Partying into my 30’s

Wow well what a weekend of celebrations. It’s been a long time coming by I’m finally now 30 and I intend to make my 30’s something to remember.

As most of you are aware, a diagnoses with cancer kind of got in the way of life since 25. And therefore sent me on a totally different path in life which I had not factored into my plan. However here I am, still alive and still very much living life to the full as much as my battered body will allow me to. And celebrating this important milestone was so important to me.

But I have been thoroughly spoilt. I was only expecting prehaps the odd bottle of bubbles and some chocolates however I spent a good time Sunday afternoon opening my mound of pressies from loved ones consisting of some many lovely things from jewellery to vouchers, home bits, to champagne and everything in between. And the amount of cards and kind words put a few tears into my eyes. I feel very lucky to have so many lovely people in my life. And each one is very special to me.

So back to what I got up to. Well on my birthday (12th) Brad surprised me with a trip to Cambridge with a private punt (he even remembered the bubbles and glasses) then he had booked a lovely restaurant for dinner by the river and a stay over in a hotel. It was a relaxing day and lovelt to spend quality time together.

Then Saturday brought lots of fun and the big celebrations.

Firstly lunch at the Stoke Mill with the family. It was somewhere I have wanted to go to for a while and it lived up to expectations.

Beautiful food, a private room just for us and even the sun came out for some photos later.

And then there was the evening… the party!

I booked the venue (The Fat Percy) a long time ago and although I liked it I had doubts if it was the right place. But it was fantastic. Perfect size, perfect look and very friendly staff.

I also booked a singer, Jasmine Honey Banks, after seeing her at an event I went to. And I’m so glad I did. She was amazing and made the night even better than it would have been. The songs were brilliant and she got everyone dancing.

And of course I must mention my friend Emily who took control of the organising for me. She decorated the room beautifully (helped by brad), organised the perfect nibbles for the night and got my friends and family involved in things where she needed. She made an amazing post box with photos on of all my friends and even a little memories book for people to write in.

And my sister Hannah made the yummiest, chocolate covered cake ever.

But it was having all my friends and family in the same room together which made it very special. And everyone was smiling, laughing, dancing, drinking and most importantly living. Even my 88 year old gran was still on the dance floor until almost the very end.

If you have any more photos or videos can you please send them over.

Thank you to all who came and made my birthday amazing. I love you all xxx

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Not on my list….!

Just because it isn’t on my list doesn’t mean it doesn’t count but everything I do which means I am Living Life has a place on here. So here it goes…

So back in the beginning of March when the ‘beast from the east’ hit Norfolk causing havoc with huge amounts of snow causing panic to set in with thoughts of not making it to the airport, myself and a good friend (whom I met through having breast cancer) took a plane from Gatwick for a week’s trip to the sunshine, Cape Verde.

What a fabulous week. We didn’t do an a lot as to be honest there was very little to do however the weather was glorious (wall to wall sunshine all day, every day) and the hotel was lovely so we spent the days relaxing, swimming, tanning, drinking cocktails and having a good giggle. Perfect relaxation time with both myself and Caroline could so with.

The entertainment was made even more funny with an amazing array of the “Essex Massive”, and the fabulously drunken karaoke (we didn’t partake, just listened) with some amazing versions of the songs ‘simply the best’ and ‘valarieeeeeee’ which gave us the giggles all week.

It was the first time away with Caroline and I loved every minute. We were pretty tame even with the all inclusive cocktails but managed one evening still awake until after midnight in the club. That was good going for us both. But it was lovely and I’m very excited about doing some more fun things this summer.

Here is a little insite to the lovely week we had.

Thanks for a fab time Caroline. Xx

Pampering at Chewton Glen

Back almost a year ago when I first began my list I was sent lots of recommendations about things to include on my list. One of which was recommended by my auntie to attend a spa day at the beautiful 5 star spa set in the New Forest, Chewton Glen.

A few months ago we decided to get it booked up and chose to have 2 treatments. A 50min massage and a 50min personalised facial.

The day started well. We left bright and early in the lovely aston martin (why not drive in style hey) ready for the 3 hour drive however this soon turned stressful when there was not just one, but 2 accidents on the M25 turning our drive into more than 4 hours and meaning we were 30 minutes late for our first appointment, the massage.

Upon arrival we were greated by the friendly staff who couldn’t have done anymore for us. They informed us they would try to juggle the day to allow us to still get our massage, gave us our locker keys and showed us to the changing rooms where robes and slippers were provided for us to use. Once changed we headed back to reception to get our appointment times and true to their word they managed to put both out facial and massage in for the afternoon so we didn’t miss out.

