Month: January 2016

Budget Beauty – Coconut Oil

I only got on the coconut oil bandwagon recently and am sold. And now convinced it’s such an all-round wonder product! I had an unopened jar lurking in my kitchen cupboard, bought for culinary purposes but now it’s living in my bathroom. I will buy a new one for the kitchen! So I have done my research and tried out some of its claims to fame to enhance natural beauty and get me glowing! For the past few weeks I’ve ditched all conventional moisturisers in favour of coconut oil, which was the best decision ever, both for my skin and for my bank account! A 400g pot of coconut oil costs about £8 and lasts about two months if you use it as much as I do, so it’s so much cheaper than buying expensive moisturisers etc. The best thing is that that you can also completely downsize your wash bag when you travel and just take a pot of this! Decanted into a small plastic travel pot of course. Every night I use a small …

Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium

I just love to find a food store that sells everything that features Yorkshire somewhere on its journey to the plate. And this unassuming and classy shop, Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium, situated on the corner of Abbeydale and St Ronan’s Road in Sheffield is just this. A treasure trove of food greets you when you walk inside. The produce is laid out in a spacious, calm, welcoming ambience. No rows to navigate or unnecessary advertising here. Run by Paul Widdowson and his team of knowledgeable food lovers, Mr Pickles’ offers customers the chance to eat local at every meal. Mr Pickles stocks a range of meat, fish, dairy products, fruit & veg as well as artisan breads and beers, wines & spirits.  Everything sold in store is from Yorkshire:  from beef to buffalo, cheese to chorizo, lemongrass to lemon tart ice cream. I found the staff really friendly and welcoming. I loved the free recipes to pick up, printed on recycled brown paper. I was pleased to see Dungworth Farm’s ‘Our Cow Molly’ milk being …

January in the Garden

While we’re all tucked up inside with the central heating blaring and the candles flickering it’s nice to look ahead to the warmer months. I get pleasure in taking time to look at the bare bones of my garden in January to plan what I’m going to change, decide what has to go, think what new to try out and work out how to use every inch to its advantage. Happy days!  In My Garden I have a few glimmers of colour in my garden, which is very wet and soggy at the moment. Bringing the outdoors – indoors This is a nice way to transition from all of the colourful Christmas colours and décor. I just discovered these bulbs in pretty containers at my local farm shop, Bert’s Barrow. I was delighted to meet Shona of Fox Red Flowers who provides her pots and floristry to Bert’s Barrow. Shona has a lovely eye for design utilising her horticulture skills, with spring bulbs and plants in colourful pots and reclaimed dishes and boxes. The bonus is …

Tea is Good for You

Halfway into the second week of the New Year, many resolutions have likely already fallen by the wayside. Luckily for those already off the diet and exercise bandwagon, there is an easy way to keep up heart health resolutions: Drink more tea. I’ve just discovered this interesting research, so get the kettle on and make a brew. In December, a group of Chinese doctors published findings in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showing that habitual tea consumption may protect against arterial stiffness, an important component of cardiovascular health. (More pliable, elastic arteries allow for easier blood flow; stiff arteries require the heart to work harder and can lead to stroke.) Achieving arterial health is often done through prescription drugs or major lifestyle changes, including better diet and exercise habits and lower alcohol consumption. Tea’s flavonoids, a class of chemicals that originates in plants and are abundant in tea, have previously been shown to lead to positive results almost immediately. The researchers used a population of 5,006 subjects from the Fujian Province in China …

New Year at The Lakeside

My 2015 ended in Cumbria, ending a year of challenges for myself, friends and family. So to spend a few chill out days in an amazing location, with stunning views overlooking the southern tip of Lake Windermere, was an invite I could not refuse. A peaceful and idyllic place for a New Year unwind. The Lakeside Hotel is that for me. I jump at any chance to go back to the Lakes, my homeland. The festive house party was just amazing….the staff were ‘genuinely’ friendly, service excellent and high house standards maintained throughout. Originally a 17th Century coaching house you can feel the history throughout this hotel with its beautiful entrance foyer and large hallways with numerous fires blazing and filled with fresh flowers and plants. Loved all the terracotta Yorkshire flowerpots, and recalling memories of sitting in the snug of the wood panelled bar frequented in my youth! With its own pool, spa and restaurant together with the incredible views I can completely understand why people don’t want to leave The Lakeside. The views across …