In my last post, Neil and I visited Sheffield Park and Garden. We took a right turn when we left, and little did we know what we stumbled upon…Read More
If you've been a Fifi McGee fan for a while you'll know that every year, the very moment the leaves start falling, Neil and I race out and prance around the woods for a wee photoshoot sesh together. There's something about all the colours, the first frost and the excuse to wrap up warm that makes us look forward to our annual Autumnal shoots together. This year, we fled to Wilderness Woods!Read More
The little beach hut of dreams has stolen my heart, she really has.
In my opinion, everyone needs a few hours every month, or a weekend every year in a place like this to rethink or plan forth your direction in life. And that's exactly what Neil & I planned as "Dreamers-in-residence" in the hut that sits on Hove promenade. We talked about our home plans, his Brighton wedding photography plans, and the vision for my blog and how I'll get there.
Aside from the sheer beauty of this little place, what is most special about the beach hut are the experiences it provides for the dreamers in residence, and all for free. It's an inspiring initiative run by Beth & Paul, the couple behind Do What You Love online courses (I've been a part of this one, and can't recommend it highly enough, they also have a Do What You Love guide to blogging which I'm signing up for). Beth & Paul are passionate about giving people a day away out of their lives to spend time here, and have opened it up to anyone to apply. I simply love this.
Neil and I visited the beautiful botanic gardens at Wakehurst place at Ardingly in West Sussex about a month ago when the blossom was in full bloom. The same day I received a surprise wee package in the post and ever since we've been inseparable.
Meet my new lucky charm. A shiny silver wishbone necklace from JewelStreet by designers Astrid & Miyu.
I've never been one for costume or statement jewellery, always opting for simple white gold or silver rings and necklaces. Astrid & Miyu have a unique yet simple collection on JewelStreet's website, polished to perfection sterling silver at very affordable prices. My next purchase will have to be a pair of their shiny wishbone earrings to match. They're a steal at just £29.
For any upcoming birthdays, graduation presents or if you fancy treating yourself I'd recommend having a look at the website and Astrid & Miyu's offering. There's something for everyone for every budget.
Hola amigos. Bit of a different post for me as a few weeks ago I was challenged by Insurance2go to do a whole 24 hours IPHONE AND MAC-LESS! Shock horror.
Yes. The newest campaign on the block is for us bloggers to retreat from all things digital. No facebook, no twitter, no texting, no calls and, wait for it, NO FLAPPY BIRD.
At first I thought it would be easy. I'm not usually glued to my iPhone, the odd text here and there, some flicks through twitter and posting to instagram, certainly not like other people who need their phone right beside their plate of chips in a restaurant, eyes darting when the screen lights up.
Or so I thought...
After trying - and epicly failing - at doing the digital detox whilst camping with the girls (it was hard even when in the wilderness without signal!) I managed about 12 hours and missed people at home so much that I wanted to know everything was ok so caved.
It beat me up pretty bad. I didn't want to be that kinda person, cradling their phone instead of soaking in the camping atmosphere, so I decided to give it another shot and challenged myself in a more 'routine' kinda day.
Neil and I visited Barcombe Mills, a sleepy town in Sussex and the 24 hours went a little bit like this...
00:00am Fifi sound asleep dreaming of tartan blankets and blogging
08:00am Up at the crack of dawn I usually reach for my phone before I even say good morning, to check the time, twitter and emails. Instead I spent the morning making up a picnic for Neil & I's plans, doing some cleaning and flicking through some interior mags, making notes on all the period furniture I wanna buy for our new home.
12:00pm Neil & I hit the road for the postcard-picturesque town of Barcombe Mills. There's nothing better than doing a digital detox whilst lapping up the great outdoors. I found that I was much more engaged in conversation, chatting away to bar staff at the Anchor Inn, whereas usually I place an order of drinks and immediately look at my phone to tide over the awkward silences.
13:30pm After a nice hearty brew at the pub, we hired a rowing boat for a 'romantic' row down the river Ouse right beside The Anchor Inn. Sounds a lot more romantic than it actually was. I spent the whole time TERRIFIED of our boat capsizing clutching to my lifejacket, getting stuck in overhanging branches and screaming when dragonflies flew too close with nowhere to run. Still, at least I didn't have my phone with me to worry about if I had to unexpectedly dive into the river ;)
15:00pm All this boat action made me forget about my digital detox and after some belly aching laughter climbing out of the rowing boat, we took to the riverbank for a well deserved picnic. It was this point I started missing my phone. The picturesque scenery was just TOO instagram-able. But I stood firm and promised myself I'd share some of Neil's photos on instagram the next day. The world wasn't about to end! Hoorah!
17:00pm On the drive home we took a de-tour to adventure around the local village. Not much to see bar some cute pubs we'll definitely be returning to for Sunday lunch, and sure enough, we found ourselves a little lost in the country roads. At this point I was wishing I brought my phone with me for emergency access to satnav. It's amazing how dependent and lost I felt without Google Maps in my life. Neil ended up having to pull in and navigate on his phone given his Chief Map Reader was out of action! Good job too, I'm the world's worst map reader.
20:30pm After some light din dins when we got back, we settled down for the eve. This usually cues me setting up The 4400 (a Netflix finest) on my Mac / Chromecast - but not tonight. No digital means no Netflix :( which is another part of modern technology I'm massively dependent on. Instead we watched Lord of The Rings on Blu Ray. Yep. We actually put a DVD into the playstation. And there was me thinking DVD's were extinct! It felt so good to watch a film in stunning quality besides it collecting dust in the cupboard.
23:00pm Similar to my first try at going phone/laptop free, it got to about 11pm and I suddenly got paranoid people have been trying to get in touch with me, that something serious has happened and I'm having a whale of a time none the wiser. This is what made me fail the previous try, so I talked myself round and fell asleep reading a book.
Come the morning I was a happy lassy again, checking tweets, sharing photos of the day before and replying to emails. The detox was a real eye-opener for me. I thought I could easily go weeks without my mac and iphone, but I feel like my bad sense of direction and addiction to sharing photos on Instagram makes me totally dependent on it. Vive le apple!
How do you think you'd get on? Have you given it a go?
Disclaimer: I was approached by Insurance2go to do this challenge and as a thanks, was given a super cute Nexus 7 so I never have to go technology-less again! I was under no obligation to write or feature this and all thoughts are my own.
Photos by Neil W. Shaw Photography (psst, he also does weddings!)
Neil just got a new car, hoorah! This means countless trips out to Sussex villages, country pubs, picnics by rivers and o'course some obligatory drive thrus. Last weekend we took her out for a spin to Forgewood Campsite on the border of Kent/Sussex, pitched up for the weekend and celebrated Neil's birthday around a campfire in the forest.