Last Wednesday my boyfriend and I decided to book an impromptu trip to the lakes. We'd been to Keswick, in Cumbria, about five years ago during the summer and absolutely loved it. I'd always dreamed of going back and taking Rory with us, as the place is ridiculously dog-friendly, but as he doesn't travel well I thought it would never happen. However, over the past few years we've been building him up to travel longer distances and we had a bit of a 'Bugger it, you only live once' moment and decided to take him on his first holiday.

He was an absolute star for the whole four-hour journey and I couldn't have been prouder. We'd booked a little Airbnb for the night which he settled into straight away. It was in the perfect location - literally right in the centre of Keswick, a 30-second walk from some of our favourite shops and restaurants. I think the place we stayed out is up for sale so no longer taking bookings, but the host has some other properties nearby.

Things to do in Keswick 

No matter what time of year you visit, the Lake District is always breathtakingly beautiful, and November was no different. It was pretty cold, so we did have to wrap up warm, but when you're walking lots and exploring you warm up pretty quickly. Keswick is a gorgeous little town, with a massive lake and loads of cute shops, art galleries and dog-friendly pubs and cafes.

Even though we were only there for a couple of days, we got so much done. While it's great if you can stop for longer, I don't think there's anything wrong with heading to the Lake District for just one night. I thought I'd run through some of the ways to spend 24 hours in Keswick, in case you're thinking of heading there and stuck on what to do.

Take a walk around Derwent Water 

Derwent Water is an absolutely beautiful (and massive!) lake. Have a wander around it and take in the scenery - the autumn colours were so stunning when we visited. It's a great place to take pictures too - you can get some great shots of the mountains and we got some brilliant drone footage too.

Visit the shops for some souvenirs

There are loads of cute shops and art galleries in Keswick. It's a great place to get your hands on some one-off pieces and just browsing the shops is fun in itself. My favourite shop was probably Love the Lakes - I may have picked up a cheeky bottle of cherry bakewell gin liqueur in there!

Enjoy some pub grub 

After a long walk around the lake or up the nearby mountains, what better way to round the day off than with some delicious pub grub? Keswick is full of dog-friendly pubs, and my favourite has got to be the Dog and Gun. It's currently dressed up to the nines in Christmas decor and is such a nice, cosy place to visit. It's also extremely dog friendly, with treats for the pooches, and there's a warm log fire to cosy up by.

Other places to eat at worth mentioning: Casa Bella for delicious Italian food and Jasper's for breakfast or coffee and cake (it's also very dog-friendly and vegan-friendly!).

Have a boat ride on the Keswick Launch

The Keswick Launch has daily boat trips around the lake, and I totally recommend doing it if you go on a sunny morning. We headed out on the boat on Friday and the weather was beautiful. I loved taking in all the autumn colours, watching the sunlight reflect off the water and admiring all the stunning houses just off the lake. It's a 50-minute trip to go all the way round, but you can also get dropped off at one of the many jetties and walk back to the town, which is what we did.

I totally recommend visiting Keswick if you get the chance, it's just a lovely little place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It's also perfect if you're looking for a dog-friendly holiday - we saw SO many dogs while we were there and Rory had the best time ever. I can't wait to visit again!

Where is your favourite place in the Lake District? Let me know!

All photos - By Tom Edwards

I’m going to be honest here – I’ve never been very good at saving money. Shopping is one of my favourite things to do and I’ve always been a bit of an impulse shopper – my motto was ‘You can always return it, right?!’ - figuring that buyer’s remorse was always better than the regret of not having bought something.

TK Maxx and Homesense are probably my biggest weaknesses when it comes to impulse buying. I’ll pop in for a browse, and return an hour later with three notebooks, a dog bed, five pumpkin-scented candles, a novelty planter and last year’s Too Faced holiday eyeshadow palette. It’s an illness.

