Monday, 30 January 2012

My Weekend In Food Photographs







Saturday

9:00 am
3 slices of weetabix with semi skimmed milk
freshly made smoothie with strawberries and banana

1:00pm
pita bread with reduced fat hummus 
side salad of lettuce, olives and beetroot

4:00pm
bio live yogurt with sliced banana

7:00pm
fish cake with a side salad



Sunday

9:00am
corn flakes with semi skimmed milk

2:00pm
beetroot on toast

5:00pm
home made smoothie with strawberries and banana

7:00pm
home made vegetable soup
with a side of pita bread



Recipes for the smoothie, soup and some other lovely food will be up on my blog soon!
I hope you've all had a really lovely Monday! Enjoy the rest of your week!





x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Weekly Roundup








Overall, this week has been a very long and tiring one! In fact, I'm rather disappointed I was unable to do all the things I would have liked to have done, but overall, I think I've done quite well considering I had to fit it all in with work as well! 


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On Monday, I had an unexpected call from work at a very early hour in the morning to ask if I could cover someone, and so my plans for the day had slightly gone out the window, or so I thought. After I finished work, I was determined to go for a walk with my dad to try out our new walking shoes. So we headed towards Bethesda and Cwm Idwal. I'm really glad we had time to go, since we had heavy rain all week otherwise....! Oh, the joys of the weather in north Wales!

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On Wednesday, me and my dad went for a little coffee at a local cafe I had always wanted to go to. I was very impressed. My dad had a lovely cup of coffee with a cute little heart shaped biscuit (since it was Santes Dwynwen and all - The Welsh Valentines Day) And I had a freshly made smoothie! Yum yum...! 
I think I'm going there again for lunch on Monday so I'll have to take more pics!

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I made my own smoothie over the weekend. I've always really been into making smoothies, and had invested in a better smoothie maker/ blender a year or so ago. 
I love how a smoothie can boost my energy, and it's such a good way to get your five a day easily! I'll be posting my recent recipes up on here soon as well as posting a 'weekend in food photographs' tomorrow hopefully!

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For the first time in a while, I have found the time to pick up my knitting needles and knit myself some little winter warmers! I had been wanting to knit a little bobble hat for quite some time, and so the stripy little thing you can see in the photograph is an unfinished bobble hat minus the bobble! 
I also found a fairly easy mitten pattern online (I've always dreamt of knitting my own mittens but have been putting it aside since I thought it would be too hard or complicated!) But, I did it! Well, I've only knitted one so far! I'm fairly happy with the result but there are a few things I'd change for next time. I'll post the pattern up soon and let you in on what I would do differently next time!

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One of the main reasons why I've suddenly had the urge to knit is the fact that it's so incredibly cold here in north Wales. All of the sudden, we have been hit by extreme winter weather, heavy rain and strong winds. As you can see, this is a view of Snowdon with snow on the top....Uh oh, I hope we don't get any snow soon...!

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As I'll be posting a 'weekend in food photographs' possibly tomorrow, I thought I'd give you little sneak peek of my breakfast and fresh home made smoothie! YUM!

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Since it was Santes Dwynwen this week, I sent this hand sewn heart to my boyfriend! I miss him a lot at the moment since I haven't seen him since he went back to uni after Christmas. However, I'm going to visit him next weekend on the train!

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I've been so extremely slow reading The Golden Compass at the moment, and am slowly failing my 'one book a month'!! Today is going to be a lazy Sunday spent reading more, watching films, working out and cleaning my bedroom (once again!!)
Once I've finished reading it I want to post a mini book review up on here!


Anyway, I hope you've all had a really lovely week and an even better weekend! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!





x

Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Guide To : Dinas Dinlle






Dinas Dinlle Beach
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


I love Dinas Dinlle. It's the place I drive to when I need some time to myself, a long chat with a friend or when I can't think of anywhere else to go. We've been going there ever since we were practically babies, and now I am fortunate enough to be working there too!


