Wonderful Wednesday #28 | April's Moments

Hip-hip-hooray, it's Wonderful Wednesday! Not just ANY Wonderful Wednesday though, it's the last of the month which means a nice big, juicy round up of all the wonderfulness from the month of April. 

How is April treating you? I'm quite surprised at the lack of April showers we've had and feel that we've been quite blessed with a few lovely I-don't-have-to-wear-a-coat days here and there. 

Shall we?

blooming el wonderful wednesday

Hard Times - Paramore

I HAD to start this week's #wonderfulwednesday list with this because I just...GAH. 

You know when you used to listen to an artist like A LOT when you were younger and then they just kind of disappeared, then they're all like BAM WE'RE BACK, HERE'S A NEW SONG and it's like you have whiplash. 

Well, Paramore you gave me whiplash but I don't mind because the new song is awesome and I can't wait for your new album. If you have no idea what I'm on about, you can listen to Hard Times here

Walking

On Sunday, I got off my bottom and went for a little wander around Heartwood Forest in St Albans. I really enjoyed just having a mooch in the sunshine and I want to make more of an effort to go for a walk every now and then. 

I finished work early yesterday and instead of just cotching on the sofa for the rest of the day, I popped my big coat on and headed out for a walk around my local lakes. I got some fresh air, walked over 7000 steps and listened to another episode of Undisclosed. Perfect! 

Get Up and Go | Walking in Heartwood Forest

Going for a walk is one of my favourite things to do but as a girl who also loves her bed, I find it difficult to actually get up and go. I'll often make a verbal promise to myself that 'when I get home I will...' or 'at the weekend, I'm going to...' but by the time I get home, or the weekend comes around, I put it off, opting to sit on the sofa and search for wedding invitations for a wedding that I'm not even having...yet

However, on Sunday morning I found that motivation. It was difficult to find at first, I spent a lot of time 'uhming' and 'ahhing', telling myself that I can explore another time, that finding postcard RSVP's was much more important (lol, we're not even engaged)

After a quick Google search and a stop at the petrol station, I found myself at Heartwood Forest in St Albans. Earphones in, camera around neck, my hunt for the bluebells was underway...

heartwood forest st albans
Bluebells at Heartwood Forest, St Albans.

Wonderful Wednesday #27

Is it that time already? Blimey o'riley! How was your Easter weekend? Did you spend it stuffing your face with chocolate and binge watching 13 Reasons Why? (We started watching this yesterday and I finally realised what all the hype was about). 

My Easter weekend was pretty quiet but I didn't mind that too much. I read some blog posts, watched a film, visited a garden centre and went for dinner with my partner in crime.

Shall we get on with the wonderful? 

blooming el uk lifestyle blog

Hollyoaks Spring Trailer 2017 

Yes, I'm one of those. A rare species who actually enjoys Hollyoaks and has done for at least half her life. Hollyoaks is the only show that I've watched religiously and I just bloody love it. The acting might not be Oscar worthy but I love the story lines and the characters. They released their Spring trailer yesterday and OH EM GEE, SO MUCH DRAMA. 

A Perfect Asos Order 

I wanted to get some little bits for our trip to New York, so I spent several hours browsing Asos, clicking on that all important little heart icon. A few of the items I'd chose were a bit unusual for me but I bit the bullet and spent more money that I don't have but I kind of do because it's on my credit card and that's essentially free money right? LOLZ. 

My parcel arrived, along with a free packet of Oreos (if anyone from Asos HQ is reading this, I much prefer chocolate fingers or jammie dodgers, TA) and I'm pleased to say that I loved everything and didn't have to send any of my items back, SCORE!

A Confident Woman in Training

Ever since I was little, I've always been the quiet one. I remember being at a wedding and a relative of mine, who was a few years older than me, asked me if I wanted to come and play with some other children. I politely declined and continued sitting with my parents, too scared to join in, afraid that I wouldn't fit in, that I wouldn't be cool enough, too shy, too quiet. 

