Trip to Australia

Last week my cousin and I embarked on one of our biggest trips, to Melbourne, Australia! The reason for this trip was quite a special one. We were heading out to surprise our youngest cousin, for her 21st birthday, and boy was it a surprise! How we managed to keep it quiet and off social media for 3 months, I have no idea, but I’m so glad we did!

A lot of people told us we were crazy to be going for just a week, but it was the best week ever. The flight was long, yes, but we were lucky enough to be on a brand new and very spacious plane both there and back. We were prepared with snacks and books, as well as thankful for our short stop at Dubai, somewhere I definitely want to go back to, so we could stretch our legs and do a spot of duty free shopping – or in my case, finding some extremely yummy medjool dates to munch on!!

Once we landed in Melbourne, we headed to the hotel and met my aunt and uncle, who’d arrived a few days before us. Excitement was growing and with jet lag being non existent, we forced ourselves to bed, ready for the next exciting day!
The next morning, we made our way down to breakfast, after an ‘all clear’ texts, from my uncle. As we walked around the corner, she spotted us and immediately her mouth dropped to the floor. Her face will be forever engraved in my mind, it was a very special moment – one I’m sure none of us will forget! Tears and laughter shortly followed and then the big catch up began!!!
The rest of the day was spent touring Melbourne city, riding the tram, sightseeing, drinking very good coffee, taking endless selfies, laughing and chatting away to each other!

That’s also how the first half of the week panned out. We stayed in Melbourne for a few more nights, ate at some very good restaurants, experienced the city at night from a sky deck on the 89th floor, spent the afternoon at the beach, saw penguins at sunset, took a day trip to Sorrento (down the coast) and celebrated her 21st with lots of champagne, presents and cake – that lasted the week!
For the second half of the week, we made our way down the coast to Apollo bay, located along The Great Ocean Road.

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Here we were able to enjoy the beach, sea, eat fresh fish, drive further along the coast to see wild koalas, explore more towns, sight see, visit a rainforest and on our last morning, enjoy a beautiful sunrise.

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We couldn’t believe the week had gone so quick or how much we had managed to pack in. On the way back to Melbourne, we popped into Melbourne zoo, as we had the day to kill before our flight back that night. This was a fun experience, seeing many animals and enjoying the sunshine all before a very teary goodbye. Everyone is very excited for June, when they return, and a big family gathering will take place. I know my parents and grandmother are extremely excited to see them.

Thinking back and having said it to myself, and other people, I can’t believe I have been to the other side of the world and back in one week! It definitely didn’t feel like a short/rushed trip one bit and we enjoyed every second we were out there.
I definitely have the travel bug now and can’t wait to plan my next trip…watch this space!

Until next time…

Emma xx

 

My birthday

Who doesn’t love a birthday?! This year, it fell on a week day and I decided not to take the day off work. Tuesday is a fun day for us. The little girl I look after has swimming lessons in the morning, and in the afternoon, friends came over for tea and cake. I was spoilt by them and my employers, as well as everyone who wished and sent my cards and presents.

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After work, I met my parents and brother at one of my favorite restaurants. Its a small italian, nestled down by the river in Henley and their food is the best! I had smoked salmon and asparagus to start, followed by grilled seabream with veggies and new potatoes. Their pudding cart, unfortunately, had nothing dairy free, but I wasn’t too bothered because I knew there was cake at home – mums homemade carrot cake – the best! The waiters did sing me happy birthday, along with a sparkler and shots for everyone!

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I had a few cards to open when I got home, and my birthday present from my parents – a Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire Gold watch!!!! I’m super excited to take it for a run tomorrow. My first in 3 weeks, as I’ve been nursing tendinitis in my foot thats final better – yay!

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I’m extremely thankful for all the birthday wishes, phone calls, cards and gifts I received from everyone. I had a truly lovely day 🙂

Emma xx

The Liebster Award nomination 

This week I was nominated by a lovely and inspiring lady, Lauren Barber, to take part in this fun way of meeting and following other bloggers! I’ve never heard of this ‘award’, so was super excited to read Lauren’s blog and participate in it! So here goes –

1. What is the first thing you do every single morning? 

Stretch! Followed the usual bathroom visit, then downstairs for a glass of water!

2. What is your favourite brand of leggings?

GAP! They are super soft and so comfy, I’m not sure I will convert to any other brand!!

3. If you had to give up one thing out of cacao or nut butter…what would it be? 

Cacao! I can go days/weeks without it, but nut butter, definitely not!

4. Tell me your most motivational quote. 

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” Winnie The Pooh…this was posted a few months ago by another lovely lady I follow on Instagram, and it has really stuck with me. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I reach for the photo on my phone and read it, take a deep breath and remind myself I can do this.

5. What exercise makes your mind and body feel amazing? 

Pilates, hands down! I feel relaxed, both in my mind and body, as well as stretched and fabulous!

6. Who is your dream blog collaboration and why? 

This is a hard one!  I follow so many lovely ladies, who all have inspiring and beautiful blogs, but I have to admit Madeliene Shaw is my dream blog! Since day one, I’ve followed her, constantly cooking/eat from her book and find her to be such an inspiring lady. I’ve met her a few times and attended one of her yoga/brunch workshops, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and can’t wait to attend more!

7. What is your favourite smoothie recipe? 

This is easy, as I only have one! Half a banana, 1/2 a cup of frozen blueberries, handful of spinach, 1 tsp nut butter, 1 tsp of milled flak seeds and if I need it, 1 scoop of Sun warrior protein powder. Heaven!!