Why visit Dinas Dinlle?
Well, first of all, Dinas Dinlle is roughly 10-15 minutes away from Caernarfon, it's fairly easy to reach and a general nice place to visit too.
Unlike Llanddwyn beach, it has restaurants, shops and newsagents scattered along the main road, as well as a caravan park and holiday flats to rent out for the week. 
It doesn't quite have the same 'wow factor' as Llanddwyn perhaps, and you'd probably be more likely just to spend the afternoon here or an evening rather than a full day out.


Facilities?
As I mentioned, Dinas Dinlle has a few restaurants/cafes. Obviously if you want to come over to my work and say hi then please do so at Bwyty Lleu! During the summer term we're open until 9pm in the evenings and serve lots of yummy food all day long, as well as having a small shop selling ice cream and cold drinks!
There's also a traditional fish and chip shop where you could sit out on the benches and enjoy the lovely views whilst scoffing your face, always a plus!
Another advantage is the fact that parking at Dinas Dinlle is free. There are plenty of places to park along the beach, but during the summer it gets very busy, so make sure you arrive early, or otherwise you'll just have to park at the far end!
There are also public toilets as you arrive, and some toilets at the restaurants.


How To Get There?
Follow the A487 towards Porthmadog
At the roundabout, take the second exit onto the A499
In roughly two miles, turn right after passing Glynllifon Park.


Personal Thoughts
I really like Dinas Dinlle, and have been going there since we were really young. I still absolutely love the place. Having said that, I much prefer going in the winter, or in the evenings during the summer period to avoid the crowd. I couldn't imagine sunbathing on the beach (although many do) For me, it's a lovely place to go for a long walk, take a picnic and take beautiful photographs of the sun setting...!


Have you ever been to Dinas Dinlle? What were your first impressions?




Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Spread A Little Love



Santes Dwynwen Hapus!

Today is the Welsh equivalent to St Valentines! So I'm trying to spread a little love to all you lovely bloggers out there!
Today, I went shopping with my dad and grabbed a coffee mid afternoon. How cute is this little heart shaped biscuit my dad received with his? We happened to visit the Blue Sky Cafe in Bangor, and as a first timer, I must say I was very impressed with the place! Let's see if I can drag someone along with me next week for a little lunch. They serve all sorts of organic foods, speciality teas and lots of lovely home made cakes too....Yummy....!

After stopping for a quick coffee, we continued shopping and got lots of bargains on some outdoorsy clothing! I will probably list a few on here soon, including some very lovely thermal socks and thermal leggings for my long walks in this cold weather.

Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely week so far. Today was a day off for me, and I am so incredibly glad it was too! Last night, I was literally a walking zombie....Not really a fantastic look...!
Enjoy the rest of your 'Santes Dwynwen'/Welsh Valentines day!! (I'm sending my boyfriend a little package in the post with a handmade card, although he has to accept it's going to be a few days late!)




x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Walkies...






Yesterday was a bit of a random day. In fact I usually get Mondays off, and rather enjoy having a long weekend to myself. However, I was called into work at a very stupid hour indeed after very little sleep too! I had really set my mind on going walking with my dad, so after a rather tiring morning at work, we decided to try out our new walking boots (slightly matching, but different colour) and headed towards Bethesda. 

Apparently, walking is meant to be great for stress relief. Lately, I've been feeling a bit stressed. Working hard, waking up early, lacking sleep, my skin and hair reacting horribly due to stress, so I get even more stressed........and breathe...!
At the moment, two of my favourite things to do are walking and taking photographs. Together, they work beautifully, especially in the beautiful countryside here. I must say, other than the general tiredness I felt yesterday due to lack of sleep, the walk really did work wonders. We walked for an hour or so all together, so it was a rather short walk, but the mountain air was extremely refreshing, and the views were just breathtaking. 

Let me know if any of you would be interested in a 'stress' related blog post and how I personally deal with it. I've blogged about it in the past, but I'd really like to focus more on techniques, what you could do to decrease stress levels and what might help along the way!

Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely week so far!





x

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Weekly Roundup








001
Recently, I've found myself incredibly drawn to the sea, in fact a lot more than usual, and I'm a huge fan of the sea. I've come to the conclusion I definitely couldn't live without being fairly close to the sea, and where we live in north Wales is the perfect location if you're a big fan. We're surrounded by beautiful coastlines... On Monday afternoon, I took a trip with Lora to Dinas Dinlle as the sun was setting. I loved the beautiful pink glow peeking above the clouds. This is one of my favourite places to go during the evenings for a lovely walk and a long chat!
We're both also going to try and do some more walking together on a weekly basis which I'm looking forward to!



