, were the thoughtful touches, there were eggs from the farm and some delicious brownies (that I had far too many of!). There were also lots of leaflets for restaurants, walking routes, magazines etc. which came in really handy. We ended up going to the Pack Horse Inn for dinner, which we came across on one of the leaflets.

If you like the cosy/hygge vibe, then the upstairs balcony style living area will be your type of space. The sofas are extremely snug and the whole area just screams relaxation. It's great for unwinding in front of the TV. We only sat up here once, but had we have stayed longer we would definitely have made more use of it.

On our second day, I had gotten up early and pottered into the kitchen for a drink. I was so pleased that I had, as I managed to just catch the sunrise over the hills, which made getting up early so much easier, I have to say. I think if I lived here I could definitely embrace being a morning person.

If you're looking for the perfect slice of country life, with a stunning view and close proximity to a few pubs and shops, Brow Farm is the place to stay. Cath and David are amazing hosts, they made us feel very welcome from the moment we arrived. We will definitely be making a trip back sometime in the future, hopefully for a little longer next time too.

Find out more about Brow Farm through their website here

6 February 2018

How my blog photography has changed*

Photography is something I strive to get better at. Over this past year my love for photography has grown immensely, I love the idea of capturing a moment perfectly and being able to keep it forever.
 When I first started this blog, I had taken the odd photo of food, myself, with friends etc. but had never really grasped how much I loved it until this past year or so.  I always say that it's something I want to get better at, but when I look back, I've actually already come along way since my little slice of the internet began.

Cameras themselves have changed a lot in the time that I've been blogging too. My first camera was a little handy point and shoot, it was easy to use and light to carry. I then moved my way through a few more point and shoots until I got my DSLR. I love learning how to use a new camera, and getting out there and testing out its functions.  Whether it's on my phone, or getting creative with my big camera, I just love taking photos! (much to my Husband's delight..) Panasonic have released their new Lumix G9, a luxury 4k Wildlife & Sports camera, which has a high speed burst and auto focus tracking, making capturing moments so much easier. This means that it's the perfect type of camera for capturing the atmosphere of your surroundings, and encapsulating it in a flawless image. A prime example of how cameras have evolved, and improved over the years.

Alongside cameras, blogging styles have changed too. Back when I first started blogging, I was a little lost trying to find my 'style'. Naturally I tried a bit of everything.

This is from my 4th ever post back in 2013, and I couldn't help but chuckle at how beautifully I'd set up this shot, I mean look at the focus on that!....

Another fine set of examples...

I played around with many different options (mainly just changing the background) but I was trying!

As the year's continued, more and more blog styles had emerged. Instagram had become a place where you stopped posting random pictures of crisps packets, and selfies, and become more of a place to share photography as an art form.

I'd seen perfectly set up products, on stunning white backgrounds, and again, still trying to find my fit in this community decided to give this style of photography a go. I did this for a while, but it still wasn't  'me'.  Then there were also the beautifully poised 'candid' shots, that again I tried, but found very hard to achieve the same look, or should I say, the vision I had in my head.

It was only really this last year that I found my 'style' in photography, and this is where my love of taking pictures begins. I love to capture moments, rather than things. My photography has more depth, perspective and focus. I like to play with darker colours, and try to grasp the atmosphere of the moment. Little snippets of time.

Thus my blog photography has changed immensely, and I'm rather pleased that I have found my style. In turn my love for photography has massively changed my blog content. I still love make up and fashion immensely, but I love to write about lifestyle more. I really enjoy sharing places we've been, things we've seen and what we've eaten. I like to capture the view as it looks to me, as well as the occasional 'follow along' photo.

I want to take photos that capture an emotion, and that give you the same sense of wonder that you feel when you're actually in the moment. These are the reasons I love photography, and the reason my photography has improved so much over the last year or so. I am by no means an expert, and there is still so much to learn, but I'm just happy in the knowledge that I'm getting there. One click at a time.

* This content is Sponsored. All opinions are my own.


17 January 2018

How I'm staying organised in 2018

Every year I vow that I'm going to be more organised, every year I don't quite get there. Don't get me wrong I have come a long way over the last few years with remembering to pick up Birthday Cards and  when to make appointments etc. but general day to day organisation could be much improved on.

January is all about fresh starts, a whole new year to plan, and the best time to get organised. I have a lot of 'stuff' on my to do list, from clearing out my wardrobe, to organising our kitchen.  I actually love a good list, if I have a lot on my mind, or a lot to get done in a day then I make a list. There's something I find satisfying about ticking it off when I've completed a task. I make them for shopping, places I want to visit, when I'm packing, when I'm buying gifts etc. I just love lists. So I will be making a whole lot more of them this year.

I always start the year with grand plans, but often forget about them later down the line. So this year I've employed a few tactics to help myself stay organised in 2018.

They mainly come in 3 paper forms.

1. The Calendar. I have a new noticeboard up as you enter our kitchen with a brand new 2018 Calendar pinned to it. This is the 'must remember' element of my organisation, the birthdays, appointments, bills to pay.

