All posts tagged “summer

silent disco gert lush at bristol zoo - woman dressed as butterfly
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Bristol’s Best Bits: Summer Events at Bristol Zoo

This post is in collaboration with Bristol Zoo.

Cripes, hello July! I know it’s a massive blogger cliche to state the obvious passage of time, but these months really are zipping by. We’re fully in the swing of summer now; my morning commute to work has become more of a daily struggle, and I am still refusing to take the duvet off the bed, which has of course led to some pretty sleepless, sticky nights’ sleep. Ugh.

exterior of bristol zoo gardens

For all my hatred of the warmer months, you have to admit that Bristol well and truly comes alive in the summer. You can barely organise your calendar quick enough, what with events popping up every weekend, weeknight and all the waking hours inbetween.

aqua pupper
blog club at bristol zoo

Once such jolly recently was a special edition of #BlogClub at the Friday Twilights event at the zoo. As well as the chance to see some familiar faces and meet some new bloggy buds, there were special animal talks and live music during the evening, and a chance to sample the grub at the brand new Hide Restaurant too. Offering up favourites such as burgers and pizza to sandwiches and a selection of light bites, it’s a million times improved on the old cafe and am sure will be a godsend for busy families this summer!

the hide restaurant exterior bristol zoo
burgers at the hide restaurant bristol zoo

If you fancy getting involved with the Friday Twilights for yourself, the tickets are only a fiver (£4 for you Zoo members) and the next events are coming up on the 14th July, 4th August, 18th August and 1st September. Find out all about it here!

gert hush silent disco at bristol zoo

Another ace up Bristol Zoo’s sleeve is the return of their much-anticipated silent disco event. Bristol Zoo’s Pop-Up Festival is a one-off festival EXTRAVAGANZA taking place on Friday 28th July, which will see three DJs spinning tunes spanning five decades and battling it out for ultimate musical domination, Battle Royale-style. Ok, I might have embellished a little at the end there, but it does promise to be a blimmin’ exceptional knees up and makes a great gals night out or a brilliant chance for a work’s icebreaker where you don’t actually have to talk to anyone. Win win!

As well as tunes to shake your bot to all night, you can challenge your office colleagues to a good old fashioned dance machine dance-off, or take in the scenes at the glow circus or have a gander at a magician, if you’re that way inclined. Dinosaur fans rejoice – Dinomania is back for another year and filling Bristol Zoo with all manner of cretaceous creatures. Food is available by way of a British summer staple, the humble BBQ, and there’ll be plenty of booze flowing to make sure you suitably embarrass yourself on the dance floor.

The zoo opens at 6:30, where you’ll have the chance to sample the same ace animal talks, then after all that inevitable rump-shaking it wraps up by an 11pm bedtime. Tickets are a mere £20 (or £18 for members) and all the money will go directly back into the zoo to fund their charitable objectives. After last year’s event, it promises to be a night to remember!

Find more information about Bristol Zoo’s Pop-Up Festival. here.

This post was in collaboration with Bristol Zoo. All photos courtesy of Bristol Zoo unless otherwise stated.

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Summer Goth

Oh look! An outfit post. It’s been a while since I done one o’ them.

I don’t take naturally to the summer months. It baffles me when people celebrate the return of hot weather – I am in my element on a cold, bright day. I panic when the weather gets warmer because I am incredibly uncomfortable in any form of summer fashion; it’s taken me years to try and find something I’m happy wearing in the summer (and it’s usually jeans and a shirt). Once a goth, always a goth, eh?

This is how I deal with this kind of weather #onceagothalwaysagoth #isitwinteryet

A post shared by Lily Doble (@lilydoughball) on

Having said that, I got this new brightly-coloured dress in the post the other day all the way from MEXICO. I am completely in love with it; seeing as this embroidered flower thing is *all the rage* these days, I wanted to pay homage to where this trend might have originated from, and so located myself a proper puebla dress from a lovely lady in Durango.

lily doughball puebla embroidered dress
flower embroidered mexican dress

My good pal Lyzi took these snaps when we were pottering around in Bath for the day on Friday. I’ve given up on looking cute in outfit photos and so have embraced the ‘I dunno’ kind of half arsed look which I seem to do so well (just like Lyzi and her little look over the shoulder), and also the standard cursory glance at my shoes. Y’know, to check they are still there. I feel these are my signature poses.

I’ve taken to wearing a lot of black recently; there is something to be said for the graceful melancholic elegance of an all-black outfit, and it’s been informing my recent fashion purchases more and more, as if my 15 year old goth psyche is slowly working its way back to the forefront of my brain. I noticed in Japan that people wore a lot of black and tended to look very made up from just a few simple pieces – wide leg trousers, a box cut top, a long coat of some sort, and depending on your age, either trainers or kitten heels.

