Friday, 31 July 2015

The Bertinet Bakery & Bath shopping

There's nothing I like more than a shopping trip in my favourite city, on a summer's day Bath is just beautiful. We pottered around all our favourite shops, did a bit of bridesmaid shopping , had lunch and of course finished off the trip with a salted caramel brownie from our favourite place in Bath, The Bertinet Bakery.
We of course popped into LUSH, which may I say is the biggest LUSH I have ever been in. The bonus of Bath having such a huge store was that we weren't all suffocating around the bath bomb section, there was so much space and much more variety than my local lush store, they even sold makeup! 
I didn't want to disappoint but I didn't take a picture of my brownie this time around, but instead the beautiful bakery itself. Not your generic bakery, but built in one of baths old tunnels, its tall ceilings with dangling lights accompany the cosy seating and large windows for people watching. They serve your coffee in takeaway cups with old fashioned milk bottles and cake with paper plates, its quaint, simple and beautiful I LOVE it. 
We finished they day by visiting a beautiful flower stool on Walcot St, the flowers looked amazing in the sun and I couldn't resist a photo.

 The famous Bertinet Bakery ^^

Have you been to Bath? What do you LOVE about it?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Good morning !

Morning all, it's 8.30 AM and I have already been up for two hours, been to the gym, had breakfast and showered! Result. I am off to Bath today for a girly day with family, the best kind of day. At present, it even looks like the sun may be peeking out of the clouds for us, which brings my so far productive day to a halt, what do I wear!? I hope I'm not the only person who currently has this daily struggle. With the weather being so unpredictable I have ended up wearing knitwear in 20+ degrees and shorts in the rain! They have promised us a heat wave in August, were almost there so I think I'll be optimistic and opt for a more summery outfit. 

We are still without WIFI  at the house, which as well as me being off work at the moment has contributed to a massive lack of blogging. I've been super busy - what can I say?

To see what I've been up to on my time off work, take a look at my Instagram or Twitter @Fairybumpkin
Have a great day:-)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

What I've been eating on Instagram!


From top to bottom

Picture 1. We had dinner at The Mezze in our local town before the theatre, I love eating here as you get to sample a bit of everything and it is truly tasty!
Picture 2 & 3. Liam's burger at The Burger Joint and their incredible menu. You completely customise your own burger, the lunch offer includes a side and a drink - Warning - the sides are Humongous!
Picture 4. Nibbles with Sammy & Kate at The Grain Barge in Bristol, I thought I was getting a small side of bread and olives as you can see I got a very large portion but perfect for sharing! Their home made hummus was delightful!
Picture 5. I was experimenting with Avacado, which I have never really liked, but for the health benefit gave it another go. On top of some wholemeal toast topped with an egg I really enjoyed it!
Picture 6. Cauliflower rice, my new favourite side dish, it tastes just as yummy as rice, with less carbs and bloating. I added lentils and spinach it was really tasty!
Picture 7. We had a naughty treat at TGI Fridays, this was their Hot dog with pulled pork, I loved how it was served, but couldn't manage the chips once I had reached the bottom!
Picture 8. Hobbs House Bakery Eccles cake. We stopped off at a service station on the way to West Midlands Safari park and I couldn't resist a pastry from one of my favourite bakers!
Picture 9. Home made fudge - need I say more. I didn't buy any unfortunately but it looked lovely!
Picture 10. Yummy Nando's Mediterranean Salad, with plenty of feta and olives! We had a side of their new sweet potato wedges also, they were amazing!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

West Midlands Safari Park

I had such a great day at West Midland's Safari Park recently, I had to share some of my favourite pictures! If you haven't been before, you should definitely go as it is well worth a visit.
- Featuring my best friends :) 

 The new Dinosaur area!
 Bambi <3

 Don't forget to buy some feed for the animals on your way in, you can feed the Giraffe's and Zebras! Keep your hand out of the window though, as some can be a bit cheeky and stick their head right into your window... As we found out the hard way!

 My favourite The Giraffes
Had to put this on, it made me laugh :)

For more information about West Midland Safari Park check out their website!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Summer reading list...

Over the last year or so I have fallen back in love with reading. For years I found it hard to find a genre and style of book that would keep me gripped and interested right to the end. I started by searching in charity shops for books as I didn’t want to spend a lot on a book I was never going to finish! Over the last year I’ve read a number of really great books and I’m so glad I got back into reading as I find it so relaxing.

