Sunday, 30 October 2016

When It's Over

It doesn't matter how much you prepare yourself for an inevitability; the pain can still cut you like a knife. The shock can still momentarily take your breath away.
It's never easy accepting a future that you thought was a given is never going to happen. 
Even after the initial startling pain subsides, the grieving starts. The grieving of being robbed of a future you'd hoped and dreamed about.

When you fall in love, it's both beautiful and terrifying. 
Leaving yourself open to such vulnerability can be one of the scariest things you'll ever do. 
Even while you're living in the moment and enjoying the ride, there's a voice that says "but what if they leave" and you push that voice away, you drown it out with fantasies and hope. With silly things like picturing your new signature, the signature that you should have known you'd never write.
But sometimes you can't drown it out.

You feel like your heart is in tatters, lying in slithers like scissors slicing through ribbons. 
The shiny memories that seemed once to glow with a photoshopped intensity suddenly lose their sheen. 
Those memories become hard to think about. 

Time's a healer, they say, 
It eventually gets easier. 

But suddenly daily conversations fade away, and you have to adjust to a day that isn't peppered with familiar messages, sometimes sent out of habit, sometimes sent because they're the only person you want to share them with.
Before you know it it's been a week.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Zip World, Snowdonia

Though I definitely feel like I've neglected my blog lately, what I have been doing is getting plenty of new content to write about!
As is tradition on my birthday, I usually drag it out for as long as possible (personal record: one whole month) and do a couple of different celebrations. A few weeks ago, my friend surprised me by booking Zip World Velocity in Snowdonia, which is something I've been absolutely desperate to do since it opened. Zip World is the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest worldwide, it's basically the closest you can get to flying and it is truly awesome.

We had the earliest slot of the day (dragging myself out of bed at 6.45am on a dark Sunday was definitely a struggle!) and made our way straight to reception to sign in. Once we'd done that we were given a safety walkthrough of what would be happening to us on the wire. We had to put on our very nifty red boiler suits complete with metal bar to give a 'wing' effect, harness and helmets before being shown to the 'Little Zipper' which was a smaller wire used as a test run to build our confidence before the main event.
The 'Little Zipper' suddenly seemed really daunting as it looked massive, even though the top speeds reached are only around 45mph. My friend kindly volunteered for us to go to first which set me into a brief moment of panic as we had no one to watch to base the experience on! BUT being strapped into the harness was definitely the worst part as you feel quite vulnerable, but once I was in and off I absolutely loved every second of it.
After our test run, we travelled by truck higher into the mountains and slate quarry until we reached the main zip wire which stands at 500ft high and a mile long, with speeds reaching generally over 100mph. I absolutely couldn't wait for my go and it didn't disappoint, the views were incredible and I truly did feel like I was flying. It was over so quickly I wanted to go again, and while I was in the air  I loved every second.
The view from the Zip Wire
The company also do a huge underground trampoline set in slate caverns called Bounce Below which is described as being a 'subterranean playground' - definitely next on my list for sure.
I really couldn't recommend Zip World more highly, if you're after a unique adventure this is definitely the place for you.
Because I was limited in being able to take photos, I took the below from the website, the views speak for themselves!
Credit: Zip World
Credit: Zip World


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Take Flight

It was my birthday earlier this week, and as an early present a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be bought a flying lesson. This was actually my third lesson; having badgered my Mum since I was a teenager to let me have one because my older brother had - being a bit of a daredevil I finally took to the skies for the first time about 5 years ago, and loved every minute of it.

This lesson was no exception; I was blessed with glorious weather and completely cloudless skies made for unobstructed views across the mountains and water. Because this was my third time, I was actually considered fairly experienced in terms of flying, so my tutor let me take control throughout, including taxiing down the runway, taking off and landing unassisted!

Being in the cockpit makes me feel alive, and flying is such a surreal experience when you break it down. On a large plane you're barely aware of your surroundings, but when you're in a small light aircraft you realise how fragile they are, but also how that feeling of vulnerability is actually quite liberating! It felt at one point like we were merely floating through the air and barely moving, until the pilot told me we were travelling at over 120mph...puts things into perspective.

The feeling of freedom is also something else, apart from the occasional crackle of controls it's almost completely silent up there, which makes it easy to forget the real world as you're floating on the wind.

