The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 1

So in 12 days I am 24, March 12th. The fact I’m turning 24 is scary in itself. So to honour another year I’ve decided to write small blog posts on what I’ve learnt in my life before turning 24 years young, things that I feel are really important for me, and maybe for you too!

So for Day 1 of 12 I wanted to talk about Self Love and Self Care.

Self love and self care is something that can be really difficult for different people. As someone who is anxious as hell, I found that I spent a lot more time worrying about my friends, family and work than I did myself. I didn’t realise how much this can affect you if you don’t just sit down and take time for you.

I realised I needed to start taking time for myself half way through my final year of uni about 2 years ago. I was so overwhelmed with my dissertation, my girlfriends, living with 12 people, I also lived with my boyfriend and worked throughout, as well my friends from work. It was really full on and I didn’t realise until 7/12 flatmates moved out, this was due to being international students living with us for 3 months, that I hadn’t actually stopped since getting to uni in September. I started getting back from my morning shifts at work and lectures at university and spending the afternoon/some time on my own, watching TV, reading my book, just getting that me time. I felt like after this I enjoyed my time with my friends a whole lot more. I’d had that time to myself, time to relax and re-charge and you forget that you need that time. I also really felt that it helped my productivity in the library, at work and also generally as well.

It made me realise, ‘Hang about, I’m onto something here‘.

Then we moved out of uni and I still wanted to be able to keep this up and do this for myself. I really got into reading again, which I still am now if you’re a follower of my blog! I moved back in with my parents and with my boyfriend (we were only due to be there for a year before we moved to Australia, but COVID happed about halfway through our year. Goodbye flights to Australia). I wanted to make sure I still had my me time especially with a new lifestyle and job. A long shower, a quiet evening with my book, catching up on my favourite TV shows and taking time away from my phone was still an essential. I still to this day ensure that I do these things and it has been SO Beneficial to me.

I feel like it is so SO important to remember to do these things for yourself. Do things that help you switch off and wind down, at the end of the day, You are the biggest love of your life. My motto I say regularly. You NEED to listen to what your body is telling you, rest your mind if its running 100mph. Rest your body if you’re running literally everywhere. Say NO to going out if you aren’t feeling it, get in bed early, stay up late and binge watch your shows. Do what makes you feel happy and comfortable and recharged.

Write yourself a self care checklist and do it all in your own time. When you are enjoying your own time there is no pressure of everything around you, there’s just you. You only have to please yourself. For me my favourite things are to exercise or go for a walk, I love to sit and read my book and in doing so switching off from my phone at the same time. I LOVE a hot and long shower. I also every morning read positive affirmations! Positive affirmations hold a lot of importance for me. I read 4/5 every day and share the ones I feel I can apply in my day but also so others can see them and hopefully think the same!

Take the time for you, look after yourself physically and mentally. Like I said, you are the biggest love of your life and nothing can change that , no person you’re in a relationship with or your friends and family. You’ve only got one body, heart and brain in this life, cherish it and look after you. Be selfish, it’s absolutely fine to do so. You are a God/Goddess, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 6 – Hangloose Eden Project Zipe Wire & Bath

Leaving Newquay definitely made the two of us sad, we really didn’t want to leave so have decided we will absolutely go back again as soon as we can. Before we hit the road we headed for breakfast at Fore Café, a cute independent café in Newquay for some sausage and bacon sarnies and a cuppa tea (of course!).

Then it was off to our next stop! We were heading towards Bath for our last night but we couldn’t head that way just yet as we had one more activity planned for the day and that was the Hang Loose Eden Project zipwire! The Hang Loose zipwire is half a mile long and goes over the entirety of the Eden Project so you can have aerial views of the facilities! You are flying on the zipwire for a good 45 seconds at speeds of up to 60 mph so you’re definitely not messing about.

We arrived at the Eden Centre and got parked up before walking to Hang Loose centre! We didn’t unfortunately pay for access to the Eden Project but that means we will definitely go back which is a bonus. Once we arrived and put our bags into storage it was off to get our harnesses sorted. You book a time slot for your flight but definitely make sure you have nothing planned for afterwards or somewhere to be. The time we were waiting just to get our harnesses on and to get up to the zipwire start point was well over an hour from our allotted time. But once we were sorted and ready to go it was so exciting! I had my go pro so I could get some top notch footage so I told them I had it on me and they gave me an appropriate helmet with the correct clasp on for me as well! It was so exhilarating I was smiling the whole way down, Brad and I went side by side as we went and it really was such an awesome experience. I couldn’t recommend it more. See my footage here!