It's easily accessible, I enter the kitchen every day and it's simple and quick to check. I'm hoping for no last minute rushing around for presents and no forgetting about appointments/ arrangements I have made.

2. The Diary. Last year I didn't keep a diary, I had a 'bullet journal' only. However, I found that I didn't use the 'monthly' section of my bullet journal enough. Therefore this year I have bought a diary, this will be used to fill in what days I'm working, what plans we've made for weekends, when people are coming to ours etc.

It will be a more personal and detailed version of the calendar. I can pop it into my bag and take it around with me. Then when anyone asks when I'm free, or when my next available weekend is, I can quickly check on the spot, instead of having to get back to people. Making it easier to make commitments, and also not double book or over stretch myself with too many plans.

3. The 'Bullet Journal', in quotation marks as I haven't bought the bullet journal. I am instead using a trusty notepad and filling the pages bullet journal style. I did this for the last part of 2017 and I found the sections that were most useful to me were; Content Planning, Meal Planning, Budget Tracking and Spending Log.

I have been using it to help plan out blog content for the month, meaning I've been able to keep up my blogging more consistently.  It also helps when you have a moment of sheer genius for a post and need to write it down somewhere before you forget!

My favourite pages are the budget planning and spending log, it's amazing how many little transactions you make, and how much they add up. If you check out my 2018 Goals, you will see that saving more is up there on my list, and I'm hoping that these pages will help me on my way with that resolution. Under the same theme, meal planning has been a game changer. I don't know why we never did it before! The food shop is much cheaper, and I don't have  to think about what to cook every night, I just consult my journal and it's there.

One section I will be adding to my Bullet Journal this year is a Seasonal Capsule Wardrobe page. I am hoping to de-clutter and refine my wardrobe this year (wish me luck!). Alongside the theme of spending less, I want to purchase less. I'm hoping by curating a capsule wardrobe I won't have anymore panic buys for those impromptu dinners and nights out. I also want to be able to open my wardrobe and easily select an outfit. I'll be popping up a post at the end of February all about what was in my capsule wardrobe for winter, alongside a list of items I want to add to my spring capsule wardrobe. If any of you have tips for curating an organised wardrobe, or a capsule wardrobe please send them in my direction, I need all the help I can get!

Other little organisation tips I'm employing:

- Keeping a stock of cards/ wrapping paper/ gift bags
- Regular clear out of kitchen cupboards and freezer
- Starting a Cleaning schedule (deep clean oven etc)
- Storage solutions - wardrobe, beauty, kitchen.


3 January 2018

Our Stay at High Lodge Farm, Upper Milton

High Lodge Farm is a stunning B&B in Upper Milton, not far from the gorgeous Cotswold town of Burford. I stumbled across it by chance when I was googling where to stay for our first anniversary trip. I was immediately taken with it's picturesque setting, and perfectly styled rooms.

There was ample parking when we arrived, and the building itself is insanely impressive, surrounded by country lanes and fields, the ultimate retreat.

We headed to the huge main door, where we were warmly greeted by Kirsten, her little boy and Maggie their friendly dog. We immediately felt at home.

We pottered up to our room, trying not to mark the stunning white carpet as we went! When we arrived at our room, number 3. The whole family showed us in, Kirsten even offered to make us tea/coffee though there was already facilities in our room, which was incredibly thoughtful.

After a little chat and a tour of our room, we were given our keys and left to settle in. I had a little mooch round, taking in all the details and having a read through the information folder, before we decided to have a little nap! I can confirm that the bed is luxuriously comfortable, and I could have happily stayed there all night if we hadn't already made dinner plans!

After venturing out into Burford for dinner, we arrived back around 10:30, hopped straight into bed and fell asleep. I was awoken in the middle of the night to an owl hooting happily, which I have to say was quite exciting! I quickly fell back to sleep, waking my husband up first to alert him of the owl, aren't I a thoughtful wife...

My favourite thing about the room was drawing back the curtains in the morning and getting to appreciate the stunning view. The sun peeped through the trees, instantly brightening the day.

The room itself is even more gorgeous in daylight, with crisp white bedding, perfect cream carpets and luxury accessories. We had a fully stocked tea tray, with hot chocolate and Kit Kats! The bed was big and fluffy, with amazingly plump pillows that I must now get for our own bed. I could not recommend it more.

We had a little lie in and headed down for breakfast around 9am. The breakfast room was a lovely bright space, with light pink walls and pale wooden shutters. It was delicately decorated with beautiful furnishings, which really set a tranquil tone to the room.

We had a choice of breakfast, I went for a slightly lighter option of crossaints, which came out deliciously warm with homemade jam. Stephen had the 'farmhouse breakfast' with beans, scrambled egg, bacon and sausages, which he really enjoyed. We accompanied breakfast with plenty of coffee and orange juice.

We finished our breakfast and headed back up to the room for a final potter around before collecting our bag and heading off home.

If you are looking for a new years retreat, I would definitely recommend High Lodge Farm. It's in a peaceful countryside surrounding, yet is a short drive to some stunning Cotswold towns and villages.

Find out what we did on our Cotswold Trip here.

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