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Kendal dreaming + Travelodge competition

I love the UK. I’m a big fan of the staycation. When I was little we used to go on holiday to Gwithian every year and it was the most fun ever. My family have been going there for generations so it’s nice to carry that tradition on. I really love the UK. I think we’ve got some fantastic places to visit here, although I’ve been to an embarrassingly small number of them personally.

So far I’ve been to most of Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Derby (and the surrounding dales), Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, London, Canterbury, Whitstable and we’re off to Harrogate in February.

However, one of the places I’ve always really wanted to go is the Lake District. Kendal, in particular has always taken my fancy and hopefully we’ll be able to go when we visit Harrogate as it’s not too far. It’s home to lots of great food producers (always a strong draw for us!) with it of course being the home to Kendal mint cake.

Here’s my list of top attractions in Kendal.

1. Kendal Castle

Some people would be disappointed about this being a ruin but I just find the age of these things absolutely fascinating. It was built in the 12th century (which is 300 years before America was even discovered and nearly 600 years since America was founded) which just seriously blows my mind. It’s been a ruin since Tudor times. It’s free to wander around and offers some lovely views of the town. A reconstruction of the castle can be seen at the museum.

Kendal castle

2. Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere is only a 20 minute drive from Kendal and I don’t think I need to explain why I want to go there. I’ll let the picture do the talking…

Lake Windermere

3. More? Artisan bakery

I’ll be honest, this is the main reason for my excitement about Kendal. More? Artisan won the Supreme Champion at the Great Taste Awards a few years ago and consistently pick up 3 stars for their products. I’ve been lucky enough to taste their famous gluten-free brownies and they are literally the best thing I’ve ever tasted. So tasty in fact, they are actually on my Christmas list. At £13 for 6, they aren’t the cheapest but they are by far the best (and people wouldn’t think twice about spending £21 on 6 beers so when you think about it like that, they’re actually a bargain).

More Artisan gluten free muddees


4. Levens Hall

Famed for being home to the oldest, most extensive topiary in the world, Leven Hall has been occupied since the 1590′s and is apparently haunted. It’s super child friendly with a playground, a quiz, a maze and even a selection of costumes you can borrow while you walk around.

Levens Hall Cumbria

Now for the fun bit. Travelodge have very kindly given me a one-night stay to give away to one of you lucky lot.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Winter beauty tips

It’s all so easy in the summer isn’t it? You can go out with dishevelled hair claiming ‘beachy waves’ with salt spray and gradually build up a natural tan with afternoons spent laying in the sun that makes you look healthy and your eyes sparkle. But in the winter, it all goes out the window.

I don’t know about you, but in the winter I’m an absolute mess. I feel (and look) tired all the time, my skin seems dry and grey, my hair seems dull and I tend to pile the make-up on to compensate for how shoddy I feel.

Saying that, I have learnt a few things over the years to help keep my spirits (and appearances) up during the darker months.

1. Look after your hands

My hands are always the first thing to go once the temperature drops. They instantly get dry and look about 10 years older. For this reason, I carry moisturiser around with me at all times and apply it several times during the day, especially after washing my hands as many soaps strip your hands of their natural oils and moisture. I also try and use rubber gloves when washing up. My favourite hand cream is by Palmer’s (and not just because it smells like Coco Pops).

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Hands Elbows Knees & Feet


2.  Mix up your morning routine

Heat is one of the most damaging and drying things for your skin and hair during winter. While a long, hot shower sounds like heaven on a frosty winter morning, it’s better to keep it mildly warm and under 10 minutes otherwise you risk stripping all the moisture from your skin and hair. It’s a good idea to add body moisturiser into your morning routine during the winter to keep your skin super soft. The best time to do this is 3 minutes after a shower or bath to get maximum moisture absorption. I try not to use a hairdryer very often during the winter too as your hair gets blasted with enough heat during the day from air-con. I also try and apply a conditioning masque to my hair once a week during the winter to help get my hair looking healthy. My favourite one is from Lush.

Lush Hair Doctor Hair & Scalp mask

3. Keep it bright

It’s easy to wake up on a windy, rainy, cold morning and wonder what the point is of putting on make-up as it’s going to be smeared all over your face by the time you reach your car. The dark days can also make me feel dreary and grey so I try to combat this by adding colour in where I can. I always try and paint my nails in the winter as this pop of colour lifts my mood. I saw a handy tip on SoSensational that says that keeping nail polish in the fridge can help it last longer, both on your nails and in the bottle, so I’ll be giving that a go this year too. Can’t imagine Nick will be too pleased with me turning the fridge into a beauty counter though!


4. Choose your hat wisely

We’ve all been there. Weighing up whether it’s better to have a cold head or hat hair. To reduce the static caused by winter hats, try and buy one that is made mostly from cotton rather than wool. You can also reduce static by using a metal comb rather than a plastic one or use an anti-static spray and spray this on the inside of hats and hoods as well as on your hair.


What are your best tips for combatting the winter beauty blues?

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Autumn/Winter wishlist

It’s no secret around here that I love playing around on Polyvore. This might sound a bit sad of me but I really get in the zone when I’m putting together outfits or moodboards. I genuinely pretend that I’ve won the lottery and am just shopping for my dream wardrobe. I’m not even kidding. Sometimes I spend hours looking for just the right piece to finish off my imaginary look. (Don’t tell Nick!)

In my mind, these are the clothes I would wear in a parallel universe where money is no object and I’m not going to get sticky jam sandwich fingers squished into expensive hand-wash only wool and cashmere. (I also tend to do this whenever I’m in Zara.)

In reality, I stick to jeans and old t-shirts that I can just stick in the wash and have cuddles with a paint-covered Huxley without freaking out about it. Looking back through my previous Polyvore boards that date back two years I can see that my taste and style haven’t really changed that much. I’ve always liked simple, classic pieces but I feel like they’ve only started making their way into my real-life wardrobe in the past year or so. It must be something to do with having less disposable income now we have Huxley that I have to choose what I buy really carefully now. (I’ve also got less time to browse eBay so tend to buy what I really want in the shops rather than just buying what is cheapest on eBay – it’s been a hard habit to break!)

Anyway, I digress. This board is made up of a mixture of pieces from high street and high-end after Avenue32 got in touch about putting together a winter wishlist. If I could put together that black suede jacket & green t-shirt from BLK DNM with the floppy hat, checked trousers and burgundy heels in real life, I would be a very happy sausage. And how amazing is that clutch? I would never have guessed it was from Joules!

Autumn/Winter wishlist with Avenue32

Dress: Oasis | Jacket: BLK DNM | Shoes: Topshop | Jumper: H&M | Bag: Joules | Trousers: New Look | T-shirt: BLK DNM | Hat: Warehouse

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