Tuesday, 25 February 2020

A February French Getaway

She's a Gentry Pyrenees Trip

I've just got back from the most amazing trip to France and I'm itching to tell you all about it! France is one of my favorite countries to visit as I love the food, the architecture, the landscape and the language amongst many other things. This time around we headed to The Pyrenees to a little place known as Bagneres-De-Luchon and stayed with my best friend's Dad and wife who own an Air BnB there!

Venasque View

Venasque View is accommodation consisting of  three apartments with the owners living on the ground floor. The two apartments above can sleep up to 16 people which is amazing for big groups of people looking to get away together and the accommodation itself is just stunning!

Venasque View

Venasque View

Venasque View

Venasque View

Venasque View

Venasque View

The top apartment was newly renovated in 2019 and is just stunning. This apartment sleeps 10 people and also has a sofa bed.

Venasque View

The middle apartment is a warm space in a traditional style that sleeps 6 people and also has breathtaking balcony views.

Venasque View

With our gorgeous accommodation sorted, we went out to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Luchon with our first stop being a Segway tour!

She's a Gentry Pyrenees Trip

So I'll be honest with you...I wasn't sure I liked the Segways at first. They feel quite alien to use but eventually I got to grips with it and began to enjoy it! It's a great way to sight see, zipping around merrily and taking in the views. There are lots of quaint houses in Luchon, a pretty park and the airfield with gliders and small aircraft- all very picturesque with the backdrop of the Pyrenees mountains.

Bagneres-De-Luchon review

Another thing to note about the area is the food. Raclette, tartiflette and foundue are on most menus which for a cheese fiend like myself was HEAVEN. Needless to say my waistline has increased dramatically in size over a four day period but honestly it was so worth it. Melted cheese with potatoes and cured meats is such a simple but wonderful dish that fills you with warmth and happiness.

Bagneres-De-Luchon review

This type of food is perfect after a long day of skiing which is something I got to tick off my bucket list for the first time on this trip!

She's a Gentry Pyrenees Trip


The weather was actually unusually warm in The Pyrenees for February, being in the early 20s which meant a lot of the slopes were snowless! Thankfully a few snow canons later, some resorts still had some snow which meant we could ski albeit quite warm with the sun beating down on us in our cold weather gear. My salopettes were sweaty-pettes but atleast they kept me protected for the inevitable falling over I did!




 Chris and Gareth were naturally good at it whilst I shuffled along on the snow but eventually after lots of shuffling and a ski lesson later, I could snow plough and do some gradual turns across the slopes! I've definitely got the bug for skiing now and definitely want to give it another go now but fingers crossed the snow will be better for next time!

She's a Gentry Pyrenees Trip


Our final day was more eating, drinking wine and enjoying the beautiful quaint views of Luchon town. 



So that was our jam packed four day weekend! I'd definitely recommend heading to this area of France and exploring the Pyrenees and to book in with Keith and Barbara at their apartments. They are fab! The flights to this part of France are both short and inexpensive, making it very do-able for a long weekend and it's an area that is great all year round for outdoor activites. I'd love to try paragliding next time I visit along with more skiing and if you're a cyclist, this area is a goldmine for climbs!

Venasque View review

Have you been to the Pyrenees?


Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Keener to be a little greener and plastic free: The beauty edit

Over the past year I’ve become a lot more aware of how wasteful my habits can be on the environment so I’m taking steps to start being a little greener and more plastic free .The first area I’m looking to hit is beauty. Over the coming year I’m planning to hit other areas of my life such as, packaging, cleaning and more so watch this space but so far here are some of the changes I’ve implemented.


Cotton Pads

I’ve never been a fan of makeup removing wipes thankfully but I am a sucker for cotton pads. Slap on some micellar water, wipes away the day and then bin. It’s been my routine for over ten years but it occurred to me how wasteful and unnecessary disposable cotton pads are so I set about finding an alternative. Etsy has some amazing makers providing re-useable cotton pads and I picked up these beauties from Gilly Anna (the larger cotton pads in the photographs.)