This dress comes in a veritable rainbow of colours, of which orange was up there on my list, but I thought black just brought out my glowing pale skin that bit more, plus it makes those flowers POP.

lily doughball bristol fashion blogger
mexican puebla dress and leather handbag

Dress: Etsy // Jacket: Urban Outfitters (similar here) // Shoes: H&M (or there are some dreamy ones from Boden here) // Handbag: HANDMADE!!
I am still obsessed with my handbag which I MADE – did I mention I made it? I made this bag. Me. Made it. With my hands. It has been my go-to every day handbag since the workshop with Leather Needle Thread back in February, and I have since made another to add to the growing collection.

Plus my little barnet is slowly but surely growing out from its shaven glory a few months previous. This is 6 months of growth from a grade 2, and to be perfectly honest there have been times this past week where I’ve considered shaving it all off again. I’m pretty confused about what to do with it next, so if you’ve got any suggestions, I’m all ears.

This dress is most certaintly earning its keep, as it has been out no less than three times this past weekend, and am sure will be a staple for me to survive another dreaded English summer… *shudder*.

This post contains affiliate links. Photos by the lovely Lyzi.

end of the road festival
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Why Smaller Festivals Are Best

The humble music festival has undergone a renaissance in the last decade. The first ever festival I went to was Reading, a whopping 10 years ago this August (ermagerd I feel so old). The general vibe of attending a festival back in those days was a tinted with an element of survival; you took things which you didn’t mind getting destroyed and hoped you’d come back vaguely in one piece at the end of it.

Contrast that, then, with the atmosphere and general attitude of the average Glastonbury-goer at the festival this year, which was more Kate Moss than Bear Grylls. I tutted in my old-lady way at young girls dancing away in downpours in little more than a pair of shorts and a glitzy crop top, and took pity on a young thing who was shivering in front of me whilst standing in the mizzle watching Grimes. Put a bloody anorak on, young people!

I digress. The point I’m trying to get at here, is that the older I have become the more I’ve come to realise that the type of festival I enjoy attending is the more laid back, smaller affair – and I’m here to tell you why the smaller the festival, the better. Read More

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What’s in My Travel Bag?

whats in my travel bag?

Summer is well and truly got into the swing of things, and my Facebook timeline is full of people popping off on holiday or to festivals left right and centre.

I’ve teamed up with Superdrug to showcase my holiday essentials you need to pack before jetting off. It’s all to celebrate their brand new store opening at Bristol Airport, so if you find out you’ve forgotten something right before you fly, they’ve got you covered 😉 Being the forgetful type, this was welcome news to me!

I’ve recently become obsessed with packing light (this is the girl who went to Budapest with nothing but a carry on case for 4 days), and since my passport arrived a couple of months ago, my mind is wandering as to which location I should trot off to next.

But what do I mean by packing light? Here’s what I would pop in my travel bag…

travelling light what to pack

Versatile clothing – by this I mean a few items that you can mix and match. A pair of black jeans is an absolute must, as they go with anything. A couple of colourful tops are a good idea, which you can wear underneath a pinafore dress or something similar – Breton stripes are a good addition to your bag, as they can be dressed up or down easily.

comfy dress and heels

Having said that, I’d probably also take a ‘going out’ dress and (comfy) heels, because you don’t know where your adventure will take you, and sometimes it’s nice to dress up posh and clip clop off to a restaurant for pizza. These Swedish Hasbeen sandals are my favourite things right now – they’re unbelievably comfortable, and can dress up anything from this gorgeous Coco Fennell dress (another fave) to aforementioned black jeans and stripy top. Add something sparkly et voila!

how to pack light for holiday camera and book

Camera – self explanatory. I like to shoot on film on holiday because you have a nice surprise when you get back and get the film developed 🙂

A decent book to read on the plane – I’m currently reading the much-hyped ‘Japanese Art of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo, which is so far proving to be a nice little read that you could easily rattle through on the plane on’t way to your delightful holiday destination.

Passport – don’t forget it!

toiletry essentials from superdrug for holiday

Of course, no travel bag would be complete without a few holiday beauty essentials, and Superdrug kindly supplied me with the following:

  • Handy wipes – for sticky plane food messes, accidental ‘dropped food down myself’ messes, plus bonus toilet-seat-sanitising capabilites
  • ‘Buzz off’ soothing bite spray – an absolute must if you’re bite-prone like me! I must just be delicious to mosquitoes. One spray of this and it helps relieve the urge to scratch yourself silly.
  • SPF lipbalm – for helping prevent sore sunburnt chapped lips… it can happen in the UK too! Get some protection on there
  • Instant Cooling Spray – I imagine this is pretty heavenly if you’re stuck in a queue trying to get into a festival, but to be honest I’m a bit afraid of spraying it on my face! It was nice on my arm 🙂
  • Face wipes – because I cba to lug all my different bits along with me, and this cleans makeup off in one fell swoop
  • 30SPF sun cream pouch – last but by no means least! Cream up even when you think you don’t need to – I got sunburnt in the queue on the way into Glastonbury last year, and I’ve definitely learned my lesson!