We started the experience with a trip to their hydro pool which was amazing. So many areas with bubbles, water jets and massaging beds where we could begin to relax. Then followed on by a gentle swim in their beautiful pool which helped us work up an appetite. Once we had dried off we headed to their pool bar restaurant, orded a glass of bubbles and enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch full of so much choice from delicious salads, cold meets, seafood, wraps and so much more. And of course we had to try the puddings too which was a wonderful selection of yummy treats.

After lunch we had half an hour until our first treatment so we decided the sauna and steam rooms were a good place to sit and waste a bit of time. And then the treatments came and the stress of the mornings drive disappeared as we were sent into a world of relaxation from the lovely therapists. My massage was blissful and the facial left me half asleep with a beautiful glow. Both were amazing and I felt so chilled as we sat in the quiet room to rest even more. Once we had come around from our relaxed state we chose to end the afternoon with a cup of tea and bit of cake before changing and preparing ourselves for the drive home.

The whole experience was worth the drive. Such a beautiful place, amazing treatments, yummy food and extremely kind and friendly staff. So much so we may be back very soon (and next time to stay over).

And that’s another ✔ off my Laura’s life is for Living List.

Thanks to Magdalen for suggesting it and making it a lovely day out and to Chewton Glen for looking after us both so well.

X

The Big Move

Almost a year ago I ticked off the very first task on my list by getting my beautiful Cocker spaniel puppy Tilly but since then I have wanted to move from our flat in the city centre to a more permanent house with a garden for both myself to enjoy and Tilly to play in. Although the flat was perfectly fine size wise, it never felt like mine. And after having been diagnosed with primary breast cancer only 4 months into moving in, along with spending months going through gruelling treatment and staring at the same 4 walls each time I couldn’t move made the flat always feeling like my ‘ill’ house.

But finally at the beginning of this year a move finally happened which has been very exciting. It has been a bit stressful moving all our stuff over but I am now, for the first time ever, I can begin creating a home I can enjoy and hopefully by the summer will have the garden sorted so we can use, enjoy and have plenty of summer BBQs with friends.

A lovely fresh start to 2018.

New York, New York

Firstly I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. And what a year it had been for me.

Starting the year off with an arm in a sling, having harsh chemotherapy which meant losing my hair again and more operations for sorting my breast reconstruction out meant the first 6 months were a complete no-go for me to do anything. But fast forward to the summer and since then enjoyed so much from ladies day at royal ascot, to sailing on a yacht around Croatia, and even swimming with sharks in the Maldives. It’s been a fabulous start to getting truely stuck into the items on my list.

And so I end this year with one last tick off the list and that was visiting New York to see the Rockefeller tree and Ice State in central park. And I did both a few weeks ago with 3 friends of mine. And to make it even more magical we had snow the day we skated. It was perfect from start to finish. It felt so festive and exciting it got me in the Christmassy mood extremely well.

As usual I have put together a video of my amazing trip you can see here

New York, New York

Take a look and enjoy the fun we had.

Thanks for following my blog.

Xx

RUGBY AT TWICKENAM

I have never been a big sports fan when it comes to rugby so the idea of attending a match was not ever something I had thought too much about but if was actually really good fun considering it was my first live game. I had been suggested it by my auntie and uncle about going and when seeing it on my list my friends Dave and Rosie invited us along with them for a day out at Teickenham to see England.

After a long drive we finally got there and found the food stalls so managed to get in a pulled pork bun and chips before heading inside so the boys could fill up on some guiness.

The game itself was great to watch and the atmosphere was brilliant. I couldn’t feel my toes at all by the end of it but I had a really super day out with lovely company.

Big thanks to Dave and Rosie for booking it and inviting us along to complete another of my #lauraslifeisforlivinglist tasks.

Maldives 🏝

OMG….. if you want paradise this is totally the place to be!

Wow. Where do I even begin. From the minute we arrived in Male airport we were in heaven. Even the waiting room at the seaplane part of the airport was relaxing, comfortable and luxurious. But the sea plane journey was amazing and a great start to the holiday. Seeing the many beautiful islands dotted within the Indian ocean was a sight worth seeing. Then landing just off the coast of our island was such an experience. The last leg of our journey was a very short boat ride to the reception of Kuramathi island – our home for the next 12 nights.

On arrival the shoes came off and the sunglasses went on. It was paradise. After our check we had a 2 hour wait until our room was ready so we chose to have a wonder so a wonder along the beach was the first port of call.

Once the room was ready we got in and were not disappointed. We had chosen the most basic room, the garden villa. But it was brilliant. Right on the beach with a 4 poster king sized bed and an outside shower 😀😀

The food was incredible. We chose the upgraded A la carte option giving us the ability to dine in all the beautiful restaurant’s on the island, including an amazing this, a seafood restaurant over the water, an island bbq and many others. With a large choice of cocktails, wine and ice cream sundaes we wernt going to be watching our weight.

