Severn Valley Railway: Spring Steam Gala 2018

You might look at me and think I don’t look like the sort of person who is interested in steam trains. And you’d be 100% correct – I’m not. But last year, I enjoyed my weekend on the Severn Valley Railway during their Autumn Steam Gala in September so much that I knew I wanted to go again this year, for their Spring weekend. Spring it was not as we were inundated with snow and icy temperatures for two of the days but it was a lovely weekend nevertheless. Although the engines are pretty impressive and yes, you feel like you’re on the Hogwarts express, I just think it’s a really nice, relaxing weekend and a chance to get away from the norm. 

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Perfect for Spring: Cherry & Coconut Cupcakes

I haven’t baked anything in a very, very, long time. In general, I prefer cooking dinner and savory meals to baking cakes and sweet treats because I’m just better at cooking and I’ve had a few disasters whilst baking in the past. I am certainly no natural Mary Berry in the kitchen, let me tell you that. But I’ve really fancied baking something for a while and as soon as I popped “bake something” on my February goals list, it obviously had to be done. The over-achiever in me wouldn’t have it any other way. So after looking through a variety of cook books and trying to find something that my mum, dad, boyfriend and myself all liked, I finally settled on these cute little cakes which are the perfect flavours to get into the swing of Spring!

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25 Spring & Summer blog post ideas

It might feel like 2018 has only just started but we’re going to be well into Spring before we know it! Although my favourite season is Winter (I luuuuurve the cold), I do love Spring and all the little wonders that come with it. Hot Cross Buns for breakfast, baby animals, the smell in the air as the flowers start to bloom and of course that feeling of productivity and wanting to conquer the world that comes with a new season (tell me I’m not the only one who gets that?) I’ve done two season-themed blog post ideas lists before (Autumn & Winter/Christmas) which both went down well so I thought I’d complete the set and share some Spring and Summer related blog post ideas for you to use this year!

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How do our eating habits differ by region? *

Britain is a nation of foodies, with 66% of UK adults describing themselves as passionate about food and drink. It comes as no surprise then that 50% say they are passionate about home cooking and 53% of millennials eat out at least once a week.

Brits spend a small fortune on food – whether it is takeaways and restaurants or luxury food from the supermarkets. On restaurant bills alone, the average Brit spends around £44 per week. But what does our money get spent on? Designers of modern kitchens , Harvey Jones, takes a look at the UK’s eating habits by region.

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Cheap, free or easy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

To some of us, associating Valentine’s Day with lavish gifts, romantic trips away or expensive meals just isn’t realistic or doable. Unfortunately, we’re not all in a position to be splashing that sort of money out on one day. If you are, then that’s great and I hope you find an amazing way to celebrate the day but for everyone else, I’ve compiled a list of either cheap or free and generally easy and low-key ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day this year if you’re a bit stuck for ideas. I’m not a huge lover of Valentine’s Day (maybe if I was being whisked off to Monaco, I would be!) but it’s always nice to do something nice, right?

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Travel Off the Eaten Path this New Year

I really, really, really love crisps. Like, love them. I eat an awful lot of them. Probably more than I should but I’m all for eating what you want and I certainly don’t buy into fad diets that tell you eating crisps is a ‘syn’. You’re not going to hell for eating crisps just fucking eat them. However, I am all for trying different crisp options and if that’s a healthier crisp option, that’s cool too! I’m just a huge lover of food in general; healthy or un-healthy and I love trying and experimenting with different flavours. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a vegetable or something from McDonald’s I haven’t tried before.

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January goals

It is January. That month that we literally just had like, 3 weeks ago. It is January… again. First of all, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! I hope the end of 2017 saw you out well, whatever the year was like for you and I hope you’re feeling positive and enthusiastic about the year to come! I certainly am. Despite the end of the year being a bit meh and uneventful for me, 2017 as a whole wasn’t bad. I wrote about my highlights of the year here and I really can’t complain too much. But as always when a new year rolls around, I’m feeling motivated and inspired to tackle some brand new goals. But this year, I’m not going to set myself huge, unrealistic and un-achieveable goals for the entire year, I want to take it one month at a time. So here are my goals for January!

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The perfect home cinema night! 

I’m a big fan of the “night in“. In fact, I don’t do “nights out” because I don’t drink and clubbing isn’t my thing anymore. Oh and my anxiety would make it almost impossible for me to actually have fun, in a hot, sweaty club surrounded by drunk people with a bass drum pounding in my brain. So back to the point, nights in are good and I think we should all embrace the night in a little more and realise that they can be just as fun. Last year, I set up a home cinema one evening when my boyfriend came home from work. It had all the fixings and the making of a mini cinema just for 2! So here’s how to create your perfect home cinema evening if you fancy a cheap, cosy night in with a partner, friends or your mum! 

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Choo Choo: A weekend on the Severn Valley Railway

I’ve been really enjoying writing more personal posts recently and it’s something I want to continue to incorporate into my blog. I wrote about my smear test, what I got my mum for her birthday and about my birthday day out at Paradise Wildlife Park. I like injecting a bit of my personal life into my blog because I love reading those types of posts too! So today, I want to tell you about a trip away I had in September to the Severn Valley Railway! It was a new experience for me but one that I really enjoyed. 

First of all, it was a spur of the moment decision to go. My boyfriend’s grandparents were supposed to be going but didn’t so there was some spare space so I decided why the heck not! We drove to Bridgnorth from Lincolnshire on Thursday morning for the beginning of the Autumn Steam Gala, which runs along the line from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and uses various different steam engines – some of which are over 100 years old. I’ve never actually been on a steam train before myself but I quickly found out that they’re really quite nice – a lot like the Hogwarts Express and the scenery along the route is to die for.

Bridgnorth to Kidderminster takes roughly an hour and a quarter on the train so it really was a slow, relaxing holiday. Plenty of time to listen to music, read, chat, think and just look out of the window at the lovely scenery. You’d think it would be boring, spending the majority of 4 days on and off of trains but it really wasn’t, there is so much to look at and so many people to meet that it’s impossible to get bored. The stop off times vary and you can always get off at each individual station and have a look around. They’re super cute and quaint, most of which had little book sales (which I took advantage of) and were plastered with old school advertising posters as they would have been back in the day.

We stopped for dinner each night, my favourite being a pub meal at The Ship Inn and my burger and chips was to die for. The trains also ran throughout the entire night on Friday and Saturday so I stayed on well until it got dark (and until I got too tired) and it’s a whole different experience, being on the trains in the dark. It’s really eerie but I loved it. My boyfriend’s family have taken these holidays his whole life but this was my first one and not something I ever thought I would enjoy. But even if you’re not that interested in trains (like me), it’s definitely not all about that.

Have you ever been on the Severn Valley Railway? Would you like to go? Where’s your favourite staycation destination?

Explore Beyond the Humble Sandwich *

Be adventurous with your lunchtime cuisine with Off The Eaten Path

All too often, we make do with a standard sandwich – when actually there are thousands of different and easy ways to enjoy lunch and be more adventurous with it. To help inspire people to try something new and spice up their lunchtimes, Off The Eaten Path has collaborated with renowned chef Deborah Thompson.

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