Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur

Hello! I’m back today with another post about our California road trip – an adventure we went this time last year (the time since has flown by!). Last month I talked about San Francisco; from there we headed to Yosemite and today I’m talking about the time we spent in Carmel – which includes a day trip to Monterey Bay and our drive through Big Sur down Route 1.

It’s a jam packed post, but I’ve broken it down into where we stayed, what we did, where we ate and our overall impression – which I hope is useful to you if you’re planning a trip and/or daydreaming about visiting Carmel, Monterey Bay and the surrounding area. I’ve also added in various photos from our time there.


California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Where we stayed

La Playa Carmel. I loved this hotel. I loved it so much that I wrote a list of reasons why I loved it in our travel journey. They were:

  • Breakfast was included (and boy was it tasty!)
  • We had a great view out of our window – we could see the beach
  • The hotel offered free fresh lemonade in the afternoon
  • We had a comfy bed and I slept really well
  • They offer milk and cookies for guests in the early evening (even now that memory makes me so happy)
  • We stayed in a room that had a lovely light in the morning when we woke
  • There was an outdoor terrace where we sat, drank and read our books
Where we ate
  • Lunch: PB Market. PB Market was a general store in Monterey Bay, so not a sit down place, but we popped in, bought loads of snacks and ordered a fresh panini and then sat outside on a picnic bench and had lunch in the gorgeous spring sunshine.
  • Lunch: Big Sur Bakery. On check out in Carmel the team recommended stopping here, as we passed it on our way down to San Simeon. It’s quite a popular little spot and we had a strawberry scone and some iced lemonade here. It was a really warm day so made for the perfect pit stop for us.
  • Dinner: Little Napoli. This was our first meal in Carmel and we opted for pizza; I remember having a really tasty garlic bread for starter too. I liked this place, it had an authentic feel and I loved that they had a signed picture of The Soprano’s cast in the restrooms.
  • Dinner: The Tree House Cafe. Oh we loved this place! While they had a great outdoor space to eat, it was a little chilly so we ate inside. We had the most delicious meal (and wine!) and the whole atmosphere of this restaurant was perfect. The staff couldn’t have done more for us so I highly recommend The Tree House Cafe.


California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


What we did
  • Visited Monterey Bay. There’s a 17 mile drive around the bay and Pebble Beach which we took advantage of. We had to pay a little bit to do so (sorry, I can’t remember how much it was!) and then we followed the route and stopped at regular points to have a walk around. It was an incredibly beautiful area and the views were fantastic.
  • Found a knitting shop, named Knitting by the Sea. When researching Carmel I know by the fact that the shops were quite quaint that there just had to be some kind of craft shop. Knitting by the Sea was a great find, a fab knitting shop and we met the owner and the new addition to the shop… a cat called Boomer. Carmel seems to be very popular with dogs and dog owners, so it was nice to see a cat. Do check out their Facebook page for regular Boomer updates; this is the message I left after we visited.
  • Watched the sun go down on Carmel Beach. On our first night in Carmel we popped to the beach just in good time… a really beautiful moment watching the sun set on the pacific ocean.
  • Looked around the shops and explored the neighbourhood. It’s fair to say when we first arrived we thought the place was a little tacky, but the more time we spent in Carmel the more we were proved wrong. Carmel and the surrounding area was a joy to spend time in – a really good rest point before we headed on to LA.


California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Driving through Big Sur down Route 1

I mentioned Big Sur Bakery earlier, where we stopped for lunch. This was on our route from Carmel to San Simeon, where we stayed the night and visited Hearst Castle. A note on Hurst Castle; while I appreciate that for some it’s a great tourist spot, for us it was just that. A tourist trap that we didn’t really enjoy. We experienced quite a rude member of staff, who mocked our accent, and felt that the place didn’t have enough history.

The route from Carmel to San Simeon was a fantastic experience, not just because I drove some of it(!) but the views were breathtaking – greenery and hills on one side and the ocean on the other. There are plenty of points to stop and take in the view and take photos, and the route felt safe and enjoyable. The blue skies of the day made it even better and I’m sitting here typing wanting to take that drive again. Just before our stop in San Simeon we stopped to see all the Elephant Seals along the beach; never in my life have I seen so many seals! We saw more later on in our trip, in La Jolla, but more on that another time.


