No one likes you when you're 23

I am very much at a cross roads in life right now. 

I'm at the difficult age of 23- the age where no one likes you and, in my case I'm not even sure if I like myself right now.

I still go 'out out' (for want of a better phrase) most weeks but in the back of my mind I'm starting to think I should be taking life a little more seriously. Truth is, I don't know how to stop. I don't mean that I'm an alcoholic, I know my limits. But that I'm addicted to the thrill of it all, of not knowing who you'll meet in the toilets and bond with, of watching the sunset as you make your way home with glazed eyes, of waking up the next day hangover-free and feeling ridiculously smug.

But I think that also makes me kinda boring.

In 50 years time I don't think my Grand-kids will care to hear about how I raced a stranger by shunting our chairs across the bar floor on Saturday night (a legit thing that happened last weekend) I want to be able to tell them stories that they can repeat for centuries after... I feel like being boring is one of the very worst things to be and something that most people are afraid of being.

At the moment Jake and I are in talks about moving to Canada for a year or so, something that will take a great deal of time to save for and will also mean that I need to turn my back on the weekly nights out and focus.

But maybe Canada will be where I find my stories to tell. 

Caitlin x

(P.S I took these photos on a recent trip to Haworth, if you're ever in West Yorkshire it's a must visit!)

Haweswater Hotel & Reservoir- A trip to The Lake District

The Lake District is an area so strongly ingrained in my childhood memories through the works of Beatrix Potter that it seemed somewhat strange that up until last January I had never been. After the madness of the Christmas period (I know- it seems so so long ago!) myself and Jake were keen to get away from people for a while and as it was also his 28th birthday it gave us plenty of excuses to take a little holiday.
In all honesty I didn't do a great deal of research on where to go, I simply perused the hotels on before spotting The Haweswater Hotel and being really taken with just how secluded the hotel was. The Haweswater is set slap bang in the middle of the Haweswater Nature Reserve and is the only establishment for about 2/3 miles each way. It's a somewhat imposing art deco building, slightly raised from the ground so that you can take in the Haweswater Reservoir in all it's glory. 

I am not someone who is a hotel 'snob' as such, I am much more about the area that I am staying in but as soon as we stepped in to The Haweswater I knew that I would really love staying there for the next three nights. It didn't feel like the usual clinical hotel setting, it felt like home. The Haweswater has retained a lot of it's original art deco features (it was built in 1937), with intricate wood panelled flooring and stained glass windows with the Manchester coat of arms- a nod to the fact that the reservoir was created to supply water for Manchester.

To Jake and I's pleasant surprise we were given a suite to stay in. We had committed ourselves to thinking that we were going to have a small room as the price-including breakfast was so reasonable and we had also booked via So to discover that actually we had a living area, bathroom, single bedroom and master bedroom was incredible. We were so enthralled by this in fact, that we got ourselves all settled in and made a mess before I realised that I hadn't taken any photos of our room- so apologies for the lack of photos...

Our suite was tastefully and appropriately decorated but still had a few mod-cons. We had a flat screen television in both our living area and master bedroom and a huge bath which was more than big enough for two people. Better than any flat screen tv though was the views from our suite.

On our first full day Jake and I decided to hike to and then up Harter Fell. We are not necessarily seasoned walkers, in fact we are very much amateurs and whilst we were extremely lucky in terms of weather, it was bitterly cold and windy once you got up there. We also found that the clouds rolled in quite quickly so I would recommend setting off as early in the day as your possibly can.

After Harter Fell almost killing us off we headed back to hotel for a late lunch. We ate all our evening meals here and whilst it was perhaps a little costly we had no regrets as the food was so delicious- think hearty local produce, a-la-carte but not overly fussy. You can find the full menu here and I believe you can dine in the restaurant/ bar without being a guest at the hotel. Breakfast was included in our stay and the menu offered delicious cooked breakfasts (which we opted for every morning) as well as the usual breakfast buffet. 

The next day Jake and I decided to have a more relaxed one as we were somewhat aching from our hike. We started off our day socialising with the local wildlife. The birds were remarkably friendly in The Lake District- with Robins being the bravest of the bunch, taking seeds from our outstretched hands and Great Tits and Blue Tits being a little more flighty at the sound of our eager camera shutters.

We decided to take a slightly more relaxed walk on the opposite side of the reservoir, keeping our eyes peeled for red squirrels. 

 I've really struggled to write this post as it's been so incredibly difficult to put into words just how much I enjoyed this trip as well as go through the hundreds of photo's I took. But I cannot recommend The Haweswater Hotel enough, it's a real secluded gem and one I am itching to revisit. If you are looking for somewhere to completely recharge away from the hustle and bustle of life than this is 100% the spot for you.