They're washable and re-usable makeup pads are just as good if not better at removing makeup and cleansing your face. I’ve found they’ve slotted perfectly into my routine and have added benefits. I no longer run out of cotton pads- forgetting to add them to the shopping list was a regular occurrence! They have also saved me money. Yes it’s not a phenomenal amount but who wants to pay this kinda stuff anyway? My bathroom bin is also hardly used anymore which is great. Less waste and less having to empty bins- my least favourite chore.


After buying these beauties, my inner crafter kept wondering…could I make these myself? Well it turns out you can! If you are a crafter, I guarantee you have lots of scrap fabric or those fat quarters that you don’t know what to do with. They are perfect for making cotton pads! I picked up some brushed cotton from ebay for the side of the pad to wipe away your makeup and made a small mountain of cotton pads. Whilst half are in the wash, the others are ready and waiting to remove the day.

When it comes to making them they’re pretty simple. Cut the to the shape and size you like and sew them together. The one drawback? They can fray a little but if you have an overlocker- you’re fine. I personally don’t mind that mine have frayed. It doesn’t affect their use and I think they’re kinda cute.

Sanitary Pads

This one will be like marmite I know but with the rise in tampon tax, a “luxury” item for us ladies, I wanted to find an alternative. A lot of women rave about the moon cup but my preference was a pad. This option won’t be for everyone. I personally don’t have proper periods due to my contraceptive pill so for me this is perfect but I can’t comment on how effective this method would be for ladies with a heavy flow. Other alternative could be biodegradable tampons, moon cups and more which I have heard are much better for you than traditional sanitary products which can contain bleached materials!

The ones I have bought are from Gilly Anna’s Etsy shop again and have slotted into my lifestyle easily. They’re washable and in my opinion that’s not a gross thing. You think of the other bodily fluids that go through your washing machine. If you use re-usable nappies you’re putting sh*t through the wash, the same with snot covered garments, the list goes on… but don’t get me wrong I can see why people wouldn’t be overly keen on this option. My husband was pretty reluctant for me to go down this route but I’d rather re-use and reduce waste as well as saving a bit of money in the process.

Razors

I did a podcast episode on being greener with my mama and during the recording it dawned on me that plastic razors are bloody awful for the environment. It’s an obvious one but it just hadn’t occurred to me at that point! So what’s the alternative? I’ve gone old school and picked up a metal razor and disposable razor blades. The razor blades are incredibly sharp which yes is obvious but I can’t stress that enough. The first few uses I had some accidents and chunks out of my legs but now I’m used to it and incredibly careful, it’s all good. It shows just how crap the blades are in plastic disposable razors and I’ve found that the replacement blades for this razor last me a heck of a lot longer. Once I’m finished with them, they can be recycled- job done.

Shampoo and conditioner

Another chord that struck with me when recording the podcast was when my mum said she thinks about the amount of shampoo bottles she’s thrown away over the years that will still be in landfill now and I thought shit she’s right! That led me on to try going plastic free with my shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo has been an easy move for me as I already enjoyed the Lush Soak & Float for my sensitive scalp- it’s a bloody lifesaver as the cade oil it contains is known to help with eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. It smells good, its natural, helps to calm down my irritated scalp and it lasts forever- what more could you want from shampoo? It’s also fantastic for travelling. No longer will you worry about leakages in your suitcase and as it’s a solid it can go in hand luggage too. The conditioner was a tricky one…I’m still working out what works best for me but so far I’ve been using the Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner Bar. I have to mush it up a bit in my hands first to spread it through my mane which has taken some  getting used to but again its great for travelling and is packaging free.



So that’s where I’m at with my greener beauty regime. There are many other avenues to explore and I’m definitely not perfect. I’m still navigating my way on this journey but I think next will be perfume companies that re-fill your bottles to reduce waste and make-up brands with recyclable packaging/ plastic free packaging. If you have any recommendations and tips of your own I’d love to hear them in the comments!

What are your views on being greener? Would you change out any of your products for the ones I’ve featured in this post?