What else would you take on holiday with you? Anything I’ve missed off?

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Snapshots from End of the Road

What seems like 2 seconds ago (but was actually the weekend before last – eek!), we packed up our bags and travelled into deepest darkest Dorset, to attend End of the Road festival at beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens. I feel well and truly spoilt by this summer, it really has been a good ‘un; we didn’t attend any festivals last year, and this year we got to go to two! After Glastonbury and my trip to Padstow I feel like I am really getting used to this camping malarkey, and couldn’t wait to crack the tent out again and set up home at EOTR.

As soon as we arrived and started exploring End of the Road we began drawing comparisons to Glastonbury, and soon decided that it was just all the nicest bits, condensed. EOTR is a relatively young festival – it celebrates its 10th year next year – and as such has retained the charm and energy of creating something awesome and new, and in a much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The whole site is really small as well, meaning you can get from one side to the other in about 10 or 15 minutes, and I’ve heard the organisers purposely keep ticket numbers low, which means you never feel crowded.

Don’t get me wrong – Glasto is an experience, but its like the wise old (slightly eccentric) uncle of festivals now, with its sprawling fields and mechanical spiders and ribbon towers and rabbit holes, and its nice to give the support to the smaller guys. End of the Road is like Glastonbury’s cool, bearded, bespectacled nephew, who has cherry picked the best eateries, drinks fantastic local ales, likes hanging out in Victorian gardens, and has exceptional taste in music.

One of the reasons we chose End of the Road was because the lineup was absolutely outstanding – John Grant, Tune-Yards, Richard Thompson, Ezra Furman, Sweet Baboo to name but a few. It was as if someone had given me a pen and asked me to write down my favourite artists of the moment, then curated a festival around that (I wish!). Of course, I worship at the altar which is 6 Music, as all good people should, and was amazed at how many other acts I knew simply from humming along to their tunes on the radio.

The whole site, it seemed, was filled with the 6 Music demographic – the collective age of EOTR seemed to be slightly older than other festivals I have visited (I’m thinking of Reading here, when I say older I mean my age and upwards), and I was pleasantly surprised at how many young families with small children there were. This only added to the lovely atmosphere, and coupled with the amazing setting, the incredible food on offer, and the very reasonable price of ale at the bar, created a home-from-home feel to the proceedings.

I didn’t dare take my SLR for fear of dropping it in a toilet or it getting trampled or something, so I took a chance on my Lomo Smena, which I hadn’t used for a few years! I’m amazed that these photos actually turned out, but I took a few on my phone just in case…

End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog  Richard Thompson at End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog  End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

end of the road festival

I cannot tell you how good the food was. One of the nicest things about modern festivals is that you don’t have to eat cheap crap sausages or burgers or those giant yorkshire puddings which set you back about £8, there is an amazing selection of proper decent grub on offer, and EOTR was no exception. The above pancake bar did the best coffee I have ever tasted (and had the queue to prove it at 9am!) and the rotisserie next door could do you half a roasted chicken plus a mountain of little roast potatoes for £7. The ice cream was awesome too – I had peanut butter ice cream with hot fudge, and had to give up half way through which I was quite upset about. Props also go to the Rac Shack, who did exceptional croque monsieurs and a fancy bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich which sorted me right out on Saturday morning.

End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog     End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

One of the best things about End of the Road, as well as the countless tasty snacks, the excellent music line up, and the beautiful gardens it was situated in, were all the whimsical touches dotted around the festival. The trees along the woodland path were filled with fairy lights, balloons and little creatures, there were sculptures made out of hay, messages cut into leaves and a giant Walkman named after one of Hollywood’s finest. My favourite festival nuance had to be the Secret Post Office – chaps and chapettes in blue shirts, red bow ties and braces who could deliver your hand-crafted, hand-written, hand-glittered note to anyone on the festival site, provided you provide an accurate description of the recipient. We sent one to the guy in the massive orange tent camped next to us who played soothing music on his guitar in the morning, and were very excited when we spotted him walking around the festival with it poking out of his top pocket!
End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Fjallraven Kanken Mini Forest Green at End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Another highlight of the weekend was after watching John Grant on the Saturday evening, when we ventured into the deepest part of the woods towards the Comedy stage, to watch the 80s children’s TV show-inspired spectacle that is Knightmare Live. It was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced – standing on a steep slope in the woods at 1am watching drunken audience members don a helmet and shuffle around the stage directed by a man in a pretty impressive cape and full face paint. Halfway through the giddy drunken enjoyment things got slightly serious, and one of the performers had the terrible duty of informing us that we were simply having too much fun, and one of the neighbours had complained that we were making too much noise. Obviously this was met with cheers from the audience, to which we were told to proceed with 100% enthusiasm, but 78% volume. It was brilliant. Their stage show looks pretty hilarious, too!