California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Overall impression

We loved spending time in this part of California, by this point we were in full swing holiday mood and had settled into the trip. The weather was beautiful, we had some great meals and we were in beautiful surroundings. If you’re planning a trip to California I would always encourage a stop here.


California road trip: Carmel, Monterey Bay and a trip through Big Sur. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Other places we visited on our road trip

More posts coming soon (I’ll update this page as soon as a new post goes live). If you fancy a look, here’s the map of where we visited on our trip.

If you’re planning a trip to this part of California, I hope this post is really useful for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have too, so drop me a comment below or tweet me and I’ll be pleased to help. Before we went to California I also created a Pinterest board, with lots of ideas of places to visit – so be sure to check that out.

Follow Leanne’s board California dreamin’ on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day.

Leanne x

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The year in books – April 2016

Hello, how are you? As we’re almost in April (how?!) today I’m sharing the books I read in March and what I plan to read in April. This is all part of my 2016 goal to read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books.


The year in books - in March 2016 I read The Rosie Project and The Children Act. This month I plan to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Post from This Little Space of Mine


So before I talk about All The Light We Cannot See, my choice for April, here’s how I got on with The Rosie Project and The Children Act. Two very different reads!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. I read it in the space of a week and couldn’t put it down. I especially loved curling up with this book on a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of tea and Freds by my side. The book felt like a ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of story, but so much smarter. I loved the characters almost instantly and thought the story was told well. The only thing I would say is that I wasn’t quite sure what the ending was, so I had to Google it. I won’t say more than that as I don’t want to ruin it, but I’ve heard it’s ‘a thing’ and I’m not alone. Highly recommend The Rosie Project.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

After reading Antonement, I was curious about another Ian McEwan story and spotted this book on my Dad’s bookshelf. The Children Act is an easy enough read and the story has all the makings of being compelling, but for me the spark was missing. I was waiting for a turning point or a twist or more depth about the court case or relationship Fiona has with her husband Jack, but it never came. It felt like it fizzled out to a weak ending, which was such a shame. That being said, the morning after I finished reading it I did think a lot about the characters on my drive to work – so I guess it stayed with me a bit.

April’s book choice

For April I’m going to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while; I came across it while having a lunchtime mooch around Waterstones and my Mum gave it to me at Christmas. Sometimes there is nothing better than spending time in a bookshop, I find it’s a great way of escaping the day to day and inspires me to read more.

What are you reading at the moment? Keep the recommendations coming and hopefully we can all inspire each other to read more in 2016.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

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Journals I use for a happy and organised life

Today I thought I’d share with you an insight into my love of stationery and journaling. While I could say this is a new love – with the oldest of the journals only a year and a bit old – actually I’ve always loved writing and stationery; I can remember being really fussy about the A4 lined paper I used when I was studying for my A’levels and getting cross if someone stole a particular pen I enjoyed writing with. Yep, I was that person!

The idea for this post itself actually came from my boyfriend Stu; I came home from a day trip to London with a new Kikki K journal and his words were “Another journal! How many do you need?”, to which I smiled and thought ‘yayyy, I love lots in my collection and only want to keep growing it!’. He just doesn’t get it.


The journals I use for a happy and positive life - featuring Kikki Ki, Erin Condren and more! Post from This Little Space of Mine


Journals I use for a happy and positive life

So as the title suggests, in this post I’m going to share with you four journals I’m using on a regular basis. I reference happy and positive because I truly believe writing things down helps me a great deal – in the good, the bad and the ugly times, it’s a way of expressing how I’m feeling. At the end of the post I’ve also shared a list of further journals I’d like to get my hands on!


The journals I use for a happy and positive life - featuring Kikki Ki, Erin Condren and more! Post from This Little Space of Mine


One line a day: a 5 year memory book

When I finished my photo-a-day project in 2014 I knew I needed something else. Four years of photos and I felt done with it, yet keeping memories is so important to me. I found this one line a day book and knew it was the perfect replacement. You essentially write a sentence or two for each day; the date is listed at the top of the page and you add in the year as you go. I started it on the 1st January 2015 and already it’s fun to see what I was doing a year ago, so in another few years it’ll be jam packed with memories.