002
On Monday, I also took a trip to Abersoch with my dad and as you can see, I fell in love with the little beach huts! I thought they were so incredibly adorable! And as I mentioned in the previous post about our little day trip, this is the little upside down jelly fish we saw...And I'm assuming this is its mouth (If you've read the other post....You'll also know it has another function!)




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I really want to focus more on and in fact appreciate my photography. It's something I enjoy so much, and I think I literally use my camera at least once a day to capture something!
Personally, I think it's so important to be taking good quality, detailed photographs as a blogger. I love a blog with big photographs, which is why I decided to change my layout a bit and put more focus on my photography which I'm hoping to develop in the next few months or so by spending long days out with my camera!
I'm hoping to get some of these prints enlarged and framed on my wall ( I have one extremely empty wall near my bed that I would love to cover with pretty pictures!)




004
We went to see Puss In Boots on Wednesday (two for one thanks to Orange!) And surprisingly, it was really good!! Lots of laughs and something easy to watch, purrrrrfect!
Two Christmas gifts I've been really loving and wearing all the time are these gorgeous little birdie earrings I got from one of my best friends, and this gorgeous necklace from Lora which I've been eyeing up for quite some time now.... Check out Lora's blog for more information about her work, or alternatively, like her Facebook page! I am, for the time being, her personal photographer, so please admire the pretty pictures too!!




Generally, I haven't been able to do as much as I would have liked this past week due to the weather here (it can be extremely up and down, with one extremely beautiful day, then rain non stop for the entire week! So going out walking and taking photographs can be a bit of a challenge!) My highlights of this week have been my beautiful Monday at Abersoch, and spending the evening with Lora at Dinas Dinlle. Followed by a lovely night at the cinema watching Puss In Boots! 
I think it's meant to rain almost every day this week too, so I might have to stick to some baking posts or indoor related activities!


I hope you've all had a really lovely week and making the most of your weekend!










x





Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Guide To : Llanddwyn Beach And Island






I have decided for 2012 to visit more places, to take a lot more photographs, and to share my beautiful home with all of you and all the lovely places you could see.
For this week, I'm starting off with Llanddwyn which is one of my favourite places to visit in north Wales!
Enjoy....


Llanddwyn Beach & Island

 



First of all, you could say Llanddwyn has three sections to it:

1. Newborough Forest
2. Llanddwyn Beach
3. Llanddwyn Island

If you're looking for somewhere to go for a long day out, this is probably a very good place to go. It does require quite a lot of walking, so be prepared and wear extremely comfortable shoes and clothing (when I say lots of walking is required, the beach itself is miles long!) During the winter term, it can be very cold at Llanddwyn too, so be sure to wrap up very warm with multiple layers!! 


Why visit Llanddwyn?
Well....Llanddwyn is quite simply beautiful. Amongst the Welsh, it is famous for the story of Santes Dwynwen, (the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers) Not only that, but it's a breathtaking day out, any time of year. Also the view over the Llyn Peninsula and towards Snowdon is a must see. There is something for everyone at Llanddwyn, from a beautiful forest, miles and miles of a stunning sandy beach, sand dunes and a romantic island.


Facilities
Llanddwyn beach has a rather big car park although it does get busy during the summer period. To make sure you get a parking spot, go early in the morning and spend the entire day there. The down side is that the car park costs £3/£4, but if you're staying for the day, it's definitely worth it. An alternative is to park half a mile away from the entrance of the car park along the road or in the nearby village.
However, the walk from the car park entrance down to the car park itself is a very long walk (approximately three quarters of a mile) But at least you get to walk through the beautiful Newborough Forest!
Llanddwyn has toilets near the car park too and plenty of picnic tables.
Be sure to take your own food and drinks, there are no cafes or shops near the beach itself.