All in all, we had such an amazing weekend, and were incredibly sad when we had to pack up our tent in the rain and head back home. We are definitely buying tickets for next year, especially if its packed full with all the secret post, woodland creatures and adventurers as it was this year. I’m probably going to do another festival as well, if you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

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A Lock-In at Lush Cribbs

The Friday before last, I took a rather massive detour from my place of work in Bath, got lost in some windy country roads snaking through little villages, and somehow managed to end up at my destination – Lush at Cribbs Causeway! I love how Cribbs always seems equidistant from everywhere, a mecca of pure indulgence and blissful consumerism. Me and Tom used to pop to Cribbs just to have a wonder around (and inevitably come out with much lighter wallets!).

I had been invited along to a very special event that Lush were hosting, to showcase their new suncare range. It was a very lovely end to a rather crappy Friday; I very nearly didn’t go, but I am so glad I did.

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

After treating myself to dinner at Wagamama (yes, I am one of those weird people who has no problem with sitting by themselves in a restaurant… you can stare all you wish!) I hotfooted it over to the teeny little Lush store, and immediately bumped into fellow Bristolian blogging lovelies She and Hem.

We were ushered inside, and I was completely overwhelmed at how friendly and welcoming the staff were. I’ve always considered a career at Lush – every time I’ve been into one of their shops the staff seem genuinely pleased to be there, and are always cheerful and helpful. There was a member of staff positioned at various ‘stations’ around the event, talking us through some of the products.

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

After chatting to a lovely lady about haircare, I wandered over to where some fellow bloggers were getting stuck in making fresh face masks! This particular mixture was destined to be a pot of Catastrophe Cosmetic, packed with powerful antioxidant blueberries and calming to the skin. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I could hardly wait to plaster it all over my mush when I got home, and it really did do my skin wonders.

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Of course, the next half hour or so was spent wondering around pressing various brightly coloured things to my nose, and smelling absolutely EVERYTHING. I can get completely and utterly lost in Lush, and love how there are always new things to smell every time I go in there. I also spent a good deal of my time completely boring the pants off the poor chap who stopped to listen to me, detailing every single product I’ve bought, the things I’m sad they don’t sell any more (including Alkmaar, Tramp, and that weird banana soap they made in drainpipes), and how they should bring back Rose Jam.

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Of course, the star of the show was their new suncare range – I was lucky enough to be a guinea pig for a sample of the African Paradise treatment, and can confirm that it both smells absolutely gorgeous, and left my skin beautifully smooth and moisturised. It has fresh mango to brighten the skin, as well as one of my favourite scents, moringa. We were also treated to a sample of Million Dollar Moisturiser (which left my hand baby-smooth), and the lovely Lush lady explained to me the benefits of their SLush fund, and how it is contributing directly to their products. As if we needed an excuse to love Lush any more?!

Lush Blogger Event Cribbs Causeway | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

We were very lucky to receive a goody bag on the way out – as well as the samples of Sunblock, Yuzu & Cocoa, Happy Hippy and Shine So Bright, I also treated myself to a larger than usual bottle of my favourite conditioner, American Cream, and some Daddy-O shampoo to re-blondify my brassy locks.

I haven’t had a chance to test the Yuzu & Cocoa bubble bar, or the Sunblock, but I am intrigued to see if it really does have the SPF protection, if the sun ever makes a reappearance! The Happy Hippy shower gel is sure to be a favourite with everyone – I can’t see how anyone couldn’t love its cheery grapfruity smell. It also benefits from frankincense, which compliments it beautifully, and is gentle enough for all skin types, leaving mine lovely and soft.

My favourite product from this entire haul, however, is the Shine So Bright. This little tin is a balm for hair, something I had trouble grasping at first. The solid balm melts instantly onto your fingertips for easy application through the ends of your hair, leaving it feeling nourished and smelling absolutely amazing. I really can’t rate this highly enough – it tames my flyaway, over bleached locks without making my hair greasy, and the citrussy floral smell has a slightly spicy woody note to it, and lingers on my hair all day. Beautiful.