Erin Condren Life Planner

I can’t talk about journalling without mentioning my Erin Condren Life Planner, which while I guess isn’t strictly a journal, is definitely keep me happy and organised!I have the vertical planner and I use it on a day to day basis to help me keep track of home, life, work and blogging tasks. I also tend to cram it with lots of colour and stickers, so it’s a good weekly creative outlet that I’m totally hooked on.

Kikki K gratitude journal

The Kikki K gratitude journal is the latest edition to my collection and is helping me take 5 minutes out at the end of the day to think of three things I’m grateful for. Some days it’s easy and on those grumpy days we all have, it’s a bit more of a challenge. But I’m getting a lot from it. I wrote last week about the gratitude journal, so pop over if you’re curious.


Practicing gratitude with the Kikki K gratitude journal. Post via This Little Space of Mine


Kikki K A5 leather journal

And last but by no means least, while all of the above offer specific things I’d wanted a good quality lined journal for a while. I love writing in a notebook and I’m really fussy about the paper I write on – something about how soft the pen feels when writing – silly as it sounds, if it’s rough and scratchy then it makes writing so much harder. So when visiting the new Kikki K store in London last December I fell in love with this leather bound pink journal – it’s just what I wanted. Lined pages, cute quotes every now and then and a strand of ribbon to mark my place. This is great for scribbling down thoughts, worries etc.


Goals for the year ahead - This Little Space of Mine


I also have a notebook where I scribble down goals and a WIP craft book where I log what I’m working on and the progress I’m making.

And last but by no means least, here’s a kind of journal wishlist – other journals I’d like and think you might like too:

  • The Happiness Planner. Straight from their website, “The Happiness Planner incorporates the practices of positive thinking, positive affirmations, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development into the daily and weekly/monthly pages.”. Yes please.
  • Get to Work Book. Created by Elise of Enjoy it, while the 2016 planner has now sold out, I’m keeping a close eye on the next product release. Other than the planner there are some great additional projects, including this project breakdown pad that I really really want.

So – what journals are you using? Are you new to journalling or a die hard fan? I’d love to hear what you’re loving (or wanting to buy!).

Leanne x

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Practicing gratitude

Gratitude and finding the positives in every day is something I’ve been trying to get into a routine with for a while now. I try to believe that more often than not we have a choice about having a good or bad day and seeing life through a positive lens, but sometimes the reality and stresses of every day life can really interfere with that.

So back in January on a trip to Kikki K in Covent Garden, my friends picked up the gratitude journal and said I needed that in my life. January had been a difficult month and seeing my Dad poorly had knocked me for six, so I thought I’d give it a whirl to see how I got on.


Practicing gratitude with the Kikki K gratitude journal. Post via This Little Space of Mine


The idea with practicing gratitude in the journal is to simply write down three things you’re grateful for each day – I do this before I go to bed. The book encourages you to take 10 minutes out to sit and think about the day you’ve just had to sift out the positives from it. It goes on to say it can take 21 days to form a habit; I’m now around 50 days in and it’s something I’ve found easy to update – with only a couple of days missed – I want to be positive and this book sits by my bedside table, so I always aim to write in it before I turn off the light at night.

The best thing is gratitude can come in all shapes and sizes, the things I’m grateful for might be different to you, or to a friend or family member, but that’s OK because it’s a personal diary to capture the things that you’re grateful or happy to have in your life. Some of my entries have included it being lighter in the morning on my drive to work, cuddles with Freddie after a long day and cooking a nice meal – all very straightforward things we can easily take for granted.


Practicing gratitude with the Kikki K gratitude journal. Post via This Little Space of Mine


Plus, let’s not forget the joy of having pretty stationery to write in! I love Kikki K and my collection of their products is growing and growing. When you’re next in London pop into their Covent Garden stores, you’re going to love it. You can also order from their website.