Sunday, 9 February 2020

Loving where I live: Cambridgeshire

I'm throwing it back to the old school in today's blog post with a tag! The gorgeous Nicole of Nicole Navigates wrote an awesome post on why she loves her home town of Towcester and has tagged me to do the same. In the meantime if you're ever looking for something to do within the Northamptonshire area, you should definitely check out Nicole's blog as she regularly posts updates on upcoming events as well as amazing reviews on places to go!


So onto where I live: Cambridgeshire...Technically I live in Lincolnshire but it's literally on the border and I spend all of my time in Cambridgeshire other than when I'm at home! I also live in a very remote area which has a shop and that's it so writing specifically about where I live would take all of about two minutes...
So instead I've decided that I'll take you on a whistle stop tour of some of my favourite places and reasons to love living in Cambridgeshire.

Food

There are an array of gorgeous eateries up and down the county of Cambridgeshire. Whether you're after fine dining in Michelin Star Restaurants such as The Chubby Castor, street food such as Steak & Honour or my personal favourite- The Brampton Mill in Brampton.


For me, The Brampton Mill is my favourite spot as it caters for all occasions. From birthdays, to Valentine's day or just a relaxing drink in the bar by the fire or outside next to the river, The Brampton Mill has it all. The food is always spot on and after recently being refurbished, the mill is even more inviting and gorgeous as ever. If you're ever in the Brampton/Huntingdon vicinity I'd highly recommend you pop in for some good food and gorgeous surroundings.


Local Businesses

There are so many amazing local businesses in Cambridgeshire and it's always great to support and shop local. The two main ones that really stand out to me are:

  • Bumble Campers
  • Wild Frost

I discovered Bumble Campers in 2017 and they are my go-to for fresh fun camper van holidays. I have had the sheer privilege of working with them and discovered so many amazing places through touring the UK in their camper vans.



Based in Peterborough, they have an array of awesome camper vans to choose from that sleep 2-4 people and dogs too! From discovering them I have been able to travel to places such as The Peak District , The New Forest and The Lake District for a wedding! So when I do fancy escaping Cambridgeshire as gorgeous as it is, I really rate doing it with Bumble Campers. Their service is second to none and they make camping even more enjoyable.


Wild Frost is another amazing local business that brings me such joy to visit! Owner Louise has brought her love of vintage cafes and beautiful blooms together to create the most amazing place to enjoy cakes, flowers and coffee in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. The coffee is always great and I particularly love the bacon and brie panini when I'm there but if you have more of a sweet tooth, you'll definitely love the hot chocolates and sundaes! The bouquets and flower arrangements in the shop are also incredible and you can see the love that goes into them. Louise and her team provide bouquets for all occasions including weddings and they don't disappoint.




With beautiful fresh cakes and flowers, Wild Frost café is an incredibly inviting space both aesthetically and also atmospherically with their warm welcoming staff. Louise has recently converted her second flower shop in Somersham, Cambridgeshire into another café which I definitely plan on going to in the near future. The Somersham shop also hosts some amazing play dates for anyone with small children.


Cambridge

Cambridge city is possibly one of the dreamiest cities in the country and by far the best in the county. Can I do it justice in a paragraph? Absolutely not.




What I will say though is it is a must visit if you're in Cambridgeshire for a visit. From punting to the gorgeous colleges and architecture, food, festivals and more there is so much to do and see. There is always something exciting to do on any given day and having lived in the Cambridgeshire area for 23 years, I can safely say I will never get bored of this city, nor have I scratched the surface with what there is to do when you visit.

Landscape



Cambridgeshire is known for being flat. Flat flat flat flat and that gives for vast stretching fields and beautiful landscapes and stunning fields in the summer.



Being flat for miles and miles is one of the other things I love about the county. It  makes for great running routes if like me you hate hills!


So those are just some of the reasons why I love where I live. It's actually been lovely to think about what I appreciate ad enjoy in my area and I'd recommend everyone doing the same. We may not all live in idyllic looking areas or sought after places. For some people rural life would be their worst nightmare whereas city life could give another person the exact same feeling but it's what we make of our surroundings and what we do in our downtime to make us happy that counts.

Do you love where you live? Thank you Nicole for tagging me to do this post. I really enjoyed it!





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