What’s your favourite Lush product?

Thank you so much again to everyone at Lush Cribbs Causeway for inviting me, for all the lovely treats, and for putting up with my crazy fangirl ramblings!

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Camping in Padstow

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Last weekend, we packed up the car and headed down to Padstow for a weekend (and a bit) by the sea. It’s been a bit of a manic couple of weekends, considering the previous one was spent at Glastonbury – but hey, at least I already had most of my camping gear to hand, and at least we knew the weather was going to be better!

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to go camping the first weekend in July, and we always head for the same spot. We stayed at a campsite called Dennis Cove, and handily ended up in exactly the same spot as last year. As soon as the tents were pitched we took a short stroll into Padstow past Rick Stein’s chip shop, and settled at a pub overlooking the harbour. It was pretty darn magical sipping pints of Korev in the sunshine, watching all the people walk by. Drinking in the daytime sure does make you hungry though, and we had chips on our mind. We decided to reject Rick Stein’s expensive fried offerings for the ‘local’s chippy’ – the very whimsical-sounding Chip Ahoy.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog
Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

We parked ourselves on a window ledge just outside the chippy and as we were waiting for our fishcake and hake, respectively, this beauty chuffed by! I’ve got a bit of a thing for steam-powered vehicles, and this was just one of many doing a circuit of the tiny town centre. I do believe it said it was from 1917, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

After chips, of course, there’s nothing better you can do than do a spot of seagull watching while sinking a few pints in a decent pub. Just around the corner from Chip Ahoy is a delightful little place called The London Inn, which has a sun soaked terrace where we happily sat and drank away a couple of hours. Seagulls, I have found, are perched atop absolutely anything they can get a purchase on.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The walk home was pretty spectacular; as the sun was setting it was basking the whole of the water in a salmony-pink glow. It took slightly longer to walk back than usual, I kept stopping and turning around to get more photos! It really was beautiful.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The next morning started out optimistically – after a sausage sarnie at ‘Ben’s Crib Box’ we started out on the 5-mile-cycle to nearby Wadebridge along the Camel Trail cycle path. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we stopped off for a cup of tea from a lovely chap with a tricycle situated on an old slate quarry about half way along. Shortly after we set back off, however, and I had bicycle troubles, so when we got to Wadebridge we had to start back to Padstow in search of a Halfords.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Sadly, this meant more pints of ale in yet more lovely pubs; this time we were at the very up-market looking hotel The Old Ship drinking pints of Brains (braaaaains). After a short while deliberating, and as the weather was defying the forecast so beautifully, we decided to take the opportunity to hop on a ferry to Rock, which overlooks Padstow just a mile across the water.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Turns out there’s not a huge amount in Rock, apart from a couple of fancy bars and a Jack Wills. We did find some really old graffiti though, and a couple of ironic fence panels, and Tom did his best Fisherman impression. We spent a couple of pints on a terrace overlooking the water, and it was rather nice seeing Padstow from a different angle for a change.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Once back on dry land there was talk of ice cream. This beautiful monstrosity is called a ‘hedgehog’ – it’s your choice of ice cream (chocolate, of course) with a scoop of clotted cream smushed on top, then rolled in nuts. It was AMAZING but I only managed to eat about half, and Tom polished off the rest for me.

I really regret not taking more photos on this trip; we went to an absolutely brilliant pub called the Harbour Inn for dinner, where I had possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten. I didn’t manage to get many photos of the next day of our epic trip either – because it was raining quite a bit I didn’t want to risk having my camera getting soggy. We started out on our bike ride again, this time with a fixed wheel, determined to get all the way to Bodmin. We did pretty well up to Wadebridge, but the rain started up shortly after and it was a pretty damp journey to Bodmin, via a tearoom and a pub, where we only spent about an hour before turning back again.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The journey back was much more pleasant, and as we got about a mile away from Padstow the sun made an appearance again and made some pretty spectacular views across the Camel Estuary. There was just enough time to pop back to the campsite to get changed before it was another mushroom pepperpot and chips at the Harbour Inn again. Lush.

Food at the Cherry Trees Cafe, Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Food at the Cherry Trees Cafe, Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The next morning was a pretty sad occasion, as it was our last day on holiday, so we decided to have a special breakfast at a cute little cafe right on the harbour called Cherry Trees. I had their ‘magic mushrooms’ – thick sourdough bread with tomato chutney, wild mushrooms, poached egg and hollandaise – and Tom had their ‘green eggs and ham’ – toast and posh Italian parma ham with fried egg and basil oil drizzled on top. Their cakes looked absolutely amazing as well, but we were pretty stuffed by the time we had finished!