Tides
To get to the Island, you must wait for a low tide, otherwise you won't be able to get there. During this time of year, the high tide is around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, but be sure to check it out before venturing on the island in case you get stuck there!


How To Get There
By car, if you're taking the A55 towards Holyhead, go off at junction 8A towards Llanfairpwll.
Turn left onto Brynsiencyn Road A4080
Turn right onto High Street A4080
At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Chapel Street  A4080
Turn left onto Church Street
Then keep following the road until you have come to the entrance.


Personal Thoughts
I've visited Llanddwyn beach many times, and it never fails to impress! I personally love spending long days out there, if I set off early enough, I can get a decent parking spot and a great section on the beach too (If I want to sunbathe / chill out!) During the winter period, I love long walks during the afternoon and watching the sun set.
Last week was the first time I went on the island itself, and it's truly stunning, I can't believe I haven't been on it before!
From my house, it takes approximately 30 minutes, but from Bangor, it's around 15-20 minutes by car.
It's by far one of my favourite places to go in north Wales, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed either!




Thursday, 19 January 2012

North Face







My aim for 2012 is to definitely become more active. Not necessarily become a sport fanatic or anything like that, but to definitely have long days out walking. I'm a really keen photographer, and I'd love the opportunity to take my Canon out with me as often as possible. 
Just before Christmas, I purchased these walking boots after seeing them in a shop in Betws Y Coed. I instantly fell in love with them, but unfortunately they didn't have them in my size. Luckily for me, North Face had a 20% off sale at the time and free delivery. Since they were girls boots, they were only £40 to start off with, but I managed to get them for £36 including delivery (which was a complete bargain)
The girls footwear section goes up to a size 6, and I happened to get them in a size 6 too (even though I'm usually a 5) because I thought I would need the extra space due to thick socks.


I'm still very much in love with these shoes. They're not the typical item I would buy, wear or blog about previously, but now I literally live in them.
At first, I didn't know whether they would fit, or if I'd like them on etc, but ordering them in a size bigger was definitely a good choice. They have super thermal lining inside with extra padding too, so they keep your feet really warm (up to -40 according to their website.... Which is pretty extreme if you ask me!) They're also really comfortable and you can easily walk in them all day. The height of the boots means they're really waterproof too.
I have nothing but positive feedback about these boots, I would recommend North Face boots to anyone. Unfortunately, the ladies boots are a bit more expensive, so if you've been gifted with small feet, I'd suggest having a look in the youth section. If not, they do actually have really stunning women's footwear too..... If you're an outdoorsy person, or if like me, you'd like to become more active in 2012, they're definitely worth investing in.


So now I literally cannot wait for more days out walking. Hopefully I can keep to one of my new year's ''resolutions'' even though I don't like to call them that....!

Are you hoping to get more active in 2012?





x



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Day Tripper










Yesterday, I went on a lovely walk with my dad to Abersoch. I had never previously been to Abersoch, and somehow I had my hopes up for the beach and the surrounding area in general. 
For us, it was approximately an hours drive, and on a lovely sunny day like yesterday, it was perfect (although it had been very cold first thing in the morning.....Minus two in fact! And as you can see the condensation on the windows this morning had built up quite a lot!) I don't really want to spoil my perception and initial thoughts about Abersoch because I'm currently writing a visitor guide on a lot of places around north Wales as blog features, but lets just say it had its good points and its bad points!


I think the highlight for me was seeing these gorgeous little beach huts. I thought they were really adorable and made a great photograph! What we did notice were a LOT of jellyfish washed up. I'm not the biggest jelly fish fan... When I go to the aquarium and I see those tiny jelly fish, I think they're stunning, but I don't like big ones, and I definitely don't like seeing them washed up on the beach.... However, I had to take a photograph... I managed to take a photograph of one of them which was lying with its underneath upwards and you could see its mouth (I'll blog about it in my weekly roundup post) However, this is a random fact for all of you (if you didn't know, because I didn't until I looked it up!) The 'orifice' functions both as a mouth and anus....How disgustingly interesting is that?! Ha....
Oh, and someone had left some cute little bucket sand castles along the wall which I thought was adorable too!

