I started this blog back in 2013 before Stu and I went on our year of travels. We’ve now been home for over a year and we’re about to embark on our biggest adventure to date because as of last Friday, we are officially home owners! It sounds strange to say that but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since we’ve returned home.
Coming home from long term travel is hard but having a house deposit as goal to focus on has helped massively. Sure, there were times when we thought about spending our savings on a big trip again but I know we’ve made the best decision for us by buying our home. We can still travel, it will just be a different kind of travel and that’s totally fine with us.
I’m now really excited to making this house our own. We’ve both been going crazy on Pinterest the last couple of months and are full of ideas of how we want to decorate. We’re going to be pretty busy for a long time but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully I can share a few photos on here as things start to take shape.
Here’s to a bright and happy future!
A lot of people talk about the importance of living each day as if it were your last but in all honestly, it’s pretty hard to do. How many of you are amazed at how quickly the days go? One minute you’re moaning on a Monday morning and then suddenly it’s the weekend again. I’m always saying that it’s scary how quickly time goes. I remember my mum saying that time goes even faster as you get older and it’s definitely true. So as a nation of procrastinators, how can we go about changing our mind set and actually making the most of each day?
I think a scare tactic works best. I recently watched this TED Talks video by Tim Urban and he talked about putting your life in to weekly squares. This is what your life (assuming you live until 90) looks like broken down into weeks.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that doesn’t look like very squares at all. And that’s even if you live until 90! Seeing how far into that chart I am, it made me think about what I want to achieve in life and how long I have to do it. I definitely work best with a deadline and essentially, life does have a deadline. Just not one that we know about. I like to look at that chart when I find myself wishing the weeks away until an event. I should appreciate every week and not think of them as weeks that need to hurry up until I do something fun.
I hope that chart has made you think twice about only ‘living for the weekend’ and that you can start to make small steps towards making the most of each day.
I was recently invited to Brooks Guesthouse Bristol to celebrate the launch of their newest hotel – Brooks Country House in Hereford. This will be the fourth for the Brooks Hotels Ltd brand, with the other two in Bath and Edinburgh.
Carla Brooks, who runs this fantastic chain with her husband, invited some local Bristol bloggers along for an evening of local wines and cheeses and to give us a chance to have a nosy around the Bristol Guesthouse. It’s always nice to meet other bloggers and we all fell in love with this hidden gem of a guesthouse. It definitely helped that we were all crazy about the free cheese on offer too!
The kitchen and dining area was furnished to a traditional country style and I liked the fact that the kitchen was all open so you’re able to see your food being prepared as you wait. It gives the whole place a very homely feel.
The dining area opens out to a lovely garden area with plenty of plants and places to sit. In keeping with Bristol style, Carla had some street art commissioned which gives the outside a very quirky feel.
The street art isn’t the only surprising aspect of this guesthouse though. Situated on the rooftop are these incredible retro rocket caravans! These must be the coolest place to sleep in Bristol! We had a sneak peak inside one and they’re fitted with colourful LED lights which make them even cooler in my opinion. They’re so big that they had to be lifted up from the street to the rooftop on a crane. Can you imagine how crazy that must have looked?!
The new Brooks Country House is going to have quite a different vibe but it still looks like somewhere amazing to stay. It’s a stunning Georgian Manor House and from the pictures, it looks like its been beautifully decorated. I asked Carla and the wallpaper is all from Cole and Son so no expense has been spared!
On the evening, Katharine from bristoletc won a free stay at the Country House so I’m looking forward to reading her blog post after her visit.
Thank you so much to everyone involved in making this evening happen. I had a lovely time and hope to stay in one of the Brooks Hotels soon!
Anyone else still suffering from the Glastonbury blues? The long journey to get there, the horrendous mud and the toilets are now a distant memory and all we can remember is the great music, the fantastic array of food and the incredible atmosphere that surrounds Glastonbury festival.
This year was my third Glastonbury and it honestly just gets better. Whether you’re there for the headliners or the smaller acts, there’s something for everyone. You could go to Glastonbury and not see a single performance and still have a good time. Each area is filled with the most random activities and stalls. Boredom is simply not possible at this amazing festival in Somerset.
These were my highlights for 2016:
The food! I could dedicate a whole blog post to the food at Glasto. Every cuisine imaginable is available and it’s all amazing. I actually get sad that there isn’t enough time to try more.
The tributes to Bowie, Prince and Lemmy. These were everywhere – from stage installations to toilet graffiti. A touching nod of respect to these great artists.
Coldplay’s tribute to Viola Beach. A moving tribute to a band who never reached their full potential. This was the closest to tears I got all week.
Adele’s accent. The contrast between her singing and speaking voice is crazy. I loved Adele’s anecdotes and jokes between songs. She was phenomenal.
