Oh Castleton!

Castleton is misty, green hills dotted with bleating sheep. It’s a sandwich board outside a pub inviting neighbors and travelers alike. Castleton is muddy paws and muddy boots walking side by side in the early morningIt’s stealing a glance through a cottage window and seeing a newspaper being read--a pot of tea being served…

This quiet and charming town has stolen our hearts. Our second visit to the Peak District felt like our first, and we fell in love again and again. We recommend anyone traveling to the northern part of England to visit Castleton in Derbyshire. Go to Bulls Head and try the mulled wine. If it’s a Sunday, try the Roast. Sample the sweets at the shops. Have some ice cream! Eat a meat pie. 

The climb is steep but walk up the hill to Peveril Castle. See the Caverns. Walk along the public footpaths and follow the stream. When the church bells toll, stop what you're doing and breathe deep. 

Here's a video from our first trip to Castleton so you can see what I mean:

Make the trip if you can, friends! 
Trust me on this one...

Wigs and Friends

Do you ever have an incredible experience and at the end of the day think to yourself, "Well I certainly wasn't expecting that to happen today!" Those were my exact thoughts a few Sundays ago. Friends, we had, quite possibly, the perfect day! It started out with going to church service and making new friends along the way. Quite literally. Turns out a lovely elderly couple attends the same church and gets on at the same bus stop as ours. Funny right? They informed us the service was going to be a little different because that particular Sunday was the start of the Legal year. Judges and mayors would be attending in full regalia (think wigs and stately apparel). It was such a  stately sight and one we will never forget!

After the service we stayed to rub elbows with the big wigs (I TOTALLY get that idiom now!) and had deliciously fancy hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Then we headed to the Manchester Food and Drink Festival with our friends, Sam and Katie. We had pizza and Indian food and ate in the shadow of the Manchester City Council building. Once we were done there, we walked around the area. We ended our time together by going to Cloud 23 for some bread and water because everything else was too pricey. Haha! #thatbudgetlife The bar is on the 23rd floor of Beetham Tower (hence the name) and has glorious views of Manchester.
After our food feast, we walked around Manchester and Sam & Katie showed us a few places we had never been.
What a fantastic day!

The Happiness Boutique!

I have quite a healthy collection of statement necklaces. I just love how they instantly add a fancy factor to any outfit. Today I wanted to share about Happiness Boutique, because they're a super cool jewelry company based in Berlin who does FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING and they also have a customer reward program!  Lately shipping costs have been the deciding factor on many of my online purchases. International shipping can get very expensive and it's so hard to find businesses who offer it. Plus they have AMAZING customer service and the utmost patience with a loopy bloggers (AKA ME!).

Anywho, back to necklaces! This is the one I picked because it had a touch of sparkle which is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Also you can wear it with either warm or cool tones. Isn't it pretty? Oh la la!

I ended up pairing it with this sweater... I'm currently obsessed with this color which is a mix between rouge and rosewood. It's the perfect way to do pink in Fall...amirite? I'm wearing this tonight to a Christmas Kickoff event in Manchester. It's going to be a festive event with live music and fireworks so I figured I needed some sparkle. This necklace is perfect for it!

Check out their online shop here and please apply the code janettelane to your purchase for a 10% discount on orders over 19 euros. (That's about $20 USD) The discount code is only valid until November 27th, so hurry and place those orders!
the happiness boutique

They also have a bi-monthly giveaway which you can enter here.

Thanks so much for reading!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are genuinely my own.

Day Trip to Birmingham for the UKPA Big Meet Planner Event

Sometimes super duper cool things happen to me. Like the time my best friend and I flew to Vegas for just dinner. Or the time I got to contribute some craft projects for a book... This time I was blessed with an invitation to attend the biggest planner event in the UK before I had even moved there. What an amazing experience! I can’t even begin to describe how great it was to be at the UK Planner Addict “Big Meet” in Birmingham! And after the meetup, was equally spectacular! I joined Lovey, who had come along to explore the rest of the city. Here’s an hourly, play by play of our first day trip, along with pictures:

5:30-Alarm goes off and I’m almost certain we’re going to miss the bus. If we miss the bus, we’ll miss the train. Inwardly panicking.