So if you’re having a tough time, or trying to have a more positive outlook on life I highly recommend this journal – it’s certainly helping me and I’m naturally looking at the good things in my day, not just when I write in the journal but when I’m in my day-to-day routine.

Here’s to a happy and positive day, and thank you for reading!

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 18th March 2016

Hello! Hope you’re well. I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around.


5 happy things - 18th March 2016


5 happy things
  1. Planning my meals for the week (and sticking to it!) – I’ve eaten so much healthier for it.
  2. Celebrating Dad’s birthday with him. I’m so thankful for how well he’s been recovering since January.
  3. Working on something for my friends’ baby. It’s bugging me I can’t share how beautiful it’s looking.
  4. How much brighter it is in the morning.
  5. Enjoying our new dining table and not eating meals on our lap every night.

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Leanne x

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How I use Trello to organise my blog (and my life!)

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, probably a good year in fact. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling over; while I talk a lot about crafts on here, my day to day job isn’t something I really share online too much. In fact, I don’t think many blogs I read talk about their day to day lives, so I’m kind of curious. So before I start talking about Trello and I use it organise my blog, I hope you don’t mind me giving you a little background.

I work in marketing and have done since I graduated with a Business Management degree in 2007. I started in field marketing before moving to email marketing about six and a half years ago. I’ve worked with lots of great clients and love seeing how businesses operate and grow, as well as seeing the success they have in email and wider marketing. The field keeps me learning and that’s one of the best things about my job.

So I’m going to do something brave and challenge myself to posting a monthly blog about marketing; I’ll keep it fairly broad and always aim to bring it back to blogging and being creative, so hopefully you’ll stick with me. Even if you’re not in marketing or are a blogger, I’d hope there’s still something you can take from it.

Today I’m excited to share with you my love of Trello and how useful I think it can be to organising your blog and your blog editorial calendar. So let’s get stuck in…


How to use Trello to organise your blog (and your life!). Post and top tips via This Little Space of Mine


How I use Trello to organise my blog (and my life!)

Trello is a project management board where you can have lists, cards, due dates, labels, checklists, calendar views etc. You can move things around and build a board how it works for you – so there’s lots of flexibility. It’s primarily web based, but they also have an app for Apple and Android. I love Trello and I have done for years; it was introduced to me by a work colleague and it’s a tool I use for work, blogging and organising my personal life – so this post isn’t just for bloggers, I promise!

Here’s a snapshot of how my February blogging board looked:


How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine


You’ll see I have lists for each week of February – which I run from Monday to Sunday, and then there are what they call cards for each blog post. I also have cards for my social media scheduling and monthly newsletter. Here’s a closer look at the first two weeks of February.


How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine


A few key features that I find really useful:

Labels. You’ll see just above the blog post titles various colours, which I’ve set up to tell me where I am in the process of completing the post:

  • Green: To research/make/read/bake/visit
  • Yellow: To photograph
  • Orange: To edit photographs
  • Red: To write
  • Purple: Scheduled
  • Blue: Social updates scheduled

Due dates. Beneath the blog post title you’ll see a date, which you can set and adjust as you need. As the date approaches the colour changes to let you know it’s pending (you can also set up email notifications). There’s also a calendar view to show you more visually how your blog schedule looks – similar to the WordPress plugin.


How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine


Checklists. The checklist feature is incredibly helpful and ensures I cover everything I need to for a given post. You’re able to copy cards, so once you’ve set up one blog card with checklists you can copy it as many times as you need – no need to repeat yourself (so keeping it nice and efficient). For me I’ve tried to stay away from lots of lists in the past, but ultimately it makes me more likely to get 1) stressed and 2) forget something, so the checklist feature is one of my favourite things about Trello. Here’s an example checklist I use when writing a post.


How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine


My checklists cover photography, writing the post, scheduling and organising social media posts.

You can also see how you’re progressing through a checklist when you look at a card on the board (meaning you don’t have to click into each and every card to double check).

Adding images. You’ll notice on a couple of cards that I’ve added images; with Trello you can upload as many images and attachments as you need. I use images to make the board more visual for me, but more so to tell me that I’ve finished creating the photographs I need to for that particular post. You can also attach from URLs, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and more.