It seems that fear, that worry never really left and it stayed with me right through primary school, in to secondary school, and it's still with me now at the grand old age of 22. 


I was in an art class once, I didn't take it for GCSE so I think I must have been in year 8. The teacher had asked us all to gather round one table so she could talk about our task. I wasn't lucky enough to bag a seat at the table, so I stood behind a few girls. The lesson was straight after lunch and it had been raining, I unfortunately looked like a drowned rat. Also, I hadn't quite discovered mascara or tweezers, whereas other girls in my year had, so although I thought I looked like any other normal teenage girl, the girls more 'advanced' than me probably thought I looked hideous. Another girl from across the table looked at me and tried to whisper to her mates who I was stood behind 'ha look at Eleanor's hair'. The other two girls turned round to look at me and quietly laughed. 

Wonderful Wednesday #26

Bonjour! Hola! Good day to you! How are you all? Just two teeny tiny days till we get a lovely four day weekend. Other than a little outing to Cambridge on Friday for a bit of retail therapy which I totally cannot afford, I don't have much planned. I'm sure, whatever I end up doing, it will be full of wonderful things. 

Oh, speaking of wonderful things...shall we delve in? It's short and sweet this week!

uk lifestyle blog blooming el

Podcasts

A while back, I jumped on the Serial bandwagon and it was the best thing I have ever layed my ears on. After seeing Michelle's lovely list of podcasts, I thought that I'd try and get back in to podcasts. G listens to sporty type ones nearly all the time and I really enjoyed Serial, so thought I'd see if I could find something else to listen to. I settled on S-Town, as this is put together by the same guys at Serial and This American Life. I finished it within a day, it was a really lovely but heartbreaking story and very weird in some parts. 

I'm currently listening to Undisclosed, which is another take on Adnan Syed's story. I had to listen to Serial again just to refresh my memory but on Undisclosed, they go in to so much more detail and I am loving it so far. I'm still unsure on whether I think he's guilty or not. What do you guys think?!

Wonderful Wednesday #25

Happy hump day! How are you all? Is April treating you well so far? I can't believe we're in the fourth month of 2017 already, it's just absolute madness this time malarky. MADNESS I tell you!

Shall we get on with it? Yeah go on then...


blooming el uk lifestyle blog

Lighter Evenings 

As much as I moan about the heat and the lighter evenings, by the time the clocks go back I find myself relishing the sun still being with us past five o'clock. There's just something so...magical about the sun setting amongst country roads and displaying that delicious pink-y, orange-y light. The picture above was taken after a late Sunday dinner in a little village pub, we were on our way out of the pub, when I spotted the sun setting upon the green fields, I ran across the car park to snap a couple of pictures. 


Spring Onion Mash

I'm really not a great lover of mash, I find it really bland and sometimes lumpy. When I ordered my meal on Sunday evening, I asked for the mash to be replaced with baby potatoes but this obviously didn't reach the kitchen. Whilst I was waiting for my baby potatoes, I thought I'd just give the mash a go, OH EM GEE IT WAS AMAZING. It was so smooth and buttery and had a really nice flavour, I felt a little guilty for only eating a few of the potatoes!

#DECHOX 2017 | How did I get on?

I did it! I survived 31 days without chocolate to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. It was a tough experience, going from about two bars of chocolate a day to no chocolate at all sure took its toll on my body. I tried to replace it with jam tarts, angel cake and plain biscuits but it just wasn't the same. I thought I'd give you all a little overview of each week and how I felt during my #DECHOX.

uk lifestyle blog blooming el

Week One

I found it really easy cutting out chocolate in the first week. Although I craved it, I wasn't in agony about it, I just had to find other ways of getting my sugar fix. 

Week Two

The second and third week were probably the toughest of them all. It felt like my lack of chocolate really took its toll on my body, I felt dizzy, lightheaded and just really low, almost as if I was on a bit of a comedown. It was also my time of the month and not being able to eat chocolate during this time was so hard as it's usually the first thing I reach for!