Hope you're having a good week so far!





x



Sunday, 15 January 2012

Weekly Roundup











001 
This week has been rather strange. I took my boyfriend back to the flat on Sunday which was a really sad day. I returned on Monday overwhelmed by a sea of emotions. It's really strange not having him around after having a really nice time over Christmas together. Instantly to take my mind off things, I cleared my bedroom (much needed - and also one of my 'things to do this year') Must keep my bedroom tidy, I want it to become a relaxing place to unwind, instead of a really messy, cluttered dumping ground!
I like to keep myself calm and relaxed by burning some lovely fragrance oils and scented candles. These ones were purchased in the Oxfam sale for £1.70 (I'd been eyeing them up before the sale, but they cost £5.99 at the time) However, they smell absolutely amazing. It's a mix of citrus fruits and berries, it's so yummy!


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This is the meal I cooked for my boyfriend before I left the flat. I'd wanted to make some couscous stuffed peppers for such a long time!


003
I finally received my Kindle on Tuesday, and so far I am really pleased with it! It's so cute, small, light and very handy! Since I will be taking the train up to see my boyfriend instead of driving (really need to save money + the cost of fuel is insane) this will come in very handy indeed for those long train journeys ahead of me!


004
I saw my friend, Nicky on Wednesday and as usual, I got baking! My friends all love me due to the fact I almost always bake them cupcakes!
This cupcake in particular was made using my Hummingbird Bakery book! It's a chocolate cupcake topped with peppermint butter cream and crushed maltesers! 


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I tried Carnival by Technic this week and was really amazed with the sparkly results!
In Kindle news - I'm currently reading The Golden Compass and am really really enjoying it. I'm trying to read a book a month (and post a mini book review up on my blog at the end of each month)
I'm really obsessed with my Kindle so far, I find it really enjoyable to use, and it doesn't seem to hurt my eyes as much as reading from a normal book would. I will be posting more about my Kindle and which books are on my 'to read' list very soon! 


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Yesterday, I took a random trip with a friend to Llanddwyn Beach & Island along with her medic friends who are all up here on placement for the next couple of weeks! It was really nice to catch up with her since she's at Cardiff University, so I don't get to see her much!
I, in fact love Llanddwyn, it's one of my favourite places to visit in north Wales. I consider myself so lucky each day to be living in such a beautiful place. If you're near Anglesey, I really suggest you go there. You won't regret it, it's such a magical place.
We happened to arrive around 3pm, and as we started walking towards the island, the sea began to move out and the sun started to set beautifully over the lighthouse. Our walk from the beach to the end of the island took around 40 minutes, and it was such a perfect day for a nice long walk. I definitely got some time to clear my head and relax a bit on the most perfect Saturday afternoon!
For further information on Llanddwyn click here.


I hope you've all had a super lovely weekend! 
Have a great week!




x



Saturday, 14 January 2012

Saturday Sunshine







Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and was, by all accounts, one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog's 24 daughters. The story goes that Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Maelon was so outraged that he raped Dwynwen and left her.
In her grief Dwynwen fled to the woods, where she begged God to make her forget Maelon. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. First she wished that Maelon be thawed, second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.
Remains of Dwynwen's church can be seen today on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. During the 14th century, on visiting the island, the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym witnessed a golden image of Dwynwen inside the church, and was bold enough to request her help as a messenger between himself and Morfudd, the girl he hoped to win — despite the fact that Morfudd was already married!
Also situated on the island is Dwynwen's well, where, allegedly, a sacred fish swims, whose movements predict the future fortunes and relationships of various couples. Visitors to the well believe that if the water boils while they are present, then love and good luck will surely follow.



Today was shamefully my first time to visit Llanddwyn Island itself. Llanddwyn is one of my favourite beaches, surrounded by an amazing forest, it makes for a fantastic day out too!
We walked miles and miles along the beach towards the island!
I can officially say, the island is truly magical. As we reached the island, the sun started to set beautifully over the sea, with stunning rays of sunshine projected on the lighthouse. 
I'm definitely going to go back there soon to take some more photographs!
I've already fallen in love with the place...

I hope you've all had a really lovely Saturday! Hope you're weekend is a good one!






x





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