6:30-We made it on the bus and hoping we’re not late to the train station.

7:30- Train departs Picadilly station. We’re sitting in backward facing seats even though I booked forward-facing. Pretty sure that at this point Lovey and I are going to get motion sickness.

8:30-Almost time to get off and we’re happy neither of us are dizzy. We actually had a gorgeous ride with sweeping, countryside views! Wow!

9:30-After Yelping some breakfast restaurants in the area, turns out they’re all closed (even though website hours state otherwise) or not geo-tagged correctly. Finally we find a random place and have a full English breakfast with tea for £4. We’re terribly impressed since the food here tends to be a little pricey.
10:30-Lovey and I part ways. He heads back to the city center and I head to the direction of the event. It’s raining and we only have one umbrella. Of course!

11:30- All the ladies (me included) make their way into the venue and attempt to find our seats. Once settled we calmly sift through our sponsor bags. Haha! Wow! So much goodness!
12:30- Listened to a great keynote speech, by special guest and Kikki K. Founder, Kristina Karlsson. (I got my first, ring-bound planner from Kikki K .)
1:30- A time of shopping and eating yummy treats begins.  Also taking selfies with creative girls and UK planner royalty! And BONUS—Finding 3 other Americans there.
2:30- Walking back to meet Lovey and it's still raining. About half way there I realize that I’m walking uphill and my boots are super slippery and grip-less. Yikes!

3:30- Lovey and I start exploring Birmingham. The Library of Birmingham offers almost 360 degrees of city views! (Definitely my favorite.)

4:30- We have dinner at a charming pub by the canal, The Malt House. It’s a little pricey, so we split a sampler. Also my first time trying mushy peas. I didn’t realize they came with our order and I thought it was guacamole! Ha!

5:30- More walking and sightseeing.
6:30- Lovey is hungry again, so he gets his favorite, chips and curry. 

7:30- Board on the correct train after worrying whether or not we were on the right platform.

8:30- Four gentlemen get on with bags full of meat pies, Scotch eggs, and beer. They are loud, funny, and super upset that an old couple took their reserved seats. They discussed their frustration for at least 10 miles (after the couple got off at their stop). We were terribly amused by the whole thing, because like I said, they were FUN-NY!

9:30- On our way home on the bus. Standing room only.

10:20- Finally home! What a day!

Thanks for reading friends!

A Look at Didsbury

Every passing day, Manchester feels a little more like home...Sure, I still look the wrong way when I'm crossing the street, and I'm not 100% sure which way is north, but I can tell you where to get a really good, traditional English breakfast for cheap. I can also tell you where to catch the bus to go to town. Soon I'll be a real local! (Give me another month or two.) And no, I'm not picking up a British accent. Like ever. As beautiful as the accents are, I refuse to become that lady on that one Friends episode. Haha!

Now lets talk Didsbury, our little home town! I know this is probably going to sound crazy, but I miss this place already. When I go to the corner shop to grab a banana milkshake (currently obssessed), I think to myself, "Someday I won't be walking through here anymore..." And it makes me sad. Really sad. Am I losing my mind?! How can you miss something you're currently experiencing? Go figure!

Anywho, a few days ago I posted about our cozy little flat, and today I wanted to share snippets of our town. Maybe I'm biased but it's the cutest town in all the land! It's lined with beautiful, red-brick houses, trees, and uneven sidewalks trimmed with fresh-fallen leaves. There are stores, charity shops, and pubs/restaurants with the best names (Slug & Lettuce, Dog & Partridge, Wine & Wallop, etc.). And occasionally you'll stumble upon a cobblestone paved street--and puddles. You can always find a puddle!

Here are some pictures of Didsbury:
Overgrown red vines on buildings? Is there anything better?!
Our local library. (And yes, we have library cards! Hooray!)
Didsbury is on the small side and inevitably you begin to recognize people. But we also have City Centre, which feels like Manhattan, a few miles away. It's a good balance! You know what's funny? We've seen our friends walking around a handful of times too. Running into people you know on the way to your weekly banana milkshake is the best! It makes this place feel more like home...

