Happy first day of spring everyone! It feels like a million years since I’ve done a blog post – this past month or so has been manic in so many ways. My 9-5 office job has been so crazy busy it’s unreal and with it coming to the end of the holiday year we’ve had less hands on deck to get the work done. Luckily I LOVE my job so extra hours and double the work doesn’t bother me really – thank god for my Benefit Better than BB cream for keeping me looking relatively human!
Other than being MAD busy at work I’ve had lots going on both socially and personally…so I thought I’d give you a little update of the things I got up to in February.
WARNING: **long post alert!**
Olympus Pen E-PL7
I would imagine that most of you on the blogging scene will be familiar with this little piece of Photography porn that is taking the blogging community by storm. The Olympus Pen E-PL7 is an amazing piece of technology with incredibly useful features that make photography for blogging as easy as it can be. The drool-worthy F1.8 aperture setting on the (separately purchased) 17mm and 45mm lenses makes your pictures gorgeous whilst the built in wifi means that you can transfer pictures to your phone and get them on Instagram in a split second. PLUS it’s also so pretty that it’s instagrammable in it’s own right! So after seeing this camera everywhere for several months I got a bit indulgent at the beginning of February and decided to treat myself to one; and I’m so glad I did! It’s lightweight, gorgeous and just a dream to use, I’m not sure how I ever lived without it.
The below pictures belong to one of my fave bloggers and if you head over to her blog, Lydia Elise Millen, then she has a 25% off code for this camera so you can get a great deal on it!
Venice with Mama Bear
The first weekend in Feb I spent 4 days away in Venice with my mum which was great, I LOVE Venice. This was actually her Christmas present from me – it made me feel great to finally get to treat her to something special after everything she’s done for me throughout my life.
Phil and I visited Venice in 2014 whilst we were travelling around Italy and I knew the second I arrived that it was somewhere that my mum would love. She’s pretty quirky and in to the most random, quaint things so I knew that the little lanes and random shops, cafés and markets of Venice would be right up her street.
We stayed in a lovely little 2 bedroom apartment at the bottom end of Cannaregio that we found on AirBNB – it was perfectly located for exploring the island. I also booked for us to go during the Venice Carnival as I thought it would be amazing to see Venice in all it’s true glory during it’s biggest event of the year! I have so much to say and so many photos to share with you from this trip and so I will post all about it very soon! We had a great time and mum absolutely loved it which is the main thing.
February 18th saw me working a trip to Denmark with the Manchester United supporters for the Europa League game against FC Midtjylland. I’d never been to Denmark before so I was really excited to see what the country had to offer – we were based near the stadium in a city called Herning. Being an avid United fan and club member my dad has come on the last few trips we have run which means, when I’m not busy working, I get some rare father-daughter time with him which is awesome. After we had transferred the supporters to the centre of Herning safely I spent some of the afternoon with Dad in the fan village that the supporters created in a cluster of bars in the centre. Afterwards, but before the game, we had an Executive meal at the Hereford Beefstouw restaurant which was absolutely incredible; if you’re ever in Herning I highly recommend taking a trip to this place! We had a lobster salad to start, the BEST steak ever for our main course followed by some incredible pancakes with orange sauce and ice cream – every course was divine (I’m getting hungry again now just thinking about it!). The game wasn’t the best and United lost but thankfully they won the second leg at home the following week and got through to the next round anyway.
My Nan and her partner met a few years after my granddad passed away and, after 14 years together, they got married on the 22nd February – the day they first met (how cute right!).
My nan stayed with my mum and me the night before the wedding and had her nails and hair prepped ready for the next day. Then the next morning all the final touches were put together – she looked lovely in her wedding dress and her smile below makes me so happy! My nan and her partner also asked me to do a reading during their ceremony which was an absolute honour.
A few people have asked me about my outfit, the food and the photography so I’m going to do a separate post about the wedding soon with more details to cover all those aspects too.
At the beginning of March Mother Nature seemed to forget that Spring was coming and decided to bring a Winter Wonderland to Manchester instead. As gorgeous as my street looked with a white blanket over it; snow can be such a pain in the bum! Not only was it extra cold but the roads were slippery and driving to work was a nightmare. England really isn’t equipped to deal with snow – every other country can deal with snow up to their knees but for some reason the UK comes to a hault over 1mm of the stuff. Saying that, sliding down the high street to get my lunch actually made me really miss The Alps – what I wouldn’t do for a week on a mountain with my board…!
Recently there have been loads of adverts on TV for Hello Fresh and Gousto – you know those meal delivery companies where they deliver all the ingredients for a meal to you. Then a few weeks ago I saw a post on Instagram by blogger Tattooed Tealady of her preparing her meal from Gousto and after chatting with her a bit about her opinion of them; Phil and I decided to give it a go. Our 4th box is being delivered tomorrow – it’s safe to say we’re hooked! Admittedly you can get the ingredients, and more than you need, for less money when shopping at Tesco but the convenience of having it delivered to your door, in the exact portion size required, does make it worth while. Cooking the recipes is much easier when you don’t have to weigh out everything you need first – you just open the packet and chuck it in! Plus it means that you’re not wasting food if you don’t need that ingredient again before the food goes out of date. They have such a wide variety of recipes that there’s something for everyone and you never get bored – and you get to choose from a selection each week so you have options. There’s no subscription and you can pause/unpause your deliveries whenever it suits you so it’s a completely flexible service.
I’d definitely recommend giving Gousto a go – and if you do want to give it a try then you can use my code MAXIN112655 for £25 off your first order. That makes your first box £17 for 4 meals for 2 people with FREE delivery – definitely less than a normal shop for that amount of time so there’s nothing to lose!
Last month I wouldn’t have said I was a particularly big Adele fan, I knew her music but didn’t follow her religiously. But my mum was dying to see her in concert so before Christmas we bought VIP tickets for her “25” tour at Manchester MEN Arena and, after waiting for what seemed like forever, last week it FINALLY came around.
Adele was nothing short of INCREDIBLE and not only is she an amazing singer but she’s also the most down to earth, real artist I’ve ever seen in concert. In between belting out her songs she had a chat with the audience, invited people up on stage, took selfies with everyone, told us a bit about her life, her husband and kid, and what she had been up to lately. She also SO funny – so honest about all those things you “shouldn’t” say when you’re a celebrity/mum/woman. She also messed up the start of one of her songs and instead of having a diva fit about it (uhm, I’m looking at you here Kanye circa Glasto 2015) she owned it with an “OH F**K, better f*****g do that again” – at least you know she’s not miming!! It also turns out I’m a closet fan of Adele and knew loads more songs than my mum did which meant I had a great time singing along all evening.
Her concert is one of the best I’ve ever been to – this tour is sold out but, if you like Adele’s music then, I’d HIGHLY recommend going to see her if you get the chance to! Absolutely amazing.
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, I’m really sorry I’ve been AWOL with my posting – I’m back on track now that everything has calmed down a bit so thanks for being patient with me.
What have you been up to lately?
Lots of love