8

The happiest place on earth

No, it isn’t Disneyland. It is a sunny old-fashioned lido nestled amongst the rolling hills of West Yorkshire. When I was little, my brother and I would take every opportunity to get the paddling pool out and spend hours splashing around. As an adult, not much has changed – I still love outdoor swimming! I really love wild swimming, but this lido is just as good. The water is so clear and beautiful!

The Ilkely Lido has been around for a while, imagine how exciting it must have been when it was built.

Old Lido

(Image c/o The Ilkely Pool Group)

The water is very cold, but refreshing. I’m pretty sure it’s good for your circulation to jump into cold water, so my circulation must be very heathy!

lido 3I’ve spent two days at the lido with friends, a picnic, and a beachball. I can’t imagine a more relaxing day. If you live near yorkshire, or even near an outdoor pool, I recommend you get down there as soon as possible for fun in the sun! There’s nothing like a good swim to soothe the soul.

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I’ve been picnicing on homemade guacamole, crisps, fresh bread and ginger ale from this vintage picnic basket that I was given. Isn’t it adorable?

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Well, the day would have been more relaxing if people weren’t throwing beachballs at us! my bikini is from ASOS and I can’t wait to take it on holiday with me this weekend. Moving out of my house in York is really stressful, so I’m glad I have a holiday to look forward to to keep me going.

Do you live near any good swimming spots?

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7

What I wore: Mint and denim

I have some serious love for bed jackets. Or are they called house coats? Whichever, they’re so long and floaty, they make me feel like a fairy and they are a perfect summer layer. They can be hard to wear though. I paired my bed jacket with this Topshop denim top and this charity shop pencil skirt. What do you think?

Mint must be one of my favourite colours for clothes. A couple of summers ago I was obsessed with everything “ice cream” coloured – mint, lavender and lemon yellow – and I’m still not bored of wearing mint.

My boots are from All Saints. I’ve had them for ages, and I’m trying to keep them going for as long as possible. All of my shoes are falling apart at the moment!

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The photos above were taken in the Treasurers House in York. The building is covered in these beautiful flowers, and we had a good time walking around – it’s fun being a tourist in your own city sometimes! The below photos were taken in the Minster gardens. I really will miss the Minster when I’ve left York, it’s such a lovely building to be greeted by every time you walk into town.

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My task for this week is to work out how I’m going to get all my things back to my parent’s house. I can be a bit of a horder, and I have managed to amass a lot of stuff in the past three years. Wish me luck!

2

Kiwi and strawberry pastry

I am not very good at eating fruit. I always buy it, promising myself that then I will eat it, but I end up snacking on crisps instead! This means that I often find myself with a lot of fruit to use up. This easy fruit pastry is a great way to use up a lot of fruit quickly, and it is SO tasty and summery! You could swap the kiwi and strawberry for bannanas, peaches, mango, whatever you like 🙂

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You will need:
A punnett of strawberries
3 kiwis
Honey
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 packet of puff pastry
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ground almonds

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Step 1: Chop up your fruit, and roll out your puff pastry so that it is rectangular.

Step 2: Spread out the fruit on your puff pastry, drizzle over some honey, and sprinkle on the coconut, sugar and almonds.

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Step 3: Bake in your oven on 180 degrees, or until the edges turn crispy.

That’s it! Serve up with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

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Maybe in the future I will be better at eating fruit, or maybe i’ll just give up and make lots of fruit pastries instead. This counts as healthy, right? Have a wonderful day 🙂

11

What I Wore: Stripes and Wedges

Recently, I have been making the most of any sunshine that comes my way by putting on my summeriest clothes and installing myself on a blanket in the park. I bought this playsuit from People Tree with a voucher that I was given, and I really love it. It fits me so well, and everything about it makes me think of summer. I can’t wait to wear it by the beach when I go on holiday at the end of the month! Although some of the clothes from People Tree are a little safe for my taste, they do have some really nice pieces, and I love shopping there because of their commitment to producing clothes ethically. I often think of People Tree as somewhere I can’t afford, but this playsuit was only £10 in the sale!

My wedges, which are from Shoe Zone, were also on sale. I used to buy so many shoes from Shoe Zone as a pre-teen so it was fun to shop there again! I am also wearing a vintage headscarf, and my necklace and sunglasses are from H&M.

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Here I am in my “just in case the sun goes behind a cloud” layers! My waistcoat was a present from Deep, and the cardigan is from ASOS.

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I had a great day lazing around in the park, and sitting on this horse that is probably supposed to be for children! It wasn’t hard getting up there, but getting down was more of a challenge. Especially in those shoes!