I always go through a stage after Glastonbury when I say that I won’t be going again. Then I forget how disgusting I felt and watch some of the performances again on Youtube and before long I can’t imagine spending the last weekend in June anywhere else… See you next year Glastonbury!
I love Glastonbury Festival and I can’t wait to go again next week. My least favourite part is trying to stay clean in a muddy field for 5 days. Gross. Apparently there are showers but I’ve never met anyone who’s showered at Glastonbury! This is where the Pits and Bits Wash Kit comes in handy.
At previous festivals, I’ve used hundreds of baby wipes and hand sanitiser to try and freshen up and last year I washed my hair in a bucket – not easy when you have hair that’s as long and thick as mine! These methods are okay but I still feel really grubby after a couple of days. My main problem is not being able to wash my hair properly as I usually wash my hair every other day and it really suffers if I leave it any longer than that. I’m really jealous of you people who can go for days without washing their hair!
The beauty of the Pits and Bits Wash Kit is that you can wash your body and your hair WITHOUT water. That’s right, shampoo and shower gel that doesn’t need water! It sounds like madness but I’m so excited to give it a try. The theory is that the lotions foam up enough on their own and then you just towel dry your hair/body! My mum used the shower gel when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last year (just casually dropping that in there…) and raved about it afterwards so I’m hoping the shampoo is just as good.
The other part of the wash kit is these expandable wipes. Did you ever have those flannels that expanded in water when you were a kid? Well they’re just like that! Ideal if you don’t have much space or don’t want to carry any extra weight. I’ve heard that they don’t actually expand to a very big size so I might take an actual towel for back up but I’ll let you all know how I get on.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to a clean Glastonbury festival and praying for sunshine. Look out for me on TV, I’ll be the one singing along to Adele with squeaky clean hair!
If you’re going to be a backpacker then you need to read these classic books. These books are practically a right of passage for backpackers. They may be cliché but you’ll gain inspiration for your trip and get to visit the places you’re read about.
The first book you should read is The Beach by Alex Garland. This is the book which inspired the film with Leonardo DiCaprio and is the reason everyone flocks to Maya Bay when they visit Thailand.
This is a definite must read if you’re going to Thailand. Reading about Khao San Road and the Thai Islands will get you seriously excited about your trip. You’ll want to go discover your own private beach but possibly not quite as secluded as the one in the book! I really enjoyed The Beach and read it really quickly. It’s action packed from start to finish and I was desperate to find out how it ended.
The second book for Backpackers to read is The Backpacker by John Harris. This book will take you to India, Australia and all over Asia and really demonstrates the differences between each country.
This book will make you want to rid yourself of all your materialistic belongings and appreciate the country that you’re in. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as The Beach but it’s still worth a read.
Both of these books are full of crazy adventures which would scare your parents so make sure you don’t mention the plot to them unless you want your passport revoked.
Have you read either of these books? What other books would you recommend a backpacker read?
Last Christmas, we booked a weekend away with Stu’s sister and her boyfriend to the Longleat Forest Center Parcs and last weekend, after months of waiting, the trip was finally here! Stu and I are lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world but we’ve both said that we need to make an effort to see more of our own country. Center Parcs was a great opportunity for us to do this.
Stu hadn’t been to Center Parcs before and I was still in nappies last time I went so we were both really excited to see what all the fuss was about. Lorna, Stu’s sister, is a Center Parcs veteran so we were in good hands to make the most of our visit.
A weekend at Center Parcs is Friday to Monday. We arrived at 3pm on Friday and were really lucky that we didn’t have to queue to check in. When we left on Monday, the queue of cars waiting to check in for the week was ridiculously long. You can use the facilities before check in so come early and hit those rapids before the crowds!
We stayed in a cabin near some open water which was great because we felt really secluded and had lots of wildlife for neighbours. A deer came really close to our cabin on the first day so we were basically David Attenborough for the weekend!
Center Parcs is all about being active and appreciating the great outdoors. Longleat Forest is a no vehicle zone so everyone gets about by walking or cycling. Most of the activities are centered around being active as well so the exercise combined with the fresh air means you’ll be shattered at the end of each day – good job the beds are comfy!
There’s absolutely loads to do so you can either have a busy weekend crammed full of activities or you can chill out and relax all weekend. I’d like to think that we struck a happy medium. Over the 4 days, we played badminton, went swimming, won the geocaching, played snooker and stuffed our bellies full of food. We were really lucky with the weather so made the most of the sun with ice creams and a BBQ.
The food at Center Parcs is AMAZING. The cabins are self catering but there are a few different restaurants to choose from if you do want to eat out. We went to The Pancake House and to Rajinda Pradesh, the Indian restaurant. Both were really good, but we were all particularly impressed with the Indian. I didn’t expect one of the best curries I’ve ever eaten to be at Center Parcs but it was seriously good.
We were all sad to leave on Monday but I definitely won’t be leaving it so long until I visit CP again! Have you been to any of the Center Parcs? What did you think?