Style | Stuck in a rut

Monday, 22 May 2017 | 2 comments


Hi!

I've definitely been stuck in a bit of a style rut with my work outfits recently. I keep reaching for the same things and I'm getting a little bit bored to be completely honest. It sounds kind of weird but I find that if I feel good in my outfit it makes me feel a bit better about the day ahead.



I purchased this dress from ASOS months ago. I liked the colour, the style and it was on sale but it was too cold to wear it at the time. I popped it in the back of my wardrobe and then completely forgot about it. Last weekend I having a good old root through my wardrobe, trying to gain some inspiration for work outfits, when I found this dress. It is quite casual but I think the addition of a belt and my favourite shoes made it a little bit smarter for work.






Lifestyle | Deaf Awareness Week

Thursday, 18 May 2017 | No comments


Hi!

There is going to be a long intro to this but, bear with me, I do get to the main point of post very soon!

Back in 2006 I set myself up with a dating profile on Match.com, internet dating was still relatively 'new' in those days. I had no idea what to expect, I wasn't hoping to meet Mr Right (or Mr Wrong!). After 2 weeks  I went on my first date, describing himself as tall, dark, handsome and 25 I remained hopefull even though his picture was a little fuzzy. My hopes were crushed faster than Usain Bolt running the 100 metres, not only was he not tall, he was actually 20 and still at Uni, ughhh. I almost gave up after this but then I gave Mr C a wink and 2 weeks later we were off on our first date!

Now, I'm not a believer in love at first sight, unless I'm looking at handbags or dogs! But over our first meal Mr C gazed into my eyes with such an intensity I was a little overwhelmed so I just assumed he must have fallen in love with me after a 2 hour date! It wasn't until our second date that Mr C told me that he was hard of hearing, awkward, there was me thinking it was love at first sight but actually the intense gazing was him trying to read my lips and listen to my quiet voice, I was very nervous on our first date and the more nervous I am the quieter I get!

It was definitely a shock for me at first, I've never told him this but, my initial thought was to text him to say I didn't want to see him again but, he was so lovely and attentive on the first two dates I didn't want to give up on him. It was hard, I would always try to face him when I spoke to him, a must for anyone with hearing loss, I tried to speak a little louder but not too much and had to stop myself from over enunciating my words, a really awful way of belittling a deaf/hard of hearing person. We managed though, he soon got used to my voice, we would text all the time, phone calls were few and far between but, that was ok, I knew I had found Mr Right, sorry if you are vomiting by now!

Another obstacle I faced was meeting Mr C's father and sister, both of whom are deaf. I had to get used to a loud household, voices were raised, not in an angry way but so that everyone could be heard. I had to get used to watching programmes with subtitles, 10 years later and I still have to stop myself from just reading the subtitles, I even put them on when Mr C is not around, force of habit I think!

I've gotten used to being Mr C's ears when we are out and about, because he doesn't wear hearing aids people don't know that he is hard of hearing. With my bad eyesight he has become my eyes! I have learnt so much about the deaf community since we've been together, something I probably would have never done if we'd never met.

So there is my little story for Deaf Awareness week. If you want to find out more or maybe learn some sign language head to BDA website.




Lifestyle | Saint Pauls House Review

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 | No comments

Hi!

Back in March, Mr C and I travelled to Birmingham for the Style XL awards. We decided to make the most of the weekend so we stayed Saturday and Sunday night, mainly so that we could chill out. The weeks leading up to the weekend had been manic so a weekend of reading, eating and having fun seemed very appealing.

Choosing a hotel was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. We wanted to find somewhere with on-site parking (Mr C is very protective of where he parks his car) that wasn't too far from the venue and, in the end, we decided on Saint Pauls House in Saint Pauls Square. It is conveniently located about 5 minute drive from where the awards venue was.

The reviews were very very mixed but it looked nice and ticked all the boxes so we decided to book it. I was very nearly going to change my mind and book somewhere else, but Mr C persuaded me to stick with it!

We arrived around 13.45 and got a decent car parking space. It was very easy to get to, only taking us just under an hour to get there even with a little bit of traffic. There was a small car park located at the back of the hotel, at £12 a night it is pricey but worth it to know where your car is.



Check in was easy and quick, within 10 minutes we had our room key and made our way up to the room. The first issue we encountered was the lift, it is very small so if you are claustrophobic stay clear of it! Also, if you have to pack 100 different outfits like I do then it will just be you and your suitcase in the lift, Mr C had to wait and come up after me, yep, it really is that small.

So, our room. Basic but with the essentials. We were overlooking the church and square which was nice. There were a lot of good and bad things about the room so, lets start with the bad. The bed is quite low and wasn't the most comfortable. It also seemed to be quite a small double as well, now I know that Mr C and I are both big but our bed at home is a normal double and it's fine. I had to make sure I slept in one position all night so as not to knock Mr C out of bed! The ends of the bed were covered by a blanked which meant that my poor knee felt the edge first before I could see it. It was also in an awkward position so you had to shuffle along to get to the other side.