I’m currently reading ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls; it is based on two people Emma and Dexter. The story tells of the same date every year, year after year and follows both their lives. I’m yet to finish this book, but I am really enjoying it!

I decided to write a summer reading lists of books I would like to get to read over the summer! There’s nothing better than sitting in the garden on a sunny day or grabbing a picnic and sitting somewhere quiet and serene to read! I thought I would share with you the books on the top of my list to read this summer!

The Great Gatsby
 In my younger and more venerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
Set in the roaring 20’s, which I love, I think this book will trump the film.

The Hobbit
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
 I have always wanted to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it makes sense to read The Hobbit first and I love the films so I’m sure the books will be amazing.

To Kill a Mockingbird
When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. 
 I have not read this book since I was in school! I remember really enjoying this book so if I get the chance it would be great to pick up a copy and read it again.

Are there any books you would recommend?

What are you reading over summer?

Saturday, 18 July 2015

How to D.I.Y Wedding invites & Save the Dates

One of my favourite parts of the wedding prep was making our Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations. Now we have, hopefully, sent all of them out to our guests I can share how I made them, where I purchased various things and any helpful hints and tips I found useful along the way. 
We started by going on Pinterest and trying to get a theme for both the save the date and the invite. We pinned hundreds of different styles, Black and white, Country, Gatsby theme , I really loved using Pinterest for this as you could have something really original and fun. 

Save the dates
We decided we liked the idea of a save the date stamp, this meant getting a PDF stamp made and buying card and ink and hand stamping our save the dates. I love making things by hand and this was so easy. We ordered our save the date stamp on Etsy.com, we also used their website for our invites! Once we had ordered and given the details of our wedding, names, date etc our stamp was created and sent within 3 weeks, we brought our ink and card and off we went! Within an hour I had stamped away and made all our save the dates! This was really inexpensive, fun and personal we loved them! 

Wedding Invitation
As I did with the save the dates, I pinned away until we found the kind of design we were looking for. We also used a company from Etsy.com, we just loved how simple it was, you can virtually scroll through and they make your wedding invite from the template you have chosen. We chose to have ours as a PDF and print it out ourselves but they do give you the option to have them printed professionally, possibly the easier option, but hey I like a challenge. This is where I reeled in the bridesmaids, I think they thought they just got to parade around in a pretty dress, oh no! We spent several hours, maybe even days cutting and sticking until our hands were sore, but finally finished them. We were so pleased with the results and everyone said how ‘us’ they were! I had to say I hope they were ‘us’ after the tedious hours we spent cutting and sticking. Although doing it this way was a bit stressful we saved a lot of money doing them ourselves, but still had the quality we wanted! 

Best resources for D.I.Y invites

Pinterest – Obviously
Etsy – If not for purchasing, for great inspiration and ideas. I love their website and will definitely be using them again for other bits for the wedding!
Hobbycraft – For your card, ink, glue, scissors, glitter or anything else you might want for decoration
The Range – I used the range for things I couldn’t find in Hobbycraft
Friends, Family & the Hubby to be – Most of your friends and family will be more than happy to get stuck in and help! Don’t let your future hubby get away with not getting involved, the ‘I might ruin them’ doesn’t cut it!

Have you made your invites? What has been your favourite part of your wedding planning!? 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

We went to the Zoo...

In what was some of the hottest temperatures the UK had seen in years, we decided to go to the Zoo! Who needs to go abroad!? Instead of moping about because we weren't going on holiday, we took the week to enjoy some of the sun and enjoy our local area on some little day trips.

As a child I was never a fan of the zoo, I thought caging animals was cruel and the conditions they were forced to live in were just horrible. Thankfully, Zoos have a whole new image nowadays; they concentrate more on the conservation and reproduction of animals, educating people and fundraising. As well as trying to let animals live in the most natural environment as possible, they also have projects in over 15 countries in the world, helping to save wildlife with local communities. 