As I did so much of the flying myself, I only had time to snap one cheeky photo from the air - which is the beach near to where I live, we also flew over my house before doing a loop and heading back.

It was over far too quickly, bring on the next one -  I may well be getting my pilots licence next!   
All photos taken from the ground by Ben Walker Photography

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

5 Reasons Why Baths Are The Best

I LOVE having baths, especially in Autumn and Winter. I really can't deal with them in the summer, but as soon as the temperature drops I'm straight in the tub. 
Baths are definitely one of my happy places - a safe haven I feel relaxed in that seems to do wonders for my mind and soul, but I know loads of people who don't share my joy. If you're really not a bath person - that's ok. This is just a fun little post about why baths float my boat:

1. ....and relax.
As I said before, there's nothing like a bath for helping me feel relaxed. I love hopping in the shower to feel clean and fresh, but when I want to feel indulgent its a soak in the bubbles that does it. I like to lie back, let the warm water soothe and relax my muscles, and let my thoughts drift.

2. Me Time
I'm definitely a people person, but sometimes even the most social of us crave some alone time. I have a fantasy of living alone in a beautiful Parisian apartment with a claw foot bath and french doors that overlook the Eiffel Tower. Totally unrealistic but a girl can dream, and I adore the time spent alone in the bath with a good book and some candles flickering.

3. Refreshments
Depending on your drink/snack of choice, the bath is the perfect time to indulge a little. My favourite accompaniment is a glass of wine (how continental!) or a good old cuppa tea (how British!) to sip while I'm soaking.

4. Sleepy Head
If a warm room, relaxed muscles and possible alcohol consumption isn't enough to make you sleepy, then I don't know what is! I always feel ready for bed when I get out of the bath, which is why I always have them in the evening and never in the morning (I wouldn't ever make it to work!) and it's been scientifically proven that regular baths help you get a better nights sleep. 
Nerdy fact: when you get out of the bath your body starts producing melatonin, which controls your sleep cycles, fact fans.

5. Skin Goodness
Last but not least, baths are good for your skin. The warm water helps open pores and the bath products you use will also leave skin feeling silky, smooth and moisturised. 

Do you love baths?
Credit: Buzzfeed

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Camera Roll Photo Diary

I've been quite a busy bee of late, and my phone seems to have been rapidly filling up with more and more photos, so I thought I'd put a few of them in order this lazy Sunday night and fill you in on what I've been getting up to:
1. Sunset snapping as usual  - there have been some truly beautiful Autumn skies lately.

2. I stopped to have my lunch next to this beautiful view whilst driving for work last week. It felt like the middle of summer (even down to the pesky seagull that kept lurking)

3. Fresh new mani/pedi - I had this gorgeous deep glittery red on my nails 'Garnet Glamour' and 'Dark Diamonds on my toes. Both are from the new Shellac collection, but I'll spare you a photo of my feet!

4. I spent the day at The Kinmel and couldn't resist taking a selfie in my bargain £15 Miss Selfridge dress. Relaxing in the spa followed by a five course Thai meal? Go on then.
The incredible meal at Chiang Mai consisted of:
5. Nam Prik Oong - Thai chilli paste, minced pork, tomato & chilli

6. Tom Yang Gong - traditional spicy Thai soup containing prawn, lemongrass & mushroom

7. Chiang Mai Platter - spring roll, chicken satay, Thai fishcake & beef wraps

8. Coconut & Lime Panna Cotta - amazing!
9. A beautiful early morning beach walk last weekend, the sun was shimmering on the water!

10. An Autumn BBQ - good friends and Belgian fruit beers are an amazing combination

11. Out for lunch - a salmon & cream cheese bagel and a strawberry & raspberry waffle (both weren't mine I promise!) were absolutely delicious.

12. It may be October but it's still warm enough to justify ice-cream - and find a perfectly Instagrammable wall!

What have you been up to lately?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Cornwall - My Favourite Places To Eat

If you follow me on Instagram (@Yellowicing if you want to), you'll have noticed that a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend a lovely week in beautiful Cornwall. 
I adore Cornwall, while I love travelling abroad and exploring new places, I'm also partial to a staycation and I really can't fault it - especially as it's so far away for me that it almost could be abroad!