The TV was also super high on the wall, you literally had to lie flat on the bed to see it! When I sat up I had to put my head so far back to look up at it, I gave up and read my book instead.

By far the biggest problem we had was the noise on Saturday night. Now I had read some reviews saying it could be noisy on a Saturday night but I didn't expect it to be so bad! We had a combination of people chatting out the front of the hotel, cars and taxis tooting their horns (at 3.00am might I add) and then music and shouting from the Jam House across the road. Luckily, I took my earplugs with me so I missed a lot of it until Mr C woke me up (he had been awoken by the noise) and, as soon as I took them out, I was greeted by a barricade of noise. It took us both a long time to get back to sleep after that. We didn't experience any of this on Sunday night thank goodness!

Now for some good bits. The bathroom was nice, simple and fairly clean (the shower could have been a bit cleaner but maybe that's just me!). The d├ęcor was lovely, very similar to what I would like to have at home. There was also plenty of hanging space and a nice little desk area to do my makeup.




On Saturday night we decided to eat in the hotel restaurant. There were quite a lot of places nearby but they were pretty much fully booked. The menu was quite limited, there were only a few things that I could eat and the same for Mr C, he ended up going for a burger and I had the beef brisket. Mr C said that his burger was "ok" and my brisket, even though it was tender, had this horrible fatty bit stuck in the middle and I almost didn't eat it because of that. Overall it was fine but didn't really satisfy us so Mr C ended up running down the local Co-Op to stock up on crisps and chocolate! We also had to endure a really rude waitress, warm wine, music from the bar area that was so loud we couldn't have a proper conversation and, to top it all off, there was a 10% service charge added to the bill!




Sunday morning breakfast was again ok but was definitely nothing to write home about, though it was edible and kept us filled up for most of the day. My scrambled eggs however were more like an omelette that had been chopped up and chucked on some toast.




My very tired sleepless face!




Would I stay here again? No, in all honesty, as I didn't think that it was worth what we paid for it. The food and the attitude of the staff (at dinner) really let the place down. Which is a shame as it is such a gorgeous hotel and the reception staff were super helpful and friendly. If they could sort out the noise situation from the Jam House then it wouldn't be so bad, that's the main thing that ruined our stay.

You can read more about the hotel here.

Much Love

Natalie

x

Style | The Breakfast Outfit

Thursday, 4 May 2017 | No comments


Hi!

Earlier this week I posted my review about our visit to the Hayloft Restaurant, you can read about it here.


I wanted to post about my outfit but didn't want to make it too long so I thought that I would do a separate post!



I've written so many times now about how I love Sainsburys clothes that you've probably had enough of me saying it! Anyway, I went in there a few weeks ago to buy a few bits of food and came out with a new skirt (as per usual).




This was a last minute outfit that I threw together for breakfast and, as we had the camera with us, I asked Mr C to take a few pictures as I loved how it all came together! I wouldn't have usually put trainers with the skirt but I've seen a lot of people doing this recently and I love how it looks.



T-Shirt - ASOS
Skirt - Tu at Sainsburys (available in store)
Coatigan - New Look (Old)
Trainers - Nike - ASOS
Bag - Boutique (old)


Much Love

Natalie

x

Lifestyle | Breakfast Time at The Hayloft Restaurant

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 | No comments

Hi!

Mr C and I love nothing better than finding new places for a good Saturday morning breakfast, recently we've found a couple of really places in the Buckingham and Brackley areas. If it's good then we are prepared to travel a little bit to get there!

A few weeks ago we headed to one of our favourite places in Buckingham only to find that it was closed, cue a majorly disappointed face from Mr C! I immediately got my phone out and tried to find somewhere not too far away and with good reviews.

One of the first places to pop up was the Hayloft Resturant at Boycott Farm, coming up as only being less than a 10 minute drive away from where we were. We headed back to the car, set the sat nav up, and drove straight there.


Set off the beaten track we drove into a large courtyard space and was greeted by the beautiful display of flowers and the smell of food!

Inside was just as lovely, it looks as though it's a converted barn, the downstairs is a farmshop and upstairs a small seating area for the restaurant.




We both opted for a Boycott breakfast, of course I had to sample the black pudding, finding some that is good quality and tasty is so hard so I kept my fingers crossed for this!



Ok, so all I'm going to say is that this is the best black pudding and breakfast that I have ever eaten. The pudding has a rich flavour to it, you can definitely tell the difference between the quality of this compared to shop bought stuff from Aldi for example. The scrambled eggs were perfect, light, fluffy and fresh. A good quality sausage and fried bread were the perfect additions, you can change what you have, Mr C had beans and bacon. I'm not a fan of fried bread normally, I think the first time I ever tried it was at a service station breakfast, my first and last one, and it was not pleasant. But, this however was crispy on the outside, fluffy inside and had the most mouth watering buttery taste, yum! Since our first visit we've been back again, and I can definitely say that this will be a new go to place for us!

We also picked up some cakes and black pudding from the farm shop, the cakes didn't last very long at all!



You can read more about the restaurant and farm here. If you are local in the Buckingham area, or visiting/ passing through, I would highly recommend!

Much Love

Natalie

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