We had a great day at Bristol Zoo, as well as visiting the animals; we had a picnic in their lovely gardens. Here’s what we got up to…

 Thanks Bristol Zoo!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Coffee shops & Wedding countdown

I love to sit in a cafe with a nice cup of tea or coffee as I people watch. Today, is a Latte kind of day, its pretty wet and grim outside, yet humid and I'm back in my dirty converse and checked shirt. The Barista made no particular effort with my coffee today and it tastes pretty average, I worked in a Coffee shop for about a year so not only am I a coffee snob but I love a good bit of latte art. As I'm sat here today I'm among mainly the 9-5 workers off society, sipping coffee and having video conversations on their laptops, however, one has just asked how to spell 'Jagerbombs' J-ager-bombs, she says aloud, quite amusing. 

Mainly, I'm sat here sorting out my wedding list for the next month or so. I can't quite believe I only have four months to go. Dress fittings, food tasting, table plan making, hair and makeup trials all have to be fitted in within four months. It's hard not to think back to almost two years ago when Liam first proposed, I massively underestimated the work that really goes into a wedding, the stress, the money, the aunt that you haven't seen in five years but must attend the wedding. It excites me that most of the stress and anxiety that comes along with planning a wedding is almost over, but I also get emotional this experience is almost at an end. I will never get to send out wedding invites again, the dress I have purchased I will wear for one day and probably never wear again, unless I'm bored and no one is around that is ... 

Thankfully with the downsides, there is also a massive amount of excitement and happiness that outweighs everything. How will day will turn out? I know it is going to be the most amazing day shared with friends and family and the best part is the unknown, what will married life bring? I am so excited for every part of a marriage and what seems like a stressful time has shown me what amazing friends and family we both have that have carried us to this moment. 

I plan to enjoy every moment in the next four months, as much as my control freak brain will allow. I'm never going to do any of this again, so I want to take millions of photos of every step and share the next four months with my closest friends and family and of course my hubby to be. 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Summer Scrumptious Victoria Sponge

I love a good piece of Victoria sponge, so along with my new electric whisk, I embarked on what was to be my greatest sponge yet. All members of the WI look away now, I did add some delicious homemade whipped cream, personally it wouldn’t be the same without it. Here’s how I did it…

You will need

For the cake

200g Self-Raising Flour
200g Caster Sugar
200g Softened Butter
4 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Milk

For the filling

Jam – I used strawberry, but you may use whichever you prefer and as much as you like, I used about five heaped Tbsp.
One pot of whipping cream
Some strawberries thinly sliced
Icing sugar to finish

How to make it

Mix all ingredients together, until your cake mix is soft and fluffy

Grease your tin with butter and attach grease-proof paper, I find this technique helps the sponge come away from the tin really easily

Cook at 170 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, keep checking and leave in until you can stick a knife into the centre of the cake and the knife comes out clean

Once your cake is ready, take out of the oven and remove from the tin onto a cooling rack
Leave your cake to cool for at least 30 minutes

Whilst your waiting for your cake to cool, whip your cream, I used my electric whisk which took under five minutes ( it’s amazing) sometimes I add some vanilla essence to add some sweetness to the cream, also thinly slice your strawberries

Once your cake is cooled, cut in half
Once your cake is cut into two layers smooth your whipped cream onto the bottom half, add your jam on top of the cream, but leaving an inch from the edge of the cake as the jam does tend to ooze out
Place the top of your cake on gently, add the strawberries as decoration, or even pop some in the middle of the cake and dust with icing sugar to finish

Enjoy J

Friday, 10 July 2015

Holiday Essentials

Over the years I have learnt the most used and the most overrated products that you need for your summer holiday! It’s really easy to be tricked into over buying ‘summer’ and ‘beach ready’ products, so I have filtered through and picked my favourite products that will benefit your summer holiday.

Sun cream

OK, this might be an obvious one, but there are so many on the market how do you choose!? Sprays, gels, creams, I think the main focus is that you get an appropriate factor for your skin! Yes, you will get a tan with sun cream on so make sure you re apply when necessary and don’t forget your eyelids, trust me you don’t want to burn your eyelids! My favourite sun cream is Piz Buin, I love the smell, the coverage and the tan I get when using it! If you’re not a fan of the sun but ghostly white, fake it with some fake tan!

After sun

I only realised how heavenly this item is the past few years, despite wearing sun cream I do have extremely pale skin, so do tend to burn. After sun cools your skin and repairs the burnt skin, it also moisturises and prevents your skin peeling. Again, I use Piz Buin as I usually buy sun cream and after sun in a deal or offer!