Wonderful Wednesday #24 | March's Moments

Wonderful Wednesday is back again and guess what? It's the last one of the month, which means it's time for a nice juicy round up of all those wonderful moments (plus a few extra from the past week). 

Let's get stuck in! 


Slogan Tee's 

Is that what they're called? Slogan tee's? Logo t-shirts? You know the plain t-shirts that have words or a little motif on them? Whatever they're called, I picked two of them up from Matalan and I just love pairing them with jeans and my Nike's or a pair of Converse. I'm trying to get in the habit of splitting my wardrobe in to 'work clothes' and 'everyday clothes', which means either buying more office style wear or a few t-shirts that I can slip on at the weekend. They were an absolute steal at £8 each! 

Porridge 

I have a love/hate relationship with porridge and am forever inspired by Sally's beautiful porridge combinations. However, I never ever seem to get it just right. We have those little pouches at home and I thought I'd attempt to make a bowl. Instead of shoving it in the microwave for two minutes, I made it in short 30 second bursts, stirring in between and it turned out just the way I like it! 

Wonderful Wednesday #23

I nearly skipped this week's Wonderful Wednesday. I'm not feeling too great at the minute, I was greeted on Sunday morning with a lovely sore throat and an achey everything. However, I thought what better way to make myself feel better than by conjuring up a list of lovely!

uk lifestyle blog blooming el

The 1975

WELL I KNOW WHEN YOU'RE AROUND 'CAUSE I KNOW THE SOUND, I KNOW THE SOUND OF YOUR HEART...

I downloaded their new album last Friday and have been happily jamming in my car ever since. It's definitely a lot better than their first album and puts me in a such a bubbly mood.

Belated Birthday Gifts

My friend Christine popped in earlier this week to drop of my birthday presents. My birthday was in February, so whilst she may not be the best at giving gifts on time, she is certainly the best at general gift giving. I received two perfect little books - one about interior design and a little gratitude journal. I can't wait to get stuck in! 

Wonderful Wednesday #22

It's that time of the week again. The time to look back on the past week and gather all of those wonderful moments. I'm not actually feeling too great, I feel like I have an achey everything at the moment and my head is a little fuzzy. It could be my turn to come down with something. Or it could perhaps be mother nature sending me a little sign that she's on her way...

ANYHO, let's get on with the wonderful shall we?

uk lifestyle blog blooming el

Designated Survivor 

Can I get a YAAAAAAAS? I'm so so so SO happy that this is back on our screens. It was mine and G's favourite television series last year and we couldn't wait for it to come back. It's just so sneaky and dramatic and corrupt, I LOVE IT. 

Me Before You 

Oh this book, it is lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. It was an easy read and a nice break after months of Harry Potter. I finished it in a week (I did contemplate giving myself a high five) and started The Fifteen Lives of Harry August straight after. 

I will read all the books on my bookshelf, I WILL! 

Grief

Grief. 

The word itself sounds harsh, troubling, a nuisance. When saying the word out loud, it doesn't automatically create a feeling of sorrow or loss but when one is grieving, this is exactly how they may feel and how the word is defined.

One thing I've learnt about grief, or grieving, is that it comes in waves. From the moment you have experienced a loss, it feels like you've boarded a roller coaster that hasn't reached it's peak yet, a roller coaster on a flat line, trudging along slowly.

This can't be happening. No, this is all wrong. I'm going to wake up in a minute, this is all a dream. 

Then the roller coaster tilts, your head embracing the sky above you. You're climbing higher and higher until you've reached the top of the first slope. Except you don't feel elated, you feel hurt and upset and you feel like it's the end of the world.

Wimpole Estate | A Blustery Afternoon

A few weeks ago, we received our National Trust membership packs, complete with two bright orange cards and a hefty brochure jam packed with details of the many places you can visit. 