Thanks for reading!

How I Document My Memories

Do you save your memories? How do you document your life? Or is that not something that's important to you? Some document memories by taking pictures, scrapbooking, and or journaling. Memory keeping is definitely important to me.  In fact, pocket letters were invented while attempting to document my months with my own version of Project Life (pocket scrapbooking system created by Becky Higgins). Personally, my memory documenting process has changed over the years. I've always taken pictures and journaled, but for a long time this blog (est. 2010) served the sole purpose of documenting my everyday life. I'm trying to get back to blogging by posting more regularly. However, I don't want to neglect journaling either.

Today I'm sharing the two ways I'm preserving my memories. The first is a journal I purchased at TJ Maxx before our move. It's a plain notebook with lined paper, but I've been using it to document major highlights of our time in England. I've also been documenting in my planner (aside from also using it to organise my weekly tasks). Each day I try to jot down what we've been up to.

Here's a peek:
Sometimes I write a little, other times a lot. I'm not too strict about it, and I'm not hard on myself if I forget to do a particular day (see below).
I'll try to share more layouts here, but if you'd like to follow my crafts on the daily, then add me on Instagram. My username is @janettelaneblog.

Do you document your daily life? What memory keeping system do you use? Let me know!

Come Tour Our Flat!

Hello friends! I'm SO EXCITED to share this blog post for many a reason! Mostly because it’s my first (of hopefully many) overseas entry! Can you believe we're here!? I have SO MUCH to tell and show you--Honestly, I hardly even know where to start. We’ve been in Manchester a little over a month, and I’m happy to say we’re adjusting well and LOVING it here. It’s such a great place with the perfect mix of “big city” (only 30 minutes away) and a “cozy quietness” that makes you want to whisper and tiptoe through some of the neighborhoods (especially where we’ve settled). It’s quite LOVELY! (P.S. Everyone says "lovely" here. Like... a lot.)

I really meant to document our journey from the start on this blog, but my laptop broke shortly after we arrived and I just got my replacement. I clearly have some catching up to do. (We’ve been sharing our adventures on our Instagram account, @jjinmanchester so please feel free to follow along there.) Okay, so lets get this post started! I’ll begin with our flat tour since many of you have requested pictures of the inside.

Boy! Did we luck out on this place! WOWSERS! Thanks be to God! Initially we were a little uneasy because it was the second place we viewed in person. Yes, second. We were so discouraged after the first place we visited (think tiny, cold basement with 6 inch slits for windows *shudder*). Lovey decided on our current place right on the spot after only being inside for about 5 minutes! Haha! He rarely jumps the gun like that, but I’m so glad he did. Truly the Lord was watching out for us, as you shall see!

Here are some pictures... I apologize beforehand for some of the angles. I only brought my 50mm lens and it's a little limiting at times.

Front view of the flat. (It's actually a large house converted to 6 separate units. A very common practice and investment for homeowners turned landlords.)

Lovey studying by our bay window. (I’ve always wanted a bay window!) 

 A commonplace sight--Lovey’s books stacked EVERYWHERE

 Hoping to add some more wall decor as time goes on! We’re on a tight budget so we haven’t decorated like we’d like to. It’s coming along though! 

 Pumpkin candle because we LOVE Fall! (There's really no "It's finally Fall!" frenzy here like there is in the US. Finding pumpkin stuff is proving difficult and limited to canned pumpkin puree in the American section of the larger grocery stores. Not even sure where we could buy a whole pumpkin now that I think of it. Hmm...)

 There’s always condensation on our windows. When we wake up they’re fogged up until about 11AM. 

Our kitchen is TINY and gives me anxiety if Lovey is in there with me while I'm cooking. Haha!

A lot of our furniture, appliances, and odds and ends were purchased from the previous tenant. What a nice gentlemen! He gave us a deal and these little canisters! 

(Rear entrance) These vines grow on EVERYTHING. It's lovely to see the green and red contrast throughout!

Probably a magpie feather. They're everywhere!

Hopefully this has given you an idea on why and how much we love it here! Miss you all and thanks so much for reading!