Shampoo and conditioner minis

Although they can be a bit pricey I think these are the greatest invention! They take up less space in your suitcase, avoid shampoo explosions and you can leave them or throw them away once your holiday is over! They are great if you are just taking hand luggage and you can now get them in your high end brands as well as high street, Aussie, John Frieda, Batisse and Head and shoulders are usually available in most stores.


Whether its an exfoliating wash, cream or scrub brush, you MUST exfoliate over the summer, before and after your holidays especially. Not only will you get an amazing tan, but it stops your skin from getting dry and peeling. I really like some of the Body shop exfoliating scrubs!


    What are your summer holiday essentials!?

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Flashback to my new years resolutions...

As we are now over half way through the year, I thought it may be time to take a look back at some of the targets I set for myself in the New Year. Have I stuck to them? How has my lifestyle improved? Do I feel happier and Healthier?

I took a look back at my New Year’s blog post, Its really strange looking back at something that was written over 6 months ago and thinking where has that time gone? I was really pleased to see that all the improvements I wanted to make and goals I wanted to achieve have been achieved, or are in the process of being achieved.

I used to be terrible at drinking water, to be honest, I rarely used to drink one cup a day. I now easily drink three bottles a day and can happily say I have noticed a difference in my skin, hair and my metabolism. I am really pleased I have stuck with this and I am super pleased with the results.

Makeup free? I cannot believe I am sat here, confirming that I leave my skin makeup free over two days a week. I really used to shy away from people when I had no makeup on. I used to pretty much wear makeup everyday unless I was feeling unwell, even to the gym!! Now, I happily wear no makeup to work up to three times a week! Even on my days off I sometimes just pop a bit of mascara on! I have not only noticed a massive difference in my skin, but also a difference when I have my makeup on. I have an inner confidence now without makeup and this feels great!

I was really keen in the New Year, to lose a bit of weight healthily. I have since the New Year used the My Fitness Pal app most days, exercised 3-4 times a week and now just six months on notice a massive difference in the way I look. If you haven't already check out my 'You can do it' post to see how I dropped my weight to fit into my perfect wedding dress! But lets be honest, I definitely have days where I don’t eat well, I still enjoy a cake or some chocolate but by maintaining exercise at the gym I have managed to keep the weight off and couldn’t be happier!

The only thing I can say I am not so pleased with is that I still use social media, A LOT. But hey, I couldn’t achieve everything I set out to do, but maybe in six months’ time I could say I’m getting better with this.

I have really enjoyed taking a look back; I am glad I wrote a post that I could reflect on and make new goals from, I may even set some new goals for the next six months…

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The hills are alive...with the sound of music...

I have only been to the theatre once in my life, it was Cinderella,  I was about 10 and the highlight was getting Dominic Woods autograph ( You know the guy from Dick & Dom). I have always wanted to go again, there are a few performances I have always wanted to see, but in particular The Sound of Music.
 Since I was little it has been one of my most favourite films and even now at 22 I still could happily dance around my living room singing ' I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN SUNSHINE' and so on. Its not only the songs that make this film amazing, I was always mesmerized by the characters and the story they told. The movie truly holds a big place in my heart, so as you can imagine I was elated when Liam booked tickets for us at the Hippadrome to watch it!

 I went in open minded as I knew no-one could compare to Julie Andrews. The singing from the majority of the cast was really fantastic, the songs were sung amazingly and the overall atmosphere was fun and happy, just like the film. I don’t think anything will ever compare to the movie for me, but I would recommend people watch it as it really is a great experience. I’m already looking into my next theatre trip, perhaps to London this time.

I would love to see Les Miserables and Wicked, does anyone have any recommendations?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Moving house , no wifi & enjoying the sun

I can't believe I haven't posted in over a week, it honestly feels like Yonks! 
We have had a busy few weeks, moving house, also out enjoying this beautiful weather and a cheeky holiday as well. But here comes the bad news, we have also had NO WIFI.... Duh duh duh... This really has been quite refreshing, making conversation, not meaningfully scrolling through our facebook feeds etc but it has made it impossible for me to blog! Try blogging on your iPhone 4 with 3G, no thankyou. However, I did want to share a bit of what I have been up to .. As much as I can via an iPhone.. I wonder what we would all do now without technology!?