Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Climbing Mountains

This is a slightly more personal post than usual, not that I'm sharing anything deep, just a few snaps from my recent holiday to Italy with my boyfriend Joe, or The Man as I usually call him.

We stayed in a beautiful apartment overlooking Lake Orta (we booked it from this local website, which I'd really recommend if you're looking for lovely apartments in Italy) and we were both set on a week of relaxation, eating a little too much and sampling as much local cheese and wine as physically possible. But, seeing as we like a challenge, on one of the days we decided to climb a mountain. As you do.

We ventured over to one of the larger lakes in Italy not too far away from Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore and the town of Stresa to climb Mount Mottarone. Apparently the more sensible people take the cable car to the top and walk down the mountain, we decided to walk up and get the cable car down instead. Mavericks. Described as an 'easy route suitable for tourists and climbers' we expected it to be rather pleasant, it's definitely not suitable for any old tourist, you need at least a good level of fitness to get to the top! The climb takes four hours and the ascent is nearly a mile and a half in total, with one delightful 45 minutes of constant steep climb, joy. But by the time we reached the top, enjoyed the view and swiftly found a cold pint to celebrate, the pain of the climb had gone and we were rather delighted with ourselves!

I wore my new Nike running tights and trusty Nike Free 5.0 Trainers from JD Sports, Eastpak backpack and Monki burgundy top, because I'm all about the A/W shades whatever the weather or occasion. Please excuse my silly, sweaty face in the photos above, I've never climbed a mountain before so I was pretty excited!

I'd really recommend a little adventure around the Italian lakes, and if you happen to have a spare four hours and like a bit of a challenge, definitely give Mount Mottarone a go, the views are absolutely incredible! You can see multiple lakes, Switzerland and the alps, so worth the climb. Or just get the cable car which is around 12 Euros, not too bad for views that good.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Exploring Manchester with Grafea

After a wonderful week in beautiful Italy, we're home and have been greeted to a grey, rainy Manchester, as usual. Arriving home in our adopted city took me back to a few weeks ago when I explored Manchester with the lovely Grafea team to capture an area of the city that you may not have seen before.

This lovely little square in Ancoats is hidden away behind the busy main road, just a little further up from the Northern Quarter and is complete with cute terraced houses, electric blue fences and cobbled streets. I road tested the Grafea leather camera bag in pink for the afternoon and it is an absolute dream. I'd been contemplating getting one (as we have stocked them at work on MyBag for years) for a little while now so being able to experiment with it means I know it's definitely one for my shopping list!

Time to catch up with emails, work and post holiday house work, wish me luck!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday Baking: The Best Oreo Cupcakes Recipe

Ahh, I love Sundays. They have become my day for catching up, planning ahead and getting everything prepared for the week. I tend to start my days by sneaking out of bed early to catch up on emails in front of America's Next Top Model (guilty pleasure!) before The Man wakes up, then we have a little breakfast and get all of the chores out of the way, anyone else seem to spend all of their wages in Sainsbury's on nonsense?

Sundays are perfect for shooting blog photos, writing up posts and catching up on bits of work that I didn't have time to get round to during the week. I tend to keep my outfits comfy and casual from head to toe, with my current favourite socks from Chatty Feet, who appear to have made a pair of socks that look just like me! Just take a look at my twitter profile picture to see...

Recently I've been spending my Sunday afternoons baking to create recipes for one of the blogs at work, last weekend I tried out a recipe for Oreo cupcakes and I thought I'd share it with you as they were kind of amazing... Especially the frosting, it is a dream even if I say so myself! You can read my recipe for Oreo cupcakes over on The Hut blog here if you fancy having a go at making them yourself!


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