However, since buying a house and re-reading Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’, the impulse shopper in me has swiftly done a disappearing act. I think it might have something to do with the 12654 (slight exaggeration) ‘nick knacks’ I had to remove from my office when it came to decorating it a few months ago, as well coming to the realisation that having so much 'stuff' was just making me sad.

My wardrobe was fit to burst, with things constantly falling out. The amount of times I had to dismantle my Alex drawers to find something that had fallen down the back of them doesn't bear thinking about. My jewellery was such a big tangled mess that I could never find the piece I wanted to wear and don't even get me started on my overcrowded windowsill, brimming with far too many candles, planters, ornaments and who knows what else. Enough was enough.

When re-doing my dressing room, watching Marie Kondo's Netflix show and re-reading her book, I had a bit of an epiphany. All these things I spent my money on - how many of them actually made me happy? I had endless notebooks that were 'too nice' to write in, planters I hadn't filled, candles that I'd never burnt. I had too many clothes and accessories I couldn't find the ones I really loved, and just going about my day-to-day life was becoming such a struggle with so many inanimate objects getting in the way.

The realisation hit me the next time I visited my beloved TK Maxx. I would look and things and think 'That's nice' and know that normally, I'd be heading straight to the till with it. But something was different - I started asking reasonable questions like 'Where would I put it?', 'Would I actually use it?', 'Am I going to get much wear out of it?' and just like that - the impulse shopper in me was gone.

And, so far, I've stuck to it. It hasn't even been hard - I've just become much more mindful, and responsible, when it comes to what I spend my money on. I look at things and really think about how much use I'll get out of them, whether they will actually fit anywhere in my house, if I'll actually get round to writing in that notebook or wearing that pair of shoes. It has honestly changed my life. Since clearing out my house of all the meaningless crap I had, I'm much happier at home and can actually get to things.

Are you a bit of an impulse buyer like I was? Follow my tips the next time you're out shopping if you are - less 'That's going straight in my basket' and more 'Do I really need this?'

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Autumn is officially in full swing and I don't know about you, but I couldn't be happier. I feel like autumn is THE season for fashion. I'm all about the check prints, chunky knits and the gorgeous autumnal colour palette, filled with mustard yellows, rusty oranges, deep reds and emerald greens.

Autumn is the time I get really excited about fashion again - I feel like during the summer, with the ridiculous temperatures we had, every intention of looking chic went out the window - but now it's time to embrace all that I love about autumn fashion. Plus, autumn is the best time for curling up with a hot chocolate, placing a few online clothes orders and planning your upcoming outfits. So, I thought it made perfect sense put together a wishlist of all the incredible autumn clothes (and a few makeup bits!) I'm lusting after.

All of the images below are clickable so you can head straight to the website and get your shop on!

Let me know if you'll be picking up any of the pieces I found! Honestly I want to buy them all!

When it was first revealed Illamasqua was bringing out a nude/neutral palette I know there were a few people who were a tad surprised. Illamasqua are famed for being a bit wild and wacky, and ultimately, aim to break the mould - so why opt for a nude palette when they're all about being different?

Well, I for one was super excited about the new addition to their impressive repertoire of beauty products, and I feel like it makes sense. Neutrals are huge and it would be stupid of a brand not to recognise that. Plus, I'm a big fan of Illamasqua as a brand but I'll always be a neutral girl, so this palette completely appealed to me. I think that's probably why they decided to go for this - while 90% of their collections are nothing short of extraordinary, it's nice that your average neutral junky has something to opt for when perusing their local Illamasqua.

But that's not to say this palette is the same as every other nude palette out there. The Illamasqua Nude Collection Unveiled Artistry Palette (£38) is a gorgeous mix of both matte and metallic neutral shades and, in true Illamasqua style, it veers away from 'traditional' neutrals and gives us something that packs a bit more of a punch. There is a rich fuschia, deep cherry, a delicious bronze and an array of more orange-toned matte shades. I personally think it's a brilliant palette for anyone who loves a neutral but wants to try something a little more 'fun'.