On Sunday morning, we opened the brochure to find our destination of the day and after a few minutes of uhming and ahhing, we settled on Wimpole Estate in Royston, as it's only a thirty minute drive away from our hometown and we were already slowing creeping in to early afternoon.

Wonderful Wednesday #21

Good morning you lovely lot! I hope you're all having a fantastic week so far. I'm feeling like just jumping straight in today, so on with the wonderful...

uk lifestyle blog blooming el

#DECHOX

I survived my first full week of my #DECHOX! I have been craving chocolate quite a lot but I've managed to stay away from it. Admittedly, I've been trying to find other sweet things to give me my sugar fix but it's actually really hard! Only another 24 days to go...

A New Read

Hurrah! I finally finished Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows. I already miss the magical world of Hogwarts but I've just started reading Me Before You and am rather enjoying it so far. I did break my book ban at the weekend but second hand book stalls are my weakness AND I did only purchase one...

Wonderful Wednesday #20 | February's Moments

Aloha! Just like that, we're onto the third month of 2017. SERIOUSLY TIME, JUST SLOW DOWN OKAY, TAKE A CHILL PILL. 

We're finally in March, yet the weather seems to think it's December. I thought I'd seen the back of the cold weather last week - I ventured out on Saturday in my fluffy gilet, admiring the beautiful sunshine that soaked the rolling green hills, then BAM it's Monday and I'm feeling like I've hopped on a plane to the North Pole in just my underwear, f-f-f-freezing. 

However, now isn't the time to moan and groan about typical British weather. NOW is about all things wonderful and as I'm writing this on the last day of the month, it's time to round-up all of February's wonderfulness...

I'm Going on a #DECHOX

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a chocoholic. Whether it's a cake, a brownie, a bar or a biscuit, if it's got chocolate in it, I'll be munching on it quicker than you can say Galaxy.

I eat chocolate pretty much everyday, I certainly think about it everyday! When will I get to eat my next chocolate bar? Which one will it be? If I go out for dinner, I almost always opt for the chocolate option. There's just no other alternative in my eyes!

uk lifestyle blogger does dechox 2017


Wonderful Wednesday #19

I'm currently freezing my bottom off on a park bench to bring you this week's dose of wonderful. I've escaped the office on my lunch break to get some fresh air and give my irritatingly tired legs a bit of a stretch. It's cold, it's grey and a little bit wet but I'm enjoying not eating my lunch amongst four, white walls.

There's been a few other wonderful moments, other than this park bench one right now, shall we delve in?

uk lifestyle blog blooming el
'Do our bums look big in this?' - Sheep @ Stowe, Buckinghamshire

New Food

By new food, I mean a new place to eat such yummy goodness. I booked Friday and Monday off of work, to give myself lots of time to indulge in birthday chocolate and face the fact that I'm getting old.

G just so happened to be off on Friday too, so after lounging about for a few hours, we hopped in the car and took a little drive to a place called The Cricketers. The food was delicious but I did have really bad food envy because G's pizza looked SO good. We will definitely be returning and I will definitely be opting for a pizza!

I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22!

Today I celebrate my 22nd birthday. However, whilst my crows feet may be a little more defined and I'm slightly taller than my 10 year old self, I still feel like the same old quiet girl who's worn her hair the same way for the past 10 years (with one side clipped back). 

I often wonder what I might be like when I turn 30. If I'll still feel the same as I do now. If I'll still lack in confidence, or feel paranoid in a room full of new people. If I'll ditch the bobby pins and let the left side of my hair down. Will I still fail to spark a conversation with a stranger? Or is there a time, an age, where everything changes? It's like I'm expecting a small mystical man to flick a switch and BAM I'm forced into the land of adulthood. The land of confident conversations, a land where I actually FEEL like an adult. Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me?


I guess the one thing that has changed, as I've got older, is my outlook on life and everything that comes with it. I think it's true when they say that the older you get, the wiser you become because I've only been on this earth for 22 years but I've learnt a hell of a lot.