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These little guys kept sticking their bottoms in the air, it was so cute I had to take a picture! When In leave York it will be sad not to be surounded by wildfowl all the time. Both town and campus are full of ducks and geese, which is especially cute when they have babies!

stripes and wedges 8I hope you’re having a great day!

19

DIY Tassel Rug

When my parents were cleaning out the shed they found these wonderful brown and orange coloured floral curtains. I loved the pattern so much, I figured I had to turn them into something! The heavy curtain material is perfect for a rug 🙂 Although it seems like there are a lot of steps, it was easy to make and could be finished in an evening. Now I just need to find somewhere to put it!

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You will need:
1m of a fabric that you like
2m of a cheap, thick fabric for the base
A ball of wool
Scissors
Needle and thread

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Step 1: Trim any hems off your fabric if it is second hand.

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Step 2: Cut out your base fabric so that it is a little smaller than twice the size of your patterned fabric (to make room for the hem) then fold your base fabric in half and sew the edges together.

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Step 3: Place your base fabric on top of your patterned fabric, and fold the edges of your patterned fabric onto your base fabric to make a hem. Sew the two together. Below is a step by step photos for hemming the corners. If you want extra security, you can also glue the hem together.

Rug 4

Step 4: Make your tassels! I made 6 tassels for each end of my rug. Below is a step by step on how to make tassels. I wrap the wool around my hand ten times, and then slide the wool off my hands and cut. I use the loose end to tie the top of the circle of wool, and then I cut the other end of the circle of wool. Finally, I cut a seperate piece of wool and tie it around the top of the bunch. I hope that makes sense! Sew your tassels onto the rug so that the loose thread is on the underside.

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Step 5: Run the whole thing through your sewing machine, and be sure to use a wide needle and a loose tension if your fabric is heavy!

Rug 6

Ta da! Here’s my new upcycled rug 🙂 What do you think? (Excuse my odd socks.) Now I just need a nice new flat of my own to put it in. And maybe some more projects to do so that I can use up the rest of the curtains. It felt great to spend some time relaxing and doing some sewing in front of the voice. I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

10

What I Wore: Patterned Tights

I really love patterned tights. The only problem is that I ladder my tights so quickly, and it’s so sad to ruin a pair of tights with a pretty pattern on them! This pair has held up so far, and i built the rest of my outfit around them. The other thing I love is wearing shirts over dresses. I really like the mix of textures, and I get some extra protection form the harsh Yorkshire winds 🙂 This dress is an impulse buy but I’ve been getting so much wear out of it! It’s very slightly longer at the back which is actually quite practical. Being taller than average, my dresses sometimes rise up to panty level when I walk, and this one doesn’t – no awkward hem tugging necessary!

My dress and socks are from H&M, my shirt is from a charity shop, my hat is form Ark Vintage, my shoes are from Ebay, my tights are from Primark and my necklace is from Camden Market.

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My hat! This one only stays on my head because there is a band of elastic attached which I tuck under my hair (not under my chin!) I have lots of lovely straw hats which are hard to wear because they blow off my head, so I am going to sew elastic to all my hats, it’s such a good trick.

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My elephant necklace is looking a bit battered, but just because he’s so well loved. Elephants are my favourite animals, they’re so beautiful and strong and intelligent and loving.

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This is me with all of my layers on. Where’s summer dissappeared to?

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I hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂 It looks like it will be a rainy one up here, so I’m looking forward to getting my craft on.

2

Everything Tacos

Did you know that tacos are traditionally made from soft bread, not those hard shells you get in supermarket taco packs? You probably did, but this information is new to me! I have recently fell in love with Warburton’s square wraps. I’ve been eating too many regular tortillas recently, and the square wraps are the perfect thickness for tacos. They remind me of the bread used in greek gyros wraps – yum!

I’ve called these everything tacos because you can (and should) put everything in them. This is the perfect way to use up leftovers!

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For my everything tacos, I used two fillings, creamed corn and gujarati cabbage.

For the creamed corn, you will need:
1 onion
1 potato
1 chilli pepper
200ml single cream
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
500g frozen sweet corn
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

For the Gujarati cabbage, you will need:
1 red and 1 green chilli pepper
1 cabbage, shredded
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp ground almonds
100g peanuts
1tspn cumin
1 tspn mustard
1 lemon
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Square wraps

Optional: Hot sauce for dressing

everything tacos 2

Step 1: To make the creamed, corn, begin by taking the sweetcorn out of the freezer to defrost. Then chop the potato into cubes and boil in a pan of water. Whilst the potato is softening, fry up the onion and the chilli pepper.