Customising. As well as labels, you can also add stickers and change the background. I tend not to use stickers (as it makes it a bit too busy for me!) but I’ve customised the background to something relevant to my branding. It’s worth adding here that Trello is free, with an option to upgrade to Trello Business Class. The paid for option gives you a lot more options to customise, as well as integrations with other platforms, and I uploaded my own background when they ran a free trial. The standard background options are from a palette of colours.

Multiple users. While not relevant to my blog at the moment, at work a team of us use Trello and work from the same board; we all have access and can assign ourselves to cards and @ mention each other if there’s something we need to alert them to. When Stu and I moved house we also set up a board for things we need to do and buy and would assign each other tasks. This makes it a great tool if you’re collaborating with someone or a group of people on a project.

Setting up an ideas board

I used to have a list on this board where I’d add blog post ideas, but found the board was starting to get messy and I wasn’t able to clearly see my ideas and how they fit with the Create, Home and Lifestyle themes of my blog. I’ve recently set up a second Trello board (you can have as many as you need) and so far it seems to be working. I thought having two boards would be a bit daunting, but breaking it down is a theme that works well for me. Here’s a snapshot of my ideas board as it looked at the beginning of February – some of these ideas may never come to light, but you never know!


How I use Trello to organise my blog. This Little Space of Mine


Beyond Trello – using pen and paper

While I use Trello on a daily basis, I still like to use pen and paper to help keep me organised – this applies to my blog and work life. For my blog I have this pad of paper from OhNoRachio’s shop where I filter what I need to do and what would be nice to do in a week, which is paper clipped to my Erin Condren planner. That way Trello never gets too overwhelming for me and allows me to breakdown posts and progress I’ve made.

So what do you think – could this help you with your blogging, work or personal life? I use Trello for so much in my life and I can’t now imagine not using it – I even used it for organising Christmas presents last year!

If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with Trello, they’ve got a great selection of guides that’ll help you, as well as some interesting user stories over on their blog. As a company I really support them and enjoy their brand. I hope you’ll love them as much as me.

If you have any questions on Trello, or feedback on this new post and marketing feature drop me a comment below or tweet me – be great to hear from you.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

California road trip: 2.5 days in San Francisco

Wow, I can’t believe that next month will mark a year since we headed off to San Francisco for the start of our California road trip – I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. I’d planned to blog about each place we visited a long time ago but, with buying a house etc., it’s all been a bit busy! I managed to write about our time in Yosemite and now I’m back on the case and happy to today be sharing with you what we got up to with our 2.5 days in San Francisco.


2.5 days in San Francisco, California. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


It’s a jam packed post, but I’ve broken it down into where we stayed, what we did, where we ate and our overall impression – which I hope is useful to you if you’re planning a trip and/or daydreaming about visiting San Francisco. I’ve also added in various photos from our time there.

Where we stayed

The Beresford Arms on Post Street. While the hotel itself felt a little dated, it was comfortable enough for us and we knew we wouldn’t spend a great time of time in it as we’d be out exploring. The hotel is also only a 10 minute walk to Union Square, which has heaps of shops, restaurants and links to other parts of the city – an ideal spot for us.


2.5 days in San Francisco, California. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Where we ate

During our stay we really tried to avoid tourist traps (with a couple of exceptions!) and instead aimed to be guided by Google reviews of local restaurants near where we were staying; with only a couple of days to explore we were exhausted by the evening so local was key for us.