It was a really fun experience and only £35 per person, I definitely recommend this as something fun to do. There are also more activities much like the zipwire as well like huge pillow jumps and an aerial swing as well. I definitely want to go back to do more and also just to visit the Eden Project in general.

Once done here next stop was Bath!

Now as we left the Eden Project I decided I’d drive us to Bath and the regret was so real. The roads as we left the Eden project were just awful. I wouldn’t even really call them roads, maybe vehicle able one way footpaths. Honestly if you met another car coming the other way you genuinely had to wonder who was going to go where and just how far you’d have to reverse if you were the one going back. BUT after a stressful but very well handled drive we made it to Bath in time to freshen up and find some food but not before checking into the most BEAUTIFUL townhouse in the centre of Bath.

We stayed in a place called the Broad Street Townhouse. We couldn’t have been any more central if we tried and especially for such a great price, we only paid £89 for the night with breakfast included but that meant that everywhere we went for the day was in walking distance. We parked our car for 24 hours in the Charlotte Street car park which was really well priced and walked to the hotel.

Broad Street Townhouse is attached to a pub, The Pig and Fiddle, which was perfect for us, although typically in the evening we got back too late to have a drink before it closed. We did manage to have the most amazing breakfast there though as they served the breakfast in the pub and it was awesome. But before we get too carried away with breakfast… We arrived to this beautiful room with a wooden and dark green theme. It was so fancy and beautiful with a few green plants in the room and matching furniture and even matching mugs for your tea and coffee? They also had a coffee machine I the room and TV, the bedroom windows were basically floor to ceiling with lovely deep green curtains, the bathroom was out of this world, it looked brand new and sparkling clean and the décor was straight out of Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere so nice, and the bed was SO BIG and comfortable I wish we never had to leave. All in all a solid 11/10 for somewhere to stay in bath that’s worth the money 10000%.

Once we were all freshened up we decided to go for our favourite food and walked to a Thai restaurant called Salathai. The service was quick, attentive, the atmosphere was really lovely and the windows being huge it was lovely and bright, and the food was just to die for. I always overeat whenever I go out for food but with food this good? how could I not? We had duck pancakes to start and the rest is history (aka I do not remember what we both ordered because it was gone in a matter of minutes). But we could walk too and from the restaurant back to where we stayed which made it even nicer as the weather was lovely.

This was our LAST meal of our road trip and we were super sad about this, I didn’t want it to end. Tomorrow (the next post) leads to some Bath exploring, Stonehenge and unfortunately, home.

Our South West Coast Road Trip Introduction!

With Lockdown easing in the UK and both My man and I having been at home inside doing nothing but exercising, reading books and getting a tan living that furloughed life for about 5 months, my stepmum suggested a road trip. We had money saved for a future trip that keeps being pushed back and back due to Covid, and now with more time to save EVEN MORE, why not go out and spend some of it?

So thats what we did.

We decided on a 7 day South West Road trip! So where did we start? Easy, we headed straight down to Bournemouth from Bedfordshire. From there it was 7 days of driving and exploring different cities, beaches and places we had never been!

Here is our itinerary, this absolutely 100% changed as we were going because there is just SO MUCH to see. We did so much and every day was such an adventure, so the below was our original Itinerary, below THIS is our ACTUAL itinerary;

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exeter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Salcombe

Stop 6: St Ives

Stop 7: Lands End

Stop 8: Newquay

Stop 9: The Eden Project

Stop 10: Bath

Stop 11: Stonehenge, then Home!

All in all you are looking at a good 15-17 hours driving across 7 days in a little Renault Cleo with the two of us an our bags! We split the journey between us as we are both insured on the car and only spent a grand total of £60 in petrol! Thats it!

So below, see out ACTUAL itinerary and what we actually got up too, because there were definitely a few more stops than the above, but we also removed one stop, see if you can figure out which one it is!