Step 2: When the potatos have boiled and the onion has softened, put the potatos in the pan with the onion and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the sweetcorn, cream, and seasoning and leave to simmer for five minutes. Then your creamed corn is done!

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Step 3: To make your gujarati cabbage, chop up the cabbage, and fry this in a little oil with the chillis for about fifteen minutes. When the cabbage has softened, stir in the mustard and the rest of the dry ingredients and leave this to fry for another five minutes. Lastly, squeeze in the lemon and stir.

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To serve, warm up a couple of the sqaure wraps, and spoon in the creamed corn and gujarati cabbage. If, like me, you like to eat a lot of chilli, then add some hot sauce! Try to eat these without spilling any on yourself… it’s a challenge! The great thing about everything tacos is that you can freeze the fillings and save them for a day when you don’t have time to cook. Although the ingredients list looks long, you can cook these with just the basics, or you can improvise with whatever you have in your kitchen.

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Happy cooking!

13

What I Wore: 70s Tassels

When I think of summer, I think of big round sunglasses, denim, florals and tassels. My ideal summer outfit would definitely be super 70s. I realise that this outfit isn’t very summery (I’m so covered up!) but when the weather isn’t cooperating you’ve got to improvise. I think this outift is pretty 70s. Do you agree? My top is actually a playsuit that I got from Topshop ages ago. I LOVE the tassels, I love the feeling of them swishing as I walk, but sometimes they’re kind of impractical. I couldn’t count the amount of times I’ve dipped my tassels in my dinner. My skirt is from Primark and my sunglasses are H&M. My next challenge is to buy clothes that are actually FROM the 70s!

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Isn’t this little red fox ring adorable? I got it from ebay for 99p! It’s a little big for me – as are a lot of the rings that I own – so I’m trying to work out how to make it smaller without going to a jewellers. Any tips?

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My shoes are also from ebay. I love the little heel, I feel like I’m being brave and wearing heels during the day but they’re also really easy to walk in.

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I think I’m getting poorly, so I’m spending my evening downing orange juice and strepsils. Being poorly during June should not even be possible. Fingers crossed that I’ll be the picture of health in the morning! I hope you’re having a better evening 🙂

11

Experimenting with natural dye

I’ve been trying to use natural dyes for a while now, but it’s never quite worked out right. I’d been trying to dye sheer fabric, but I think this was a mistake – cotton took the dye SO much better! Natural dye is so much fun because you can just use left over veggies and spices or leaves from your garden. It’s cheaper than chemical dye AND it’s better for the environment. Yay! I used turmeric which gives a lovely yellow colour, but I would love to try blueberries, beetroot and onions. There’s some great resources about what you can use as dyes on these websites.

natural dye 2To make your own tumeric tie dye socks, you will need:
Cotton Socks
Vinegar
Tumeric

natural dye 1

Step 1: Pich sections of the socks and wrap elastic bands tightly around them.

Step 2: To fix your fabric (so that you can wash it without the colour coming out) boil your socks in a pan with 2 table spoons of vinegar for an hour.

Step 3: When your socks have cooled down a little, rinse them through. Then boil them in a pan full of water with one tablespoon of tumeric for an hour.

Step 4: Put your socks in the washing machine on a “rinse” setting for ten minutes, then undo the rubber bands and let them dry out.

Ta da, your socks are ready!

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Look at Archie hiding behind my socks! I’ve done tie dye becase I love it so much, but I think these would be cute with all over yellow too.

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I’m spending this weekend relaxing at my parents house and helping them out with their various projects. It’s been so much fun having adventures at uni post-deadlines, but sometimes you need a couple of evenings to come back home, watch trashy telly and going to bed early! I hope you have a fantastic weekend 🙂

EDIT: These have been tried and tested, and the colour did stay in the wash!

7

What I Wore: Blue Braces

This pair of trousers with braces must be one of the comfiest items of clothing that I own. They’re so silky soft, it’s like wearing pyjamas all day, and I am a big fan of clothes that feel like pyjamas. Blue and white are one of my favourite colour combinations for outfits, but I’ve noticed recently that a lot of my clothes are blue, so I’m going to try and branch out and be more colourful. My trousers are from ASOS, my shirt is from Spain, my glasses were a present, and my shoes are vintage.

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Don’t you just love this rabbit ring? It was a birthday present and I adore it. Look at it’s little hat! The other ring is from Topshop, the green ring on my other hand is inherited and the large gold ring is from H&M.

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Have you had a nice day? My life at the moment, post-degree is a lot of barbeques, cocktails and reading / sleeping in the park. It’s so gloriuosly sunny and I hope it stays this way forever. This is my third summer in Yorkshire, however, so I know that the sunshine is always short lived. I will be sure to make the most of it!