  • Breakfast: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. I’d stumbled across this bakery via Instagram before our trip, so when I found out it was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel I knew we had to pay a visit. The food didn’t disappoint; their offering is really unique and I especially remember how good the pastrami and pesto danish was. While there isn’t any seating inside, it’s a great spot for grabbing breakfast and seemed popular with locals.
  • Lunch: Mijita. We walked past this Mexican cafe as we came off the ferry from Sausalito and thought it looked good, so popped back the following day for lunch. We both had a tortas sandwich and a fresh juice and it filled us up nicely. As far as Mexican places go, we both loved this place.
  • Afternoon pit stop: Mojo. After visiting the Painted Ladies and with the wind picking up, we popped into Mojo, a bicycle cafe, for a hot drink. The staff couldn’t have been friendlier and we spoke for ages about our trip, with them giving us recommendations. I could’ve spent more time there; the hot chocolate was super tasty too!
  • Dinner: The Cheesecake Factory. OK, definitely a tourist trap but we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. This was our very first meal and, incredibly jetlagged, it was nice and local to our hotel – at the top of Macy’s on Union Square. The burger and milkshake we had was so tasty and we couldn’t resist having some cheesecake. Delicious.
  • Dinner: Sakana. This was probably our favourite meal during the stay, a low-key sushi restaurant on Post Street. This restaurant had a friendly local feel to it and the staff were incredibly friendly to us. Plus, the food was delicious and just what we’d been after (figuring San Francisco was a good place for sushi) If I ever went back I would definitely pay Sakana another visit.
  • Dinner: Sai Jai Thai (they don’t seem to have a website, so I’ve linked to their Trip Advisor page). In our continued quest for local spots (and to avoid just eating burgers, chips etc.) we opted for Thai on our final night and found this restaurant through a Google review. Less than 10 minutes from Beresford Arms, I had Pad Thai here (one of my favourite Thai dishes). Delicious, really tasty food. Very local and definitely no-thrills, the food speaks for itself I’d say.


2.5 days in San Francisco, California. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


What we did

With just over two days in San Francisco we knew it was going to be jam packed, but we saw and did loads. Below is an overview of some of the places we visited, though we saw quite a few more places using the City Sightseeing hop on hop off bus pass.

  • Hired bikes and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We caught a tram to take us as far down as we could and came across Blazing Saddles, on Beach Street, where we hired bikes for a few hours. The team guided us on the route to the Golden Gate Bridge and we were off. This was on the very first morning of our trip and is still one of my highlights of those three weeks. The weather was glorious and it was a great experience. We reckon it was about 10 miles we cycled all in all and, had we had time, we definitely would’ve liked to have spent some time in Sausalito – the town you arrive in across the bridge.
  • Walked around Fisherman’s Wharf. Between arriving back from Sausalito and catching the ferry to Alcatraz we had a bit of time to walk around Fisherman’s Wharf. I do understand why it’s popular, but it’s a major tourist trap and really wasn’t our kind of place.
  • Visited Alcatraz. Part of our package (booked with Flight Centre) included a booking to Alcatraz island and a tour of the old prison. We were told to book before we went, so I’d recommend booking before you go. Alcatraz was certainly an enlightening experience and I’m pleased we went. I had no idea people, including children, lived on the island while the prison was open. I certainly learnt a lot during our visit.
  • Used our 48 hour City Sightseeing hop on hop off bus pass. With limited time, this was the perfect way for us to get around the city and see the bits we wouldn’t have time to fully explore (like Japan town). The guides were friendly, funny and told us lots and lots of useful information about the city.
  • Walked up Lombard Street (the crooked steps). We got off the hop on hop off bus around North Beach and walked all along Lombard Street to the crooked steps, which we then walked up. Tough going, especially as it was a warm sunny morning, but good to do and there are some gorgeous houses to be spotted as you walk it.
  • Visited the Painted Ladies on Alamo Square. Using the bus pass again, we got off the bus around Fell Street and walked over to see the famous row of houses, names the Painted Ladies. It’s a hugely popular area, so much so that tourist buses aren’t allowed to drive there. It’s also on Steiner Street – a reference to Mrs. Doubtfire that made me smile (sadly we didn’t have time to go and see that house). Alamo Square is also home to a patch of grass that a lot of people hang out on, so we took some time out here to enjoy the pretty scenery.


2.5 days in San Francisco, California. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


Overall impression

The weather has to be mentioned… San Francisco is odd. One of the tour guides told us to bring clothes for every weather and he wasn’t wrong – in a day it went from being bright blue skies and really warm to cold, windy and having a downpour, before that bright blue sky came out. I struggled with the weather and even went to H&M to buy a big jumper because that bitter cold wind was horrible. But that’s more me being unprepared than anything else.