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exexter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Brixham

Stop 6: Totnes

Stop 7: Dartmoor

Stop 8: St Ives

Stop 9: Lands End

Stop 10: Newquay

Stop 11: The Eden Project Hangloose Zipwire

Stop 12: Bath

Stop 13: Stonehenge & Home

So we added another 2 stops after not going to Salcombe and exploring more of the area around Torquay, so Brixham, Totnes and then Dartmoor national park and even going to see the Dartmoor Prison! This was all with my lovely friend Tasmin who lives down this way, it was amazing to see a familiar face who I haven’t seen since September which was also a dream and could be our tour guide!

So here is the route we took below, this is a very basic look as Google maps only lets you have 8 stops and I didn’t add Home (at the start or the end) to the stops but from there to Bournemouth is 2 and a half hours (4 hours if you go along the M25 Car park which we absolutely did). Also from Stonehenge to Home is another 2.5 hours. I also missed out the small stops we did around Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor but that added another hour and a half to the journey going between these places as you can see below! I added the map separately below.

In total driving time was 17/18 hours including the journey home from Stonehenge which I haven’t shown and from Home to Bournemouth (because as much as I love you guys I don’t want you knowing where I live, haha!).

So over the next week I’ll be sharing with you our epic adventure, I’ll also be posting all the Airbnb’s we stay in and what we got booked in!

If you don’t want too wait and read it you are also more than welcome to watch my youtube video right here!

J x

Keeping Positive: Some of my Favourite Positivity Quotes

Staying Positive, especially with everything that is happening at the moment, is seriously important. When I wake up in the morning I like to post positivity quotes on my Instagram every day so that you see a nice reminder of something happy or different to think about, just incase you’re having a shitty/down day, including myself.

I feel like with the end of Lockdown and isolation in sight but COVID sticking around for the long run, sometimes things can get scary and overwhelming. I struggled with anxiety and lockdown hasn’t been the easiest, but it has been a lot easier than I thought it would be which is one positive! Trying to start the day with positivity is something I hold quite important. My happy mornings start with a cuppa tea and a book! I feel I’m ready for the day afterwards. Do what makes you feel better and best, There is nothing better than a self care morning / afternoon / day.

I wake up ad usually scroll on my IG Feed as it is all such good vibes. I like sharing those vibes so its not just me hopefully feeling a little bit better. With everything happening right now I felt a dose of positivity was needed!

Here are some of my favourite positive and happy quotes, I hope you like them too.

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Helen

Global Quarantine Diaries

Where in the world are you located?

I live in a sleepy little town in Cheshire in the UK. It is picture perfect and we absolutely love it here. Formatively, I have lived in many counties through out the UK due to my Fathers job. In fact this is the longest I have ever stayed in one place! 9 years and counting, for the first time in my life, I have a house that feels like my forever home. 

What is lockdown regulations like there? 

As I am shielding due to an on going argument with that thing known as The Big C, my lockdown regulations have been very strict. I have been unable to leave my home for over 10 weeks. This proves interesting when trying to homeschool 3 kiddies who want nothing more than to do fun stuff and play out with their friends! It turns out I am a terrible teacher, as they are students!

How are you keeping busy?

As a Mum of 3, I never have the time to keep busy! It is constantly a mad house, full of chaos, but most importantly full of love. On the upside, when we have been attempting homeschooling, it has given me the opportunity to think, create and write for my blog and side hustles. I have also taken on an absurd amount of DIY tasks, in the genuine belief we would be bored if we hadn’t got plenty to do. The reality of it is I don’t have time to be bored nor time to get everything done! Who knew how short 10 weeks really were when there was a mountain of things to do on The List of Doom.

What do you miss doing the most?

Having coffee with my girlfriends. In all the years of friendship I have been fortunate to amass with my besties, I have never had to go so long without seeing them. I struggle with zoom/facetime interactions as I find them stunted if there are more than a couple of people on them. I can’t wait to go for a walk with my pooch and a cuppa with my besties. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over?

Spend time by myself! It turns out I am a very solitary person, and I am really struggling being in a house full of lunatics 24/7. I can’t wait to drop the kiddies back to school (hopefully in September!) and enjoy the silence of the car journey home. Then I am driving straight to my aforementioned besties house for a long over due hug! Turns out for a loner, I really enjoy a cuddle.

Find me here:

https://www.instagram.com/alittlecupofhelen/

https://www.alittlecupofhelen.co.uk