A hot tub in a forest...

I honestly don't know how to start this post, except by saying all what follows will in no way do the experience justice - it was an adventure of pure perfection, and I wholeheartedly suggest you follow suit...

A few months ago, in the midst of busy season at work, I did some 2am blog scrolling to distract myself from yet another spreadsheet, and came across this blog post by Katy. I knew instantly we had to go, regardless of where it was, and I fired off some texts to James, which were answered next morning saying he'd booked it for June.

Weirdly, without ever having heard of it, it turns out Medstead is actually in between Southampton and Basingstoke, so we ended up having an insanely packed weekend, going from home to River Cottage in Winchester for lunch, staying in the wagon overnight, and heading off to Basingstoke the next morning.

We arrived at the wagon around 2pm so had the whole day to enjoy our little escape. It's super easy to get to, but once you're there, you're hidden from view in your own little forest.

 ...which backs onto a field! We made lots of cow friends - I was a bit worried the fence wouldn't hold them and we'd be trampled!

I finally got to toast marshmallows on the fire - the owner/builder, Ralph, has thought of everything and even supplied us with marshmallows!

I was a bit too over zealous...

We spent the afternoon relaxing in the hot tub, drinking the wine we brought back from Italy. It was pure perfection. (You have to heat the hot tub yourself using a log fire - so much fun!)

Afro chicken...
(Ralph's mum Jean showed us the chicks on arrival - they are literally the cutest things ever!)

Everything is handmade!

After our hot tub session, we wandered through the fields to the Yew Tree, a pub a couple of miles away. We had a very scenic walk, and the food was lovely when we got there - I fully recommend the sticky toffee pudding.

The wagon literally had everything you need for a few days away to escape from it all.

After our adventures, we watched the sun sent in the bath under the floor, finishing off the wine....

I honestly couldn't recommend it enough - I had a beautiful time.

Where would you recommend for a secret escape? Tweet me!

Italy - Coffee and elephants in Rome

Our first stop on our Italy trip was Rome and it was simply amazing! We did so much exploring and crammed so much in - I'd love to go again, it's such a great city! (So glad I ticked it off my 25 in 25 too...)

Here are the final photos from our trip!
(There are some more on my INSTAGRAM if you want more!)

Waaaaahhhhh! We're at the Colosseum! So many tourists! (Everywhere...) Sneaky side photo of James at the right there...

This is the Trevi fountain from the non-famous side...you can see how busy it is!

Arty shot of coffee in a square...pure bliss.

Typical Italian street...

Bridge over the river on the way to the Vatican.

Garden at the top of one of the hills.

The first real life elephant I've ever seen! (We went to the Zoo, they're not free-roaming, don't worry!)

Ruins and blue skies everywhere!

It was an utterly perfect two weeks, and I can't wait to go back! (We've got a few other places to tick off first though...)

Have you ever been to Rome? I'd love to hear your stories - TWEET ME!

Italy - Flowers and wine in Florence

Again, in short, Florence is beautiful! I thought I'd share some more photos from our trip with you! (There are some more on my INSTAGRAM if you want more and you can catch up with the last part (but first blog post?) of our Italy trip here...)

Florence was our middle city and we spent the weekend here exploring - here are some photos! (I won't give you a play by play of the weekend, but it really is a stunning city!)

Above is inside a cool cafe/flower shop we found down one of the back alleys...

Duomo. I don't actually know what it is, but we used it to navigate as most roads in Florence seemed to lead back to it!

Michaelangelo. Aka, the famous naked man statue.

Florence is famed for its art and culture so I tried to get all arty in a floral dress. I am super pale...

The Ponte Vechio (sp?) - a super famous bridge lined with gold shops...

Rose garden on the hill overlooking Florence...

Behind this bubble is the best human ever, but he doesn't like photos and would be even less impressed if I put him all over the internet, so a bubble photo will have to do...


Have you ever been to Florence? I'd love to hear your stories - TWEET ME!

Italy - Glass and books in Venice

In short, Venice is stunning and I thought I'd share some of my photos from our trip with you!
(There are some more on my Instagram if you want more!)

Me and James (James and I?) hopped over to Italy for two weeks in May and spent a rather wonderful time exploring Rome, Florence and Venice. (We actually did the whole trip via AirBnB - I was skeptical at first, but we had such a wonderful experience! I'd definitely recommend it!)

It was everything I'd imagined it would be and more - it is so so beautiful and I can see why so many people fall in love with it!

We  basically spent two weeks exploring beautiful cities, eating all the carbs and cheese, drink all the wine and coffee and sunning ourselves. It was perfect!

(We went to Venice last on our trip, but for some reason I've decided to post about this one first...as you do.)