2.5 days in San Francisco, California. Top tips on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did and more! Post via This Little Space of Mine


I’ve also got to say how much we noticed people running and keeping fit – especially with all those hills, kudos to them. I reckon I’d have to join in with them if I lived in San Francisco!

My only wish for San Francisco is that it hadn’t been our first stop of the trip, as I really struggled with jet lag and getting into the swing of the holiday. Those first couple of days felt like a blur and so, for that reason, I’d love to go back to San Francisco one day and spend a good week there exploring all the different areas.

Other places we visited on our road trip

More posts coming soon (I’ll update this page as soon as a new post goes live). If you fancy a look, here’s the map of where we visited on our trip.

If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, I hope this post is really useful for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have too, so drop me a comment below or tweet me and I’ll be pleased to help. Before we went to California I also created a Pinterest board, with lots of ideas of places to visit – so be sure to check that out.

Follow Leanne’s board California dreamin’ on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day.

Leanne x

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The year in books – March 2016

Hello, how are you? As it’s the final day of the month today I’m sharing with you my February progress and March plans for my 2016 goal to read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books.


The year in books - in March 2016 I plan to finally read The Rosie Project. This Little Space of Mine


Before I come on to my plans to read The Rosie Project, let’s catch up on how February went and my plans to read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.

When I received my copy of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, and saw the size of it, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to read it. To my surprise I read it in just over two weeks and I think that’s testament to how much I’m enjoying reading and how I’m making more time for it. It also helps that Stu’s getting into reading this year, so I have someone else to talk to and encourage to read more. I’d consider myself a slow reader, what about you?

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Set in the summer of 1976 (which I’m told was a hot summer, as depicted in the book), Joanna Cannon tells the story of the people who live in The Avenue after news that one of the residents has disappeared. Before I go on if you’re wondering about the title, while there are no actual goats or sheep in the story the meaning behind them certainly plays a part in the story being told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story; it took me a while to get into it and there were moments were I got confused between who was who, but overall I found myself getting really involved in the goings on in ‘The Avenue’. I’m usually one for fast-paced books and, while this isn’t one of those, the story is told incredibly well and there were points where I thought about the underlining messages Joanna Cannon was presenting, long after I’d put the book down. The story is charming and the observations by the narrator are sweet and heart-warming.

Mary Poppins: The Complete Collection by P.L. Travers

I’ve now read the first two books, there are six in total but I’m now going to have a break from Mary Poppins for a little bit and might pick it up after I’ve read The Rosie Project.

The first book, simply named Mary Poppins, felt more like a series of short stories than a book. There are 12 chapters in total, so 12 different stories, which made the book feel a little disjointed for me. Also, Mary Poppins seems a lot colder than in the film so it’s an interesting contrast. In book two, called Mary Poppins Comes Back, there’s a lot more warmth to the story and characters – perhaps because I’m two books in, but it made it far more enjoyable. Mary Poppins is still a little mean, but I kind of feel like she’s winking at the reader in situations with Julie and Andrew. I’m looking forward to reading book three soon.

March’s book choice

For March I’m going to read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It was lent to me at the beginning of the year and looks like a fun read; I know there was a big hype around it – maybe when it came out – yet I know nothing about it, which I much prefer when I pick up a new book.

What are you reading at the moment? Keep the recommendations coming and hopefully we can all inspire each other to read more in 2016.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 26th February 2016

Hello! Hope you’re well, I’ve been enjoying a week off work this week (and loving it!). I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around.


5 things making me happy this week - This Little Space of Mine


5 happy things
  1. A week off work and time with Stuart.
  2. Making plans for my best friends’ hen do and wedding and my other best friends’ baby shower.
  3. Playing with yarn pegs. I might do another post on this soon.
  4. Watching the final series of Buffy. I was always a huge fan of Buffy, yet for some reason I never watched the final series.
  5. Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup – it’s a revelation!

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Leanne x

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5 podcasts to download today

When it comes to podcasts I feel like I’m so incredibly late to the party. Everyone has been listening to them for years, right? I’ve always seen podcasts I like the look of, but never been sure how to listen to them. It sounds so silly, I know! I hear of iTunes and think, well what about Android users? Then towards the end of last year my boyfriend starting getting into podcasts on his Android, told me what to download (and a few podcasts to listen to) and off I went. I use Podcast Addict; it’s great.