Cornwall is host to so many beaches and quaint little villages, but for me personally it also has some of the best places to eat I've ever been to; some of these eateries I'm going to mention are places I'm a return visitor to, even if years apart - which says it all really.

This luxury boutique hotel is situated in the beautiful St Mawes, which just so happens to be one of my absolute favourite places to visit in Cornwall. We first came across The Idle Rocks when we popped in for a few beers while relaxing in the sun on our holiday two years ago. The outdoor terrace area boasts comfortable seating and a panoramic view of the bay, so it's absolutely idyllic and perfect for whiling away a few hours. We were so taken by the place that we returned a few evenings later for a meal, and the food was just as delicious as we expected. It was on this night that I first sampled their ginger and lychee martini whilst watching the sunset, which was the start of a love affair for me! Now one of my favourite cocktails (and I love me a cocktail) and something I was eagerly anticipating when we came back last month. Needless to say it was just as lovely as I remembered, and the beautiful nautical inspired interior of the hotel and bar is a thing of dreams.

We alway stay in Porthscatho, which is situated in the Roseland Peninsula and is a truly beautiful part of Cornwall. Whilst we were setting off on a coastal walk, we decided to make a quick pitstop to the Thirstea Co. van that we had heard good things about, and we definitely weren't disappointed. This tiny little cafe is operated from a vintage French Citroen van called Earl, and the beauty is in the simplicity. All the products are locally sourced and delicious; we shared a sausage roll and then had a yummy brownie and lemon drizzle cake washed down with a cup of Smugglers Brew, which in my opinion is the best tea in the world (and I've drunk a lot of tea) and it was truly lovely, especially eaten in the quiet little courtyard with polka dot tablecloths. We enjoyed it so much we even came back at the end of our walk for more!

The Royal Standard in Gerrans is just down the road from where we always stay, and somewhere we look forward to returning time and time again. This is a traditional Cornish pub complete with open fire and pub dog, and a menu filled with so many delicious options you're literally spoilt for choice. We always go for the smoked mackerel with new potatoes, which has to be tasted to be believed, Ordinarily if I saw that on a pub menu I'd probably bypass it, but once I'd tried it I knew I could never order anything else off the menu. My mouth is watering as I type this just thinking about it!

This stunning boutique hotel is right on the waters edge in the pretty little village of Portloe, and the view from the dining room is incredible, with cliffs and sea surrounding the hotel. This was the first time we'd visited, and the nautical themed decor was right up my street. We had a delicious lunch overlooking the bay, and as the weather was particularly windswept it made the view even more stunning in a way. As Portloe is such a small village, I'm sure a stay at the Lugger would feel like a cosy little hideaway from the real world, I can dream!

This place is truly stunning, in fact I'm not sure even the word could do it justice. Tatams is a small cafe situated on the slipway in Portscatho with a view to die for, the seaview stretches for miles around and sitting there almost feels like you're near an infinity pool as you can almost not tell where the sea begins and ends. This place is achingly cool, with painted white beams, artisan coffees, fairtrade hot chocolates and homemade cakes, including a range of gluten free. I had a white hot chocolate that genuinely tasted like melted chocolate, and a chocolate orange flapjack, which despite the potential sugar overload was far too delicious to be sickly. We came back on our last day just to savour the view one last time and the portuguese custard tart which was incredible.

It was an exciting evening for us the night the Slice Pizza mobile company drove into our camp site and tantalised us with their freshly cooked wood fired pizzas. I opted for Florence because I'm a sucker for anything containing goats cheese, and this certainly satisfied my craving; it was delicious (and really cheesy) with a lovely crisp crust. I took the liberty of sampling everyone else's and I can vouch for the fact they were all equally as yummy. 

Last but not least, we ventured out for a day trip to Falmouth and popped to the Harbour View for a relaxed leisurely lunch. It had been quite a showery day, but in the break from the rain we decided to dine alfresco and ordered the fresh sardines washed down with Pimms. Good choice! The food was delicious, and tasted incredibly fresh; plus the atmosphere was friendly and informal. Definitely a must if visiting Falmouth.

Have you ever dined at any of these places?
If you have any other recommendations I'd love to hear them :)

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