As with all Illamasqua shadows, these are super pigmented and blend beautifully. They're perfect for everyday wear but also look stunning smoked up for an evening look. Honestly, I think if you're debating buying this palette then go for it - you won't be disappointed.

I remember visiting Bristol and Bath with my parents as a kid, many moons ago, and absolutely loving both places with equal measure. So, when I was deciding where to go on a little weekend break to celebrate my birthday, I knew exactly where I wanted to visit.

We travelled down early on a Friday morning and spent Friday and Saturday in Bristol, Sunday in Bath. It was the ridiculously hot Bank Holiday weekend we had a few weeks back, so both places were scorching hot and gorgeously sunny. It meant it was a bit too hot at times, but I honestly felt like I was abroad wandering along Bristol's harbour and sunning myself in a cute garden in Bath, sipping rhubarb and custard cider.

We stayed at Clifton House, a beautiful hotel in pretty Clifton, with streets lined with stunning Georgian townhouses. Breakfast was included and our room was lovely - modern with a traditional touch, perfectly matched to the Victorian building. While it was a good 20-minute walk into Bristol city centre, Clifton was only 10 minutes away and I absolutely loved it there - definitely my favourite part of Bristol.

Clifton was bursting with cute shops, Instagrammable cafes and just an all-round lovely atmosphere. We stopped off for some lunch at East Village Cafe and it was amazing - delicious food and drink, amazing interior (and exterior!) and some incredible cakes (Tom had an almond and raspberry cake and it honestly looked to-die-for). We then had a wander around some of the shops in the arcade, including an awesome crystal shop, a shop full of weird and wonderful plants and my favourite - a homeware shop packed full of so many nice things. The lady in there made our day - we were telling her about how we've just bought a house together and she went and got us a house-warming present, it was the cutest thing. Everyone there seemed so friendly and welcoming, which was lovely.

While in Clifton we took a walk up to view the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a pretty impressive piece of architecture. There's an observatory there with a Camera Obscura and the Giant's Cave - a 130-step walk down to view the bridge and the Avon Valley from the natural cave that formed in the limestone face of St Vincent's Rock. We took the trip down and it was a really impressive view, although I'm not sure it was worth the 130-step walk!

We also went to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, and I'd definitely recommend going if you like natural history or art. One of the exhibitions was all about endangered animals and honestly it struck such a chord with me I could've cried. They'd placed black sheets over the animals that were extinct or seriously under threat and it's probably the best way I've ever seen the threat of extinction illustrated so poignantly.

Obviously, as Bristol is pretty much the home of all things are you don't need to head to a museum to see it - there is street art on every corner - including lots of Banksys!

In Bath we of course had to pay a visit to the Roman Baths - it's a beautiful place steeped in so much history, but if you're not a big history buff you might find it a bit dull. I do think it's a must-visit if you're there though - just be aware it gets very busy, so get your pictures as soon as you go in! Bath itself is just a dream to wander around and a great place for shopping - one of my favourite shops has got to be Topping and Company Booksellers - an amazing bookshop full of first editions and signed copies.

When in Bristol and Bath we ate at some amazing places, some which are definitely worth making a note of are: Mrs Potts Chocolate House (a chocoholic's dream), The Bristol Stable (amazing pizza and cider), Pinkmans Bakery (they do sourdough doughnuts!) and Cafe au Lait in Bath - they do the most incredible pancakes.

We had such a lovely, chilled weekend taking in the sights and sounds of both cities and it was so nice to just wander around and take in the scenery. Bristol had such an incredible atmosphere and general vibe the whole time we were there - so laid back and chilled, and I loved how arty the place was. One of my highlights has got to be stumbling across a Banksy as we were walking towards the cathedral - the city is full of his work. Bath was truly beautiful and just a total pleasure to wander around - I wish we could've spent a bit more time there. Overall I had the best time and would totally recommend paying both places a visit if you can!