And yes there is not much to do on an island only a mile long but the swimming was incredible. Along with snorkling with many sharks and beautiful fish we were lucky enough to swim with both a Turtle and 2 manta rays.

We celebrated Brad turning 36 whilst we were there which was certainly the most exotic place he will ever spend a birthday. It was just so lovely spending quality time together after such a difficult start to the year and make beautiful memories together which will last a lifetime.

And through the power of Facebook we also managed to bag ourselves an amazing upgrade for the last 2 nights. To the most incredible water villa ever! Watch my video to see where we got to stay…..!

Well I won’t say any more but watch my video to see our week.

https://youtu.be/fplfWdNn638

Thank you to Kuramathi Island for looking after us so well, to my late mum who we lost over a year ago but her money left to me helped me fulfil this dream holiday and to Brad for making my time away so special. Xxxx

Italian Adventure 🇧🇬

Well where do I start with this…. it certainly was an adventure and an amazing one at that. This post is probably one one my longest so far to bare with me.

It all begun over a glass of wine with my friend Emily. We had discussed Italy a few times (she has never been and always wanted to go) and I had a couple of things on my list which requires a visit there. So this one particular evening we just said sod it and booked flights there and then… into Venice and out of Naples. We chose 10 days and although currently had no plan in place the fact the flights were booked was a brilliant feeling.

Over the coming weeks we spoke about what we both wanted to do and the placed we wished to visit. Emily has always wanted to go to Florence and 2 of my activities were to ride on a Gondela in Venice and visit Rome. I had been to Venice before but regretted not taking a Gondela ride and although working on Italy for many months years ago I never went to Rome (well apart from the airport which I needed up sleeping in but that’s another story lol).

So in the end we decided to do Venice, Florence, Rome and the have a day in Capri to end the holiday before flying back. We booked our accommodation and trains between the cities and left it at that. For us to choose and do as we pleased when we got there.

We had an amazing time from the start. Venice was fun to wonder and get lost in. The beauty was there every corner we turned and out air b&b was situated in a quiet corner of Venice but was very traditional. The Gondela ride was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! So relaxing and a lovely treat. And meant another activity was ticked off.

Next up was Florence. I have been before so I showed Emily the sights. We had a lovely time exploring and wondering around. The buildings are beautiful and I managed to get through lots of Gelato…. And I mean lots! Here is a pic of the famous Relato Bridge.

Next up Rome! Wow what a city. I can’t believe I have never been here. It’s stunning and such amazing architecture everywhere. We were fortunate to have a B&B right in the centre so easy access to all the main slights. The Vatican had some of most beautiful painted ceilings I have ever seen, the fountains were incredible and the colosseum was so interesting. Amazing few days and another thing ticked off my list. We also found the yumiest Gelato shop ever where I found Champagne Gelato.yum!

The last place was Capri (although we stayed in a b&b in Naples. We got an early ferry over to the island and then the cable car up to Capri centre. Then a bus to Ana Capri which meant we could get a chairlift up to the very top of mount solero (the highest part of the island). The view was incredible. Making out way back down meant a stop for a wonder in Ana Capri in the shops and for lunch then another wonder in Capri. Back at the port meant time for more Gelato and a glass of wine before heading back to naples to pack our bags for the very last time.

It was all such fun and you can see the whole adventure on the video I made. It’s pretty long sget comfy, pour yourself some prosecco (obviously) and enjoy exploring Italy with us here https://youtu.be/tOQd6suOZEA

Until next time Italy…. it was great fun!

Punting in Cambridge

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go punting. On be odd occasion it could have happened the weather was awful and even with a sister living in Cambridge for a few years it is something I never got around to doing. So obviously it went straight on my list when I was thinking of what I wanted to do. So last weekend (24th Sept 17) myself and my friend Tash had a day out in Cambridge, stopping on route for breakfast to go punting. It was perfect weather with the sun shining all day. Relaxing, fun and everything I thought it would be.

We ended the day with a lovely afternoon tea before heading home. See our day out here.

Another activity done!😃😃😃

Champagne Tasting -another activity ticked off!

Last weekend myself and my friend Laura (yep she has the best name) took off on a road trip to Reims, North France, to complete one of my life is for living list activity… champagne tasting. We certainly had a jam packed 4 days involving lots of food, car karoke, biking around vineyards, touring champagne houses, a night out, a trip the beach and of coutse trying lots of yummy champagne. It was awesome from start to finish and such a fun few days. Watch the video to see our weekend adventures here. Thanks to Laura for suggesting it and making it amazing!