We packed up the car just as the thunder clouds began to descend, and waved goodbye to Padstein as we made made our way home.

Food at the Old Spot, Dursley | Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Seeing as we were still technically on holiday though, and as it was a miserable thundery day, we made a pit stop at one of our Gloucestershire faves, the Old Spot Inn, to fatten ourselves up on pie and stout. This mountain of deliciousness is one of their famous pies, chicken and ham, with buttery Lyonnaise potatoes and seasonal veg. If you are local to Bristol or the shire in general, then I cannot recommend the Old Spot higher – it’s definitely worth the drive to Dursley, especially for the Sunday lunch!

Have you been on any summery holidays yet?

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Summer Picnic with Onken Dairy

I’m back! I’ve been busier than ever – we went on a little camping trip to Padstow, pics soon to follow! Yesterday, however, inbetween the thunder in the small glimpses of sunlight peeking through the clouds, I managed to have a little indulgent picnic in the back yard, with tasty treats sent from Onken Dairy.

summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken

This post has been a very very long time coming. A while ago, Onken Dairy got in touch to see if I would like to sample a brand new flavour they had been dreaming up. I’m quite partial to a bit of yoghurt – be it on me brekkie, or as a bit of a tasty evening snack – so of course, I jumped at the opportunity! I was anticipating a little sample of their new Strawberry and Chocolate Flakes(*) yoghurt, so was pretty surprised and overwhelmed when all this turned up in the post!

summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken

A cool bag! Stuffed full of tasty treats! But what’s this? They’ve only gone and sent me a personalised yoghurt-eating spoon!! I was so excited I showed everyone and anyone who expressed the remotest bit of interest at work, and it put a permanent smile on my face all afternoon. Simple things, and all that. Because now, I can eat my Onken like bloody royalty with my own fancy silver stamped slender yoghurt-tasting spoon!

Of course, they couldn’t send the pot in the post for fear of a dairy disaster, so I was given a voucher and instructed to head down to my local Tescos to pick up a pot of their brand new flavour, but alas! there was none. So I tried again the next week, and none could be found. Finally, I popped in yesterday and searched high and low, but I do believe our local branch of Tescos must not be selling it, either that or it’s run out already. So, using my creativity and immense yoghurt knowledge and skill, I bought a pot of their fat free strawberry, and grated copious amounts of the large bar of Green and Blacks(*) which came in the bag.

summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken summer picnic with Onken Dairy | Lily Doughball UK lifestyle blog #MyOnken

Well, it may not be the real deal, but it sure did taste good. I imagine this is what their new flavour must taste like, and it’s a pretty awesome combination. The new flavour was the result of a Facebook vote, and the winning entry was the invention of Jemma Roe – that girl’s got some serious dairy know-how. I accompanied my yoghurt and chocolate with some strawberries, but so far it has gone on everything – granola, banana, even just directly into my face with my new fancy-pants spoon.

I’ve been trying to dream up some new flavour combinations, with not much luck. Strawberry and… pepper? Coconut and… cinnamon? What would you have in your yoghurt flavour?

Big pots of Onken Strawberry and Chocolate Flakes are available in Tescos now!

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Travelettes July Instagram Challenge

Well, I am back from Glastonbury alive and well, albeit a little burnt and peeling. Ewww. Not to mention the fact that it was so muddy I was convinced I was going to get trench foot – don’t panic, I didn’t! Despite this, I had the most awesome weekend, saw some amazing bands (DOLLY!) and drank far too much cider. Fun times!

I like to think that now the downright unpredictable June weather is behind us, we can look forward to some sunnier days. My good friend Sophie writes over at Travelettes, and reminded me that today is the first day of their brand spanking new Instagram challenge!

Now, let’s not beat around the bush – I’m not so good at Instagram challenges. I began the #100happydays challenge at least 3 or 4 months ago and have still not finished. It’s pretty daunting setting yourself up for at least three months of picture-taking – daunting even for a photographer! Often I found myself scrabbling around at the end of the day to desperately find anything which had made me remotely happy, which kind of missed the point of the challenge in the first place.

Now, the things I like about the Travelettes challenge – 1. it’s only a month long, 2. it’s a summery sunny challenge, 3. there are creative prompts for every single day, which will hopefully help me through the dry patches of inspiration! The full list of prompts are as follows:

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Let’s give this challenge thing another go, shall we?!

I’ll be joining in and posting my efforts over on my own Instagram. If you want to join in simply follow the prompts listed above with the hashtag #dailytravelette and check back every day for other travelettes efforts!

REMEMBER…

Summer is coming.