As you may know, Venice is made up of lots of tiny little islands and connected by canals with bridges. Mainland Venice that is. In the Venice lagoon there are actually lots of islands in their own right, each with a famous trade!

Above is Murano, which is famous for glass. We saw glass being blown in the furnace, and if you keep your eye out, you can see loads of these beautiful glass details everywhere - look at the flowers!

Next up is Burano, which is famous for lace making...and its beautiful rainbow houses!

Every building is so brightly coloured, and varied! I tried to take a photo of a house in every colour to create a rainbow, but I got distracted...

I like the aqua ones and the pink ones and the purple ones...

and the blue ones and green ones, and yellow ones and...ahhh, it's all so perfect!

Becky told us to go to Library Aqua Alta, so we did. Apparently it's 21st in the things to do in Venice - it's basically a very old, musty bookshop! It was interesting to go, but I don't think I'd ever be able to buy a book from there!


We were super lucky with weather, apart from on the last day when it was really stormy, though it was beautiful to see the effect it had on the water!

Have you ever been to Venice? I'd love to hear your stories - tweet me!

DIY Wine bottle lights

DIY wine bottle lights

If you know me, you will know that I love making stuff (check out my other craft posts), and I always have a project on the go. My latest project is these wine bottle lights! I came across something similar in an interiors magazine and thought I could make them myself, so gave it a shot the next day!

Luckily James is part of a wine club, so we have a LOT of wine in the flat, and thus lots of different bottles - we currently have about 6 lined up on the window sill ready for me to use.

I think these look really cool and add an industrial type vibe to an area, but you can do what you want with them - they'll look especially cool with different bottles - think different shapes, glass colours etc...

You will need:
A glue gun, or some form of strong glue (mine was a fiver from Hobbycraft...one of my most exciting purchases ever)
An empty, clean wine bottle, with the label removed*
Fairy lights and batteries

*I found that different bottles mean different labels and thus some peeled off perfectly and others had to be soaked and scrubbed. So far the best trick I have found is to soak in warm water overnight, scrub off the next morning, and use a mix of bicarb and cooking oil on the residue...

Feed the fairy lights into the bottle (mine were £2.50 from Primark...) and shake about so that there is an even distribution of lights within the bottle...

When you are happy, glue a line onto the back of the bottle and place the battery pack onto this, with the switch side facing forward, so you can change the batteries if needed!

Position the bottle so the battery pack is at the back and switch on! 

Ta da! Very cheap and easy lighting to spice up your home.

What would you use these for? Are there any other DIYs you'd like me to show you? Tweet me!

Adventures in the USA - Manhattan, New York

One of the perks of my job is that I get to travel a lot. Granted, this usually means I end up in Littlehampton or the Cotswolds, but this time round I got to spend two weeks in New Jersey, so OBVIOUSLY for the weekend I hopped up to New York.

I stayed just off Times Square, and didn't really leave mid town - if I ever go back I will definitely utilise the sub a bit more - I actually did get it to go and meed my friend uptown, and ended up in Brooklyn because of loads of diversions. Cue being 30 mins late to see a friend I haven't seen in 6 years. not ideal.

Anyway. In short, mid town is HUGE and busy and slightly terrifying to start with and if I do get to go to NYC again, I'll explore the boroughs more - everyone raves about Brooklyn, so I might actually leave the subway station next time.

I digress. Friday night was spent on Broadway, obvs. We caught The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (one of my favourite books) and I have to say, it threw me a bit. It entirely wasn't what I expected, and I was shattered, so I spent the first half in a total grump. By the second half, I had warmed up slightly to the set (which in all honesty is visually stunning, just not what I expected) and the lead who plays Christopher. In hindsight, ti was a very good play, and I'd definitely recommend catching something whilst you're there.

Saturday morning (and Sunday actually), I hopped out of bed super early before the city woke up and hunted down a Le Pain Quotidien where I hugged a coffee and some of their bread (it's to die for!). I then unsuccessfully hopped on the subway and met my friend Rebecca (who lives in NYC). We went for a typical American brunch in a art deco style diner - pancakes a plenty! We then got a yellow cab (yay!) up to the Natural History museum. It's good, but it's not got anything on ours ;)

The rest of the day, and Sunday was spent exploring 5th Avenue and the shops. I even got caught up in a snow storm!

Shops wise, I went to Muji, Anthropolgie, Levis, Sephora and every drug store I could find. I'd recommend Herald Square for shops, and the bit of 5th Avenue just below central park. Oh, also, Columbus circle - that's good too!

We went to 'the top of the rock' Saturday night - it was freezing but the views were breath taking!

On a side note, I love the grid system of streets! So easy to navigate. Oh, and I made some cute fat bird friends!

Have you ever been to New York? What would you recommend? Tweet me!