Wonderful Wednesday #18

Happy hump day! I hope that actually you haven't all got the hump and are feeling pretty lovely after yesterday! Whether you spent it with your other half, your friends, family or by yourself, I hope you had a lovely valentine's day and showed both yourself and others a little bit of TLC.

Let's share some more love today, love for the simple things...

Cottage Pie 

I am smashing it in the kitchen this year. For somebody who couldn't even heat up soup, I've definitely come a long way! On Sunday, I made a cottage pie from scratch and I'm pleased to say, it wasn't too shabby. I made it in two dishes and enjoyed the leftovers the following day, alongside green vegetables and butternut squash and spinach croquettes. DELISH. 


Crying with Laughter 

You know that feeling when you're laughing so hard you start to cry? Then you struggle to breathe and your stomach starts to ache. You know, possibly the BEST feeling ever? I experienced this for the first time in a while on Saturday afternoon. G had said something that wasn't even THAT funny but it really tickled me. 

Wonderful Wednesday #17

Happy Wonderful Wednesday! How are you all? I hope you're having great weeks so far. My days have been slow and quiet but at the same time, the week seems to be passing with a certain amount of speed. 

I think I'm a little on the tired side, it must be something to do with our weekend away in Bristol. I feel like I'm playing catch up, crawling in to bed just before 9pm and falling straight to sleep after an episode of one of our favourite series' (OH EM GEE, who else is super excited that The Walking Dead returns next Monday?). 

Shall we get on with all things bright and wonderful?

uk lifestyle blog wonderful wednesday

A Successful Escape Room

Whilst in Bristol at the weekend, myself and G booked ourselves in to the secret agent room at Puzzlair. We took part in our first escape room in Prague about four years ago and failed miserably. We then tried one in London, this time as a group of seven, and...yeah you guessed it, we failed miserably again. 

We hoped that Bristol would be third time lucky and it was! Hurrah! We finally did it. It was also the best room we'd taken part in, with lots of quirky tricks. I'm so glad we finally managed to escape, I can't help but feel this was the start of many successful escapes...

A Weekend in Bristol | A City for the Creatives

As much as I love hopping on a plane and going abroad, you cannot beat a stay-cation. Ever since our first little trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon four years ago, where we endured several hours on a coach and a hefty walk in the rain to our cottage, I have been keen to cover more of UK ground. There's just something so exciting about exploring the land you call home, discovering beautiful green land you didn't know existed and witnessing the bright lights of a bustling city you dream of residing in.

bristol graffiti banksy

Myself and G recently visited Bristol for a Valentine's/Birthday getaway. We'd much rather spend money on experiences than physical, materialistic items, which means that we get around a lot

Wonderful Wednesday #16 | January's Moments

Happy 1st of February all! I can't believe that one month of 2017 has passed already. I'm very happy to see the back of January, purely because February is my birthday month aka. the best month ever.

As I write my Wonderful Wednesday posts on Tuesday evenings, I decided that on the last Tuesday of every month, I would do a little round up of all the moments I've enjoyed. 

So, without further ado, I give you my January best bits...

blooming el uk lifestyle blog

Visiting Bury St Edmunds 

At the beginning of January, I took G and my brother on a little outing to Bury St Edmunds. My brother is moving to a small village just outside of Bury, so we had a little mooch to see what it was like. I'd definitely go back there for the day, it's a really pretty town with a good shopping area and a beautiful Cathedral. 

Wonderful Wednesday #15

This week's wonderful Wednesday is being written on wonderful Wednesday itself! Normally, Tuesday evenings are spent recalling all those happy, heart fluttering moments but last night, I spent the evening with my family to celebrate my brother's birthday. I did attempt to write when I got home but my brain was a little frazzled. 

My alarm clock hasn't gone off yet, obviously my body knows I have an important task to complete. On with the wonderful! 