So now I love them; they make my journey to and from work more enjoyable (and the journey goes quicker!) and I listen while I’m cooking, crafting etc. They provide good company too, when music just isn’t what I want.


5 podcasts to download today - featuring Elise Gets Crafty, Blogtacular, Pomcast, Mortified and Adam Buxton. This Little Space of Mine


In today’s post I wanted to share and shout about 5 podcasts I’ve been listening to and enjoying – in case you’re like me and a) are late to the podcast party or b) would like to find new listens.

Elise Gets Crafty

Oh boy, I love this podcast. I started with the episode where the creator of 1 second every day shared his story and haven’t looked back. In each weekly episode, Elise discusses blogging, business and creativity – with a new guest each time. Even if you’re not ‘into’ any of those things, there’s a lot of inspiration to be found around working practices, keeping organised and looking after yourself. Elise finds genuinely interesting people to speak to (who you can resonate with), gets insight from them I haven’t heard in other podcasts and keeps it enjoyable – most podcasts are around 35 minutes too, so it doesn’t drag. Listening to an episode on my drive to work feels like it’s kick starting my day in a positive way, so I highly recommend a listen. Also, and this is how late I am to the party, Elise is the creator of Get to Work Book; in planner land this product seems to be growing and growing in popularity.

Find out more and listen to Elise Gets Crafty here.

Pomcast

Pomcast is a knitting podcast that comes from the team at Pom Pom Quarterly magazine. Above anything else, it’s just a fun podcast that always makes me smile and want to hang out with Lydia and Sophie at the pub (obviously while knitting!). The funny thing is, those ladies are what I call ‘grown up’ knitters; they knit with ‘proper’ yarn that costs more than your average Stylecraft ball of yarn. I’m not a ‘grown up’ knitter, but sure would like to be one day, but that difference doesn’t make the podcasts any less enjoyable to listen to. They regularly interview designers and fellow knitters, plus squeeze in details of what they’ve been making and random chit chat. It’s one of those podcasts where I get excited for the next episode to arrive.

Find out more and listen to Pomcast here.

Blogtacular

You may remember me talking about Blogtacular before (see here); it’s a place for “place for bloggers whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire” and, alongside their annual blogger conference, they’ve recently branched out into the land of podcasts. Kat kicked things off with Marte Marie Forsberg, who I heard talk at Blogtacular and have found her hugely inspiring ever since. The podcast is very much aimed at creatives and those with their own business (or business day dreams!) and love to be crafty in whatever shape that may be. A friendly and fun podcast, I look forward to hearing more guests.

Find out more and listen to Blogtacular here.

Adam Buxton

If you’re looking for something away from being creative, Adam Buxton‘s podcast is the one for you. I never listened to the Adam and Joe show on the BBC or XFM (though the back catalogue is available), but this podcast is great fun and there’s something dry and enjoyable and his humour. Adam has so far interviewed the likes of Louis Theroux, Rob Brydon and my favourite, Caitlin Moran. The topics he discusses captivate me and keep me interested, plus there are various skits and funny anecdotes. The show is currently on a break, but I really hope it returns soon. In the meantime there are 12 episodes to keep you entertained.

Find out more and listen to Adam Buxton here.

Mortified

And finally, for something completely different, how about Mortified? The Mortified Podcast is “angst written”; in a live-stand up environment guests share their childhood writings – so diaries, poems etc. Can you imagine sharing your teenage diary?! The horror! For that reason it’s a fun, light hearted podcast that I often listen to while I’m at work; it’s great to have on in the background for company. The laughter sometimes grates on me, but all in all this podcast makes me laugh; the people who share their stories are so brave!

Find out more and listen to Mortified here.

So what are you listening to? Whenever someone says the word podcast in conversation I’m all excited and asking what they’re listening to (the novelty hasn’t worn off!). So if you have a podcast you’re loving, let me know! Equally, if you listen to one of the above, let me know what you think, I hope you like them.

Thanks for reading.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

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