Chateau Des Granges

Some more photos from my French trip today. We arrived on the Saturday night and had a restful day on Sunday, only venturing out in the evening for dinner. The French are exceptionally good at salads and pasta dishes – check out the beasts below!
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On Monday we drove to Courcelles, Saint Jean D’Angely, to see friends of my parents who are now running a B&B at their French home. Their property is called Chateau Des Granges and it is absolutely stunning, the husband and wife team have done an incredible job.

They took on a big challenge – the property is very old and needed lots of work, if I remember correctly they said it was built in the late 1700s.

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We were treated to melon and Pineau – a local dessert – after a very hearty meal.
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Views of the four acres of land
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Chateau Des Granges from the garden
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I love this lamp!

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It would make a magical venue for a wedding. The bedrooms would fill up very quickly but there is so much space in the garden guests could easily camp! Definitely doable in the warm summer months.

We arrived back at our holiday home late that evening so this was the only day of the holiday that I didn’t swim.

Women Leading ~ Runawaykiwi

Today I want you to meet Rebecca who blogs at Runawaykiwi.

I can remember the first time I found Rebecca’s blog. She writes about expat life perfectly, always nailing with honesty and stacks of humour what it’s like to be in a big city far away from home. Even though she was in London from New Zealand, and I was in Melbourne from the UK at the time, I related to her writing SO much.

She’s still in London today and still writes as sharply as she did back then.

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1. What has been your favourite thing about blogging so far?
Being a creative badass. My blog is my domain, and not a single person in the world can tell me what to do with it. I can write what I want, when I want and fill it with as many creative swearwords as I want. It is very rare to have such a magical little bubble all to myself. My blogs only purpose is to help me express myself and help me make sense of this crazy mess called life.

2. What advice would you give to someone thinking about a year abroad in a big city?
Oh 100% do it. It will be the hardest year of your life, and you will struggle …hard. But you will grow more as a person than you ever thought possible. And added bonus you will become more sure of just exactly who ‘you’ are. Not it is not easy, but do it any way. Oh and you get to try cookies from other parts of the world. Treats make it all better.
3. Has your new YouTube series ‘What the f*ck am I doing with my life?’ made you famous yet? I wish! Actually scratch that no I don’t. As with most things I do it is just a little bit of randomness to make me smile, and hopefully make other people smile too. And there it makes gin tax deductible which I consider my greatest achievement in life.
4. What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
Figure out what is important. If you find you are not sticking to something it really can’t be that important to you right now. So either stop being so hard on yourself, or find a way to make it more important.
Drinking Coffee

A Simple Gin Cocktail

You’ve probably seen Rock Rose Gin doing the rounds in blog land recently, I know I have! I love gin and was very grateful to receive a bottle of this Scotland made elixir. Rock Rose Gin is distilled by Martin and Clare up in Scotland using natural botanicals such as juniper berries, rhodolia rosea, sea buckthorn and rowan berries. It smells (and tastes) so fragrant!

I love that this small business has such a lovely story behind it, and I also love the aesthetic of the branding.

I wanted to try this gin in style rather than a regular gin and tonic, so I googled simple gin cocktails and found a corker. It’s SO simple.

For one glass you need:
~ The juice of one lemon
~ About 5ml of cold water
~ A couple of tablespoons of runny honey
~ A 50ml (double shot) serving of gin

Mix the honey and water together first, then mix with the other ingredients. You’re supposed to shake all of the above in a cocktail shaker with ice, but I didn’t have a cocktail shaker, so I stirred it vigorously and chilled my cocktail glass in the freezer for five minutes. Works just as well!

This was the end result:

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So delicious, highly recommend! Perfect for this warmer weather too. I’m making more of these tonight for my house mate and I!

Women Leading – Talonted Lex

I only very recently came across Lex’s blog, I think it was towards the end of 2015. The first post I read was this one, which made me feel a lot of emotions, but most of all I liked her honest blogging – the best kind. She once did an awesome Twitter come back to a sexist tweet that may or may not have been retweeted over 3000 times (including by me).

She also met her husband on Twitter, which is my kind of love story.

Lex regularly blogs about having rosacea and reviews beauty products with this in mind. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for her.

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Which social media platform is your favourite and why?
This is a really tricky one for me as I’m totally social media obsessed. I think I’d have to say Twitter because it provides so much information and news as well as the connection to so many likeminded people. I have met some of my best friends on twitter, including my husband so I’d be lost without it! Pinterest is a close second and I probably go on it about 5 times a day for a pinning binge!
Why did you decide to start blogging about rosacea?
I was always frightened to show my face on my blog as I didn’t think anyone would want to take advice from a beauty blogger with a skin condition! But when I finally started talking about it, I wanted to address my skin before anyone else pointed it out – in a way I wanted to take control of that conversation so I could manage it the way I wanted to. It was only then that others started coming forward to share their experiences. I never expected my rosacea to become such a big part of my blog, but as it effects every aspect of my life I suppose it was inevitable!
What has been the best thing so far to have come from your blog?
The emails and comments I get from people all over the world thanking me for writing honestly about my rosacea. People have told me it’s made them feel less alone, less like a freak, more hopeful for the future and that is just incredible. I have cried countless times reading messages from people who haven’t ever found anyone else who understands what they’re going through. Knowing that I can help in some small way is the most amazing feeling.
What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
I struggle with discipline, especially since going freelance as I’m my own boss for the first time in my life and I’m not great at getting myself in gear! But since I’ve started bullet journaling I have found it a lot easier to get into a routine of setting and achieving goals. It is so satisfying to tick things off a list every day and is a great way to keep me on track.

You can subscribe to Lex on Youtube here or follow her rosacea blog series here.

NY Gillies

We Are Tea

I first heard about We Are Tea through Daisy’s blog. They’re a London based company who seem to have a good ethos and good branding – two of my favourite things.

A PR kindly sent me some of their English Breakfast blend along with an infuser. I decided to brew up for me and my house mate one evening last week. We’d both arrived home late and were exhausted, so I put the kettle on while A put the telly on.

I’m a bit of a tea addict, if I ever somehow skip my morning cuppa I’m left with a caffeine deprived headache very quickly. It’s not good but I guess there’s worse things to be addicted to. The We Are Tea English Breakfast blend is very strong – even with milk. This is just how I like my tea, I’ve been making the effort to brew this some mornings too, usually when I’m going for an early run as I have more time then.

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I think the infuser is so well designed! I was worried it would leak when I added the hot water, but it didn’t. A great little enabling me to have better quality tea. Find out more about We Are Tea on Twitter here.