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June Favourites

The end of June is nearly upon us! As is tradition here on my little bloglet, I have collected together a few of my favourite things from the last month:

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Brand new phone case with a silly picture of my dog courtesy of Mr Nutcase // Treats at Loungers // New hair colour!

lily doughball favourites june

Birthday treats! Presents, and a massive sandwich from legendary Brunel’s Buttery // Grillstock fun!

lily doughball favourites june

Midweek cocktails at Browns // Some very lovely treats from Onken (post coming soon!) // Working more shifts at the Cube // I spied my first hot air balloon!

lily doughball favourites june

HARRY POTTER WORLD!

lily doughball favourites june

I went on a lovely lady date with some of the Blog Club team // bought some ridiculous wellies for Glastonbury // drank some lovely summery cocktails // got a lovely present from Cabot Circus for the festival season!

Well, it certainly was a pretty busy month, and I’ve got another busy one in July, and another festival at the end of August! I’ll be quite relieved (if slightly sad) when summer is over!

Psssst! Have you entered my giveaway yet?

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Summer Cocktails

Well, it’s official – summer is well and truly here! This weekend was spent basking in the sunshine, with no less than TWO barbecues, on both Saturday and Sunday. I’m all BBQ-ed out!

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Whenever the sun pokes its head out, and I get a bit hot and bothered, there is always one thing on my mind – homemade cocktails. Last year it was mojitos pretty much every day after work (there’s a healthy habit!) but this year I was searching for something a bit different.

So, when I was sent a bottle of brand new Strawberry Lambrini to try, I was eager to try and mojito-ify it. Let’s face it – Lambrini isn’t the classiest of beverages, but is often overlooked in favour of its trendier fizzy counterparts. Well, it’s time to change all that! What better to make a light and tasty refreshment from? Plus, it’s lighter on the alcohol front, not to mention an absolute bargain!

strawberry lambrini summer cocktail strawberry lambrini summer cocktail strawberry lambrini summer cocktail strawberry lambrini summer cocktail

I was a little concerned that this strawberry flavour was going to be really sugary sweet. But surprisingly, it was rather refreshing, with just a little hint of fruity sweetness. I mixed it with some crushed raspberries, torn mint leaves and some elderflower cordial, and it was downright delicious. I happily sipped my way through a few too many of these in the sunshine, and managed to get through the whole bottle by myself. Oops!

The thing is, strawberry is such a versatile flavour that you could do almost anything with it – how about this strawberry and ginger spritzer? Or maybe these rose-scented strawberry cocktails? The possibilities are endless!

What better way to while away the afternoon than having a summery picnic or barbecue, with a bottle of this tucked in your hamper for a cheeky tipple whenever it takes your fancy? Lovely.

Psssst! Have you entered my giveaway yet?

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Summer Clothes for Fat-Bottomed Girls

Hey, don’t take offence at the title of this post. I am, of course, referring to myself as much as I am referring to anyone who dreads the return of summer because it means revealing the lower half of their body.

I have never been a thin girl. Even as a toddler I had ‘thunder thighs’ – my legs coupled with my larger-than-average sticky-out bottom seem to be my defining feature, and something which people seem to think can and should be publicly commented on (on several occasions). As if I didn’t realise, or something?!
I chose to glumly accept this fact that this is just what my lower half looks like, living in tights and leggings and shunning anything that could vaguely accentuate my bottom half. Playing roller derby has certainly not helped in the thundery thigh department, but hey, on a positive note, it makes me sound like some kind of female version of Thor, and I could probably beat you in a squat-off. These bad boys are STRONG.

I have always hated summer, not least for the hot weather it brings (I am pale of face), but also because it means I have to find something vaguely comfortable to wear during the heat wave – tights aren’t allowed – and for the last 24 years of my life, I have completely failed. Well, NO MORE.
I’ve been trawling the internet for the last few weeks as the sunshine has reared its head in search of comfortable bottom-wear which promises to flatter my exaggerated pear-shape. Here are some of my favourites:

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From top to bottom, left to right: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Now, from all my internet super-sleuthing, I have deduced that there are a few clothes shapes which you can trust when looking to flatter the lower half of your body. It’s all about accentuating the parts which you are happiest with (ie if you have a small waist or dainty delicate ankles) and skimming over or cleverly disguising the unhappy parts. However, there were a few rules which I have merrily disregarded, simply for their plain stupidity – chiefly, that you are not allowed to wear prints on your lower half if you are pear-shaped. UM, NO. Some of these colourful beauties were too good to pass up.

Now one shape which we all know flatters any figure is a good old skater dress. This coral-coloured beauty from American Apparel may be pricey, but just look at that buttony detailing down the back! Ah, summer dress heaven.