Caitlin x

In bloom with Viktor & Rolf

With the Spring equinox being just the other day and the evenings growing longer and brighter I figured it was about time I purchased a new fragrance for the upcoming warmer months. I'm still yet to find my 'signature' perfume so I do tend to try a lot of different ones but generally stick to the same recipe of fresh, floral and occasionally even fruity scents. 

The latest Viktor & Rolf offering- Flowerbomb Bloom is a little different to my usual choices. Whilst it still is very much a floral dominated fragrance and has fruity top notes of pomegranate accord, bergamot and mandarin oils it's the base notes of musk, vanilla and patchouli that set it apart from previous perfumes. Bloom is incredibly feminine and sweet and despite the musk, quite a delicate perfume, it isn't at all heavy which I think is perfect for this season.

Whilst the original Flowerbomb is a real icon I've found that I much prefer Bloom due to it's fresher nature, it's not quite as heady or sickly sweet as it's parent perfume and although I'm not sure I've found 'the one' in this fragrance it will still be a real pleasure to wear this Spring.

What is your perfume of choice for Spring?

Caitlin x

Trying something new at The Cocktail Experience, Leeds

Since it became legal for me to drink five(!) years ago I've tried a fair amount of different alcoholic drinks, ranging from the somewhat deadly Wray Nephews to the less offensive Mojito before finally settling as strictly a cider drinker (Angry Orchard is my cider of choice fyi & it's gluten free!!!). I certainly feel like as I've grown older I've become way less inclined to stray from what I know. Last Tuesday evening I popped along to a press and blogger event in anticipation of 'The Cocktail Experience' a little unsure of whether there would be something there for a cider-lover like myself!

The Cocktail Experience is an event being held on the 3rd of March at the impressive central Leeds venue, Aspire. For one night 18 local bars and their mixologists will be all under one roof at your disposal. As I mentioned, I have become someone who tends to stick to what they know when it comes to alcohol and that also goes hand in hand with going to the same bars. However, as nice as it is to have a local place you feel at ease in it's equally as nice to discover new haunts and that's what I feel The Cocktail Experience is all about.

Although at the press event there was just a snippet of what is to come I definitely have discovered some new favourite bars that I am itching to visit already.

Highlights of the night for myself were:

These guys had perhaps one of the smaller drinks menus that I came across that evening but really packed a punch with their Game Of Thrones inspired whisky-based cocktail. I'm also pretty keen to try the food in the restaurant as it looks i n s a n e.

Jakes Bar make their own homemade liqueurs and distillates in their very own 30 litre copper pot still. Their offering of the night- Ruby was super sweet without being sickly and once I discovered it was homemade it tasted even better.

Be At One have an absolutely huge drinks menu- something like 150-160 drinks! They also have a really useful way of choosing a drink if you find it difficult- you essentially pick your size, type, spirit and flavour preference on a wheel on the menu. You can even do this online here and decide what you'd like to try in advance of your visit if you like to be a (wo)man with a plan.

If you're a cocktail connoisseur or like myself you're looking to try something new I would highly recommend giving The Cocktail Experience a visit! You can purchase tickets for the upcoming Leeds event here.

Caitlin x

Happy New Year! | The Lomo'Instant Milano

It's been longer than I care to admit since I last posted. I find the festive period quite stressful. Work is busier, town is harder to navigate and then there's the added pressure of trying to find perfect gifts for everyone without bankrupting yourself. So I took some time out from everything over December. From writing, from socialising, from anything other than work, sleep and repeat. But now, a few weeks into 2017, I can feel my motivation slowly coming back to me.

I figured that most people would be kind of over the 'New Years Resolutions' posts so instead thought I would introduce one of my Christmas presents from Jake- The Lomo'Instant Milano. Lomography are a brand I am familiar with- I also own a Diana Mini 35mm film camera from them but I had no idea they were creating instant cameras until I opened this up on Christmas day...

The Lomo'Instant is so unlike any other instant camera I've seen. It includes a built in wide-angle lens and then three attachments- a fish-eye lens, a portrait lens and a close up lens. It also includes colour gel filters which you can put over your flash to create a tonal effect. If you're the type who loves a good selfie it even has a small mirror on the camera so you can see yourself and take that perfect photo straight away without having to waste your precious film on trying to work out the right angle.

I know for most people the joy in having an instant camera is that it is easy to get instant results but I like that the Lomo'Instant is different in that it has several different settings and that it takes a little figuring out first! My first photo was pretty abysmal but I'm getting better at understanding how to take a good photo with each shot. The Lomo'Instant also has a long exposure setting so I'm pretty excited to have a go at light-painting and taking photos at night!

I hope you've all had a great start to 2017. I'm going to try and post about once a week and hopefully get that back up to 2/3 times a week. But for now it's baby steps! Thanks for sticking with me!

Caitlin x