UK lifestyle blog blooming El

Walking

On Friday evening, I was feeling a little restless so G suggested going for a walk. It was absolutely freezing and my eyes took a while to adjust to the darkness but it felt so good.

Wonderful Wednesday #14

Can anyone else believe we're practically half-way through January already? Madness. 

Shall we get on with it? YEAH, LETS. Accio wonderful moments! 


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The BEST Chocolate Cookies

On Friday evening, I indulged in some 'me-time' before G came home from work. I plonked myself in bed, caught up on some blog reading and munched on possibly the best chocolate cookie I've ever had. It was soft, just how I like my cookies, and had the perfect amount of white chocolate chunks. Next time you're in Tesco, don't forget to pick up a packet. You won't regret it. 

How to Have an Easier Morning

As a school child, waking up early was a breeze. My alarm would sound at around half six, I would stroll downstairs to the kitchen, grab some breakfast and settle in front of the television for a while. I was at school, which meant I didn't have to decide what to wear, my uniform would be ready and waiting for me and I would be out the door at eight o'clock.

When I left school and joined the 9-5 working world, I often found myself jumping in the shower at eight o'clock, struggling to get out the door before ten to nine. I grew tired of rushing around and not being able to enjoy my morning. I knew I could rise early and be ready by eight o'clock because I'd done it before, all those years ago! 

I decided that in the new year I would try my hardest to be more organised and implement a few changes which would stop me from rushing around and allow me to enjoy my mornings. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one like this and thought I'd share a few tips with you on how to have an easier morning...

uk lifestyle blog blooming el


Wonderful Wednesday #13

Ever since I joined the lovely Wonderful Wednesday crew, the weeks just seem to fly by! By the time I've finished writing one WW post, it's Wednesday again and time to put together another list of lovely. So here we go...

wonderful-wednesday-blooming-el

Mooching

I love that word. Mooching. Me and G did exactly that on Saturday. He finally had a weekend day off, hurrah! It's so difficult for us to get a day off together because whilst I have the weekends off, G works in retail and well, not working the weekend in retail is like office workers not working on a Monday!

A Message to Landlords, Estate Agents and Property Search Apps

Searching property apps like Rightmove and Zoopla and having a browse in the property section of my local newspaper are some of my favourite past times. I used to look at beautiful houses with five bedrooms and gravel drives, dreaming about the day I would be able to call one of them home. Now, I look at dream homes which are a little more within my reach.   

Myself and G are looking to get our own place this year. After a year or so of umming and ahhing over whether we should buy or rent, we've settled on renting. We want to be able to try out a few places before we even consider getting a mortgage (or until I become super rich and can buy one of those 5 bedroom mansions outright). 

I've been browsing various websites and my trusty property search apps for a while and I've noticed a few things about properties on the rent market which are really starting to grind those gears of mine. Using my very small, intimate online presence, I want to send a message to those involved in renting out properties, in the very acceptable and well loved form of a list...

UK Lifestyle Blog Blooming El

Wonderful Wednesday #12

Happy New Year all! It's the first Wonderful Wednesday of 2017 and I'm going to *try* to make it a good'un. 

How was your New Year's Eve? Did you chill out with Jools Holland on the sofa? Or throw some shapes on the dance floor, whilst sipping a cocktail or two? Whatever you did, I hope you had a fabulous time! 

I spent my evening at one of our local pub's, jigging to a live band with some of my favourite people. I then met a few of my friends and had another little boogie before returning home to my bed at 3am. I know, such a dirty little stop out. I'm not a big drinker and sipped lemonade most of the night, so I woke up the next morning hangover free, it doesn't get much more wonderful than that! Or does it? Let's see...

Back to Blogging 

In my last post, I explained why I had been absent from the blogging world for a while. I wasn't sure when I'd make my return. However, I knew I wanted to do an 'end of year' type post and I'm so glad that I did. I was going to wait another week till I got back in to my Wonderful Wednesday posts but thought, why? There's no time like the present after all! I'm looking forward to getting back in to the swing of things!