Next are these adorable horse-print peg leg trousers from our good friend ASOS. Peg legs are supposed to be good for pear shapes, as they are nice and baggy at the top and taper down to draw attention to the ankle. Plus these have horses printed all over them. Yay!

UGH. If there is one pair of trousers that I have well and truly fallen head over heels for it’s these pale yellow cigarette trousers from Topshop. Just look at them. Straight legged items are good for any body shape, so rest assured us fat-bottomed lot will look just as fabulous (if not more) than anyone in these bad boys. Plus, they are only £30, which for the look of the quality, is not too shabby!

I’m not quite sure why palazzo pants are back in fashion, but I sure am glad of it. Just imagine strutting into your workplace like a Milanese fashion designer with these hanging off your hips, a massive pair of wedge sandals and a chihuahua ‘neath your arm. Like a boss.

Next is an explosion in the pattern factory! This wonderful New Look skirt reminds me so much of a Barbie I had for my 5th birthday, she had a Hawaiian print bikini and absolutely reeked of something which was supposed to smell like sunscreen. I imagine this will bring back those cheery memories in every skip and step.

MOAR COLOUR! Now Zara was something which used to pass me by. But this spring/summer it has been my go-to for new clothes shopping (mainly just to drool at their gorgeous website). These egg yolk yellow trousers work in much the same way as a peg leg trouser – baggy at the top, skinny at the bottom – plus I do believe you will put everyone you pass in a good mood, just by looking at you.

A-line is a term which gets banded around a lot when talking about dressing for a pear-shaped figure, as it accentuates the waist and skims over the hips. I couldn’t have a pear-shaped round up without having at least one in there, and this charming little number is crisp, elegant, summery and not too pricey.

Last but not least is this mental offering from the trouser gods offered up by another go-to for well-priced wardrobe staples, boohoo.com. I did a little squeal of joy when I found these; they are probably the only pair of trousers which tick all the boxes for fat-bottomed ladies – nipped in at the waist, baggy leg, and tapered to a skinny ankle. Covers a multitude of sins and makes your pins a big cheery mess of monochrome leopard print. Win.

Now obviously I’m not an authority on the subject, and these are simply suggestions based on what I would buy for myself. At the end of it, fashion is a bit of fun, so let’s not take anyone’s rulebook about what we should and shouldn’t be wearing too seriously, and go forth and live this summer in a blur of glorious colour and fabulous prints. After all, “we make the rockin’ world go round”.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMnjF1O4eH0&w=420&h=315]

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Dinner at Zazu’s

Food update!

A friend of ours is moving to the States in a week or so, so we went out for a last supper at Zazu’s Kitchen in Bedminster last night. We’ve visited Zazu’s before for cocktails on my birthday, but never had a chance to try their evening menu.

It was lush.

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I tried their quinoa and halloumi salad, firstly because it was so bloody hot outside that I couldn’t comprehend eating anything other than a salad, and secondly because I had never eaten quinoa before. I couldn’t even pronounce it properly. It was pretty tasty. Hiding under that pile of leaves are piles of aubergine and giant chunks of salty halloumi deliciousness.

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My friend had bream. I am most definitely not a ‘fish person’ (unless it comes in a tin or battered from the chip shop) but this smelt incredibly good. I was also suitably impressed by the generous portion sizes – usually in trendy hipster bars like this they charge you £15 for a mouthful but I was full enough to not have dessert, which is a big deal.

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I had room for more cocktails, though. This was their summer breeze – vodka, elderflower, cranberry and apple juice. Dry, alcoholic and delicious.

Zazu’s have a massive terrace which is a suntrap on amazingly hot days like the ones we’ve been having recently; we dined al fresco and watched the people of North Street go by.

Awesome stuff.

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Mojito time!

Now that it’s pretty much the flipping Maldives here in Bristol, there is one thing on my mind on the sticky car journey home – homemade mojitos.

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The simple yet satisfying combination of a few ingredients – rum, soda water, lime, fresh mint and sugar syrup.

Sugar what?!

I make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar with one cup water and boiling on a high heat for two minutes. I find it much nicer to use syrup rather than plain old sugar as it’s far easier to dissolve, and you don’t have sugar crystals spoiling your otherwise awesome drink.

(This makes quite a lot – if your drinking alone, halve the recipe… you poor thing)

Assembly is straightforward – smush some fresh mint with a couple of wedges of lime in the bottom of a glass (I use the end of a rolling pin to do this). Add a little syrup, as much rum as you want, a few ice cubes and top up with soda.

And what’s better than plain old mojitos?

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Raspberry mojitos!

I think you could put pretty much any soft fruit in a mojito, next ingredients on my list of things to rumify are strawberries and watermelon. Haute refreshment.

Drink responsibly, kids.

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