8. What made you start a health and wellness blog? 

I’ve had a blog for a few years, but it’s recently been abandoned as I lost interest in it, to be completely honest with you. It was about places I’d visited for afternoon tea, something I just haven’t had the time to do, and so it got pushed aside.
Then one evening, one of my nanny friends introduced me to her blog, and I suddenly got the buzz for it. So, with her help, I decided to take it by the horns and focus it on healthy lifestyle/exercise, something I am extremely passionate about, and that was that!

9. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 

Another difficult one! I guess it would be to live my life to the full. Interestingly, no one has said this to me, it’s something I’ve realised through life experiences. For example, loosing my grandfather so quickly to cancer and regretting experiences I wish I had said yes to or participated in.

10. Show me your selfie!! 

 

So now it’s over to you! I nominate Louisamummajaybird.wordpress.comhappilyhealthy2016.wordpress.com and morethanjustacupcakelover.co.uk to answer the following five questions…

1. Name 4 things you can’t leave the house without!
2. How do you like to spend your weekend?
3. What’s your favorite breakfast?
4. Who inspires you?
5. Avocados – love or hate them? 

Have fun girls and can’t wait to see your answers!

Emma x

This week I was nominated by a lovely and inspiring lady, Lauren Barber, to take part in this fun way of meeting and following other bloggers! I’ve never heard of this ‘award’, so was super excited to read Lauren’s blog and participate in it! So here goes – 
1. What is the first thing you do every single morning? 
Stretch! Followed the usual bathroom visit, then downstairs for a glass of water! 
2. What is your favourite brand of leggings?
GAP! They are super soft and so comfy, I’m not sure I will convert to any other brand!! 
3. If you had to give up one thing out of cacao or nut butter…what would it be? 
Cacao! I can go days/weeks without it, but nut butter, definitely not! 
4. Tell me your most motivational quote. 
“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” Winnie The Pooh…this was posted a few months ago by another lovely lady I follow on Instagram, and it has really stuck with me. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I reach for the photo on my phone and read it. Take a deep breath and remind myself I can do this. 
5. What exercise makes your mind and body feel amazing? 
Pilates, hands down! I feel relaxed, both in my mind and body, as well as stretched and feeling fabulous! 
6. Who is your dream blog collaboration and why? 
This is a hard one! I follow so many lovely ladies, who all have inspiring and beautiful blogs, but I have to admit Madeliene Shaw is my dream blog! Since day one, I’ve always followed her, constantly eat out of her book and find her to be such an inspiring lady. I’ve met her a few times and attended one of her yoga/brunch workshops, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and can’t wait to attend another! 

7. What is your favourite smoothie recipe? 
This is easy, as I only have one! Half a banana, 1/2 a cup of frozen blueberries, handful of spinach, 1 tsp nut butter, 1 tsp of milled flak seeds and if I need it, 1 scoop of Sun warrior protein powder. 

8. What made you start a health and wellness blog? 
I’ve had a blog for a few years, but it’s recently been abandoned as I lost interest in it, to be completely honest with you. It was about places I’d visited for afternoon tea, something I just haven’t had the time to do, and so got pushed aside. 
Then one evening, one of my nanny friends introduced me to her blog, and I suddenly got the buzz for it. So, with her help, I decided to take it by the horns and focus it on healthy lifestyle/exercise, something I am extremely passionate about, and that was that! 
9. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 
Another difficult one! I guess it would be to live my life to the full. Interestingly, no one has said this to me, it’s something I’ve realised through life experiences. For example, loosing my grandfather so quickly to cancer and regretting experiences I wish I had said yes to or participated in. 
10. Show me your selfie!! 
  
So now it’s over to you! I nominate Louisa, mummajaybird.wordpress.com, happilyhealthy2016.wordpress.com and morethanjustacupcakelover.co.uk to answer the following ten questions…

Long bank holiday/Easter weekend

Snuggled in bed, catch up tv on and a cup of tea on my bedside table…perfect end to a busy day back at work. The morning alarm wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and I’m still buzzing from the weekend, so I thought I’d let you know what I got up to!

The weekend started off with fabulous weather and a really lovely catch up with my uncle in Winchester. A long walk, chatting and lunch, was just what we needed.

On Saturday came the rain and a spontaneous coffee/catch up with a friend, then my favorite part of the weekend…a 5k color run!
I’m a passionate runner, and have been for the past 2 years. I started off by downloading the ‘Couch to 5K’ app on my phone, after being inspired by a girl I follow on Twitter. Ever since I have built up miles, and speed, which I’m quite proud of myself for, and continue to set goals. Sorry, getting side tracked, back to the color run…now the name says it all. “Who would want paint thrown at them, though?” my mum asked…well, its not actually paint, its colored cornstarch…cool, right?! Yeah, I had no idea either! We started off with a warm up and throwing packets of ‘paint’ at each other, then we were off! I went in wanting to beat my personal best, and that is what I did. I am really proud of myself for accomplishing it but most of all, I had fun doing it. All in all it was a brilliant event to raise money for a good cause and very well planned/organized, despite the gail force winds, hail, rain and thunderstorm that set upon us mid run!

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, sleeping, another coffee date with a friend and catching up with my parents and family! Alongside a few Easter eggs, of course! Perfect way, to a perfect bank holiday/Easter weekend!
I hope you all had a fabulous one too. Now for some shut eye, before a new day begins.

Sweet dreams,

Emma x