Monday, 17 October 2016

Letter to myself

I'll start off saying everything is going to be okay, because I know that what you need to hear. This is the toughest thing you'll ever have to go through... I hope, so stay brave. 

You're surrounded by positive and warm people who love and care about you, don't be afraid to ask them for help, and know that one day you'll be there for them in the hour of need too.

It's okay to put your pride aside and admit that you don't always have your shit together, and for a while you may not have your shit together but you will get through this, with grace and dignity. You will hold your head high and be a shining example of how no matter how low or hopeless someone feels, they can let go of a bad thing and find happiness too. No matter how far away it seems, it's coming.

There's no need for lies, games and drama, a quieter life is an easy life. Just don't care what anyone thinks of you, because the only person who's got o live with your decisions and choices is you. Only let yourself be the judge of you. But don't be your harshest critic or worst enemy, you're going to have lonely nights so be your own best friend and always see the positive, if you don't see it, seek it.

Be an inspiration to others, to your son, to other mothers and to people who are going through bad times.

You may have concrete walls built up around you but underneath that is a fractured and fragile glass so don't forget to take care of yourself. Stop smoking so much. Go for long walks. Stop slouching. Exercise. Speak to the ocean. Eat better. Meditate. Take more pictures. Give your boy a thousand kisses and hugs every day. Be his heroin. 

Don't be afraid of change, live for it, because it's the only thing guaranteed in life. Grow where you are planted, blossom and spread your nurturing seeds far and wide to light up the world. 

Stay focused love, and never regret making a brave decision. There will be tough times ahead, but I hope you don't ever feel like your alone, because you're not. Those people that I mentioned earlier that love and care about you, your probably in their dreams right now and their spare thoughts wanting you to be okay. And in your moments of weakness read this again and know that you will get through this.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Spa Experience by Better*

It was a while ago now i was fortunate enough to indulge in a complimentary spa day by Spa Experience UK by Better, and i've been meaning to share it for ages, but it's been a turbulent few months where the blog has taken a step back, see my last post A Mother's Confession for a more detailed explanation.

What can i say, the whole experience was truly dreamy and i'd do it all again in a heartbeat, next time with a friend! The Taunton branch which is the nearest to me from Bournemouth, is located in the Blackbrook Leisure Centre, i wish i'd realised this before as it would've been great to make the whole day of it by going for a swim beforehand with Corben followed by a relaxing afternoon, something to keep in mind if you're planning a trip there. The drive their is quite picturesque as you go through the countryside. Their are signs by the reception for the spa but there are plenty of helpful staff to hand if you do lose your way (like i did).

I made my way through the canteen, passed the family pool and up these stairs to the tranquil reception of the spa. 

I was greeted by a very friendly and professional therapist, filled out a quick treatment form where i expressed any areas of worry i had and any skincare complaints (if any) there were so they could work on these during the treatment. I was then handed a bag with a robe, towel and slippers to use during my stay and was chaperoned into the changing area, which had shower facilities so you could rinse off before entering the Thermal Spa as well as lockers and hairdryers. 

A cheeky bikini and no makeup selfie in the changing room. I was already impressed at this point at how clean everything was and how tranquil, there's very subtle calming music played which sets your mind to relax mode before you even step foot into the Thermal Spa.

I had a few hours to use the facilities before my treatment, and in anticipation of the day had read their blog and scoured their website beforehand all about the benefits of sauna's; how it improves your immune system, your cardiovascular health, releases toxins from the body, improves skin and of course makes you feel great. There's a really interesting post about using Sauna's to beat the Winter Blues which is more suited with the arrival of Autumn.

Alongside the standard Sauna room, this branch also features the Hydrotherapy Pool: 'Multiple jets working on different muscle groups to pummel away any stress and fatigue from the body.' When i arrived i pretty much had the spa to myself, but this pool was definitely most popular as the visitors started trickling in. It definitely wasn't the highlight for me as i was more interested in the steam room, sauna and monsoon shower. Speaking of which...

A Monsoon Shower: 'Several jets release scented water, creating contrasting shower experiences. These jets range from a warm tropical downpour to cool water, releasing a fine Scotch mist.' Now this was absolute heaven! I took full advantage of the different settings and was straight in there after a 15 minute session in the sauna. What i loved most is the subtle essential oil aroma that cascaded around you with the water, if you closed your eyes you could really pretend you were somewhere tropical.

You'll have to excuse the blurry pictures, but as you're not really allowed to bring phones into the spa i was trying to be subtle and you can imagine the Sauna and Steam Room are quite, well, steamy! So couldn't quite capture the best photos. But you can get a pretty good idea, the sauna is a lot dimmer than it looks and is described on the website as: 'A ‘dry’ heat treatment in a wood-lined room with a temperature reaching 90 C, designed to induce perspiration in order to cleanse the body of impurities.' If i'm honest, this was the highlight for me, it takes a minute to adjust to the dry heat as it does take your breathe away, but i just love how being in there for a prolonged period of time felt on the body. Of course it's uncomfortable but i enjoyed the challenge and persisted as i knew of the benefits it would have on my body. So i sat and stared at the Ice Fountain (see below) until the 15 minute timer was up. Overall i spent a good 45 minutes in there, staggered over the few hours i had in there. If i wasn't in here, you could most definitely find me in the Steam Room:

Which i luckily had to myself as the pool was the most popular feature receiving the most attention from visitors. Now that i think about it, i think this was actually my favourite of all the Thermal Spa, because of the beautiful aroma that was dispersed along with the steam, it was so therapeutic!

After a good while in the Steam room or Sauna i'd practically skip over to the Ice Fountain: 'The Ice Fountain produces ice flakes to be rubbed on the body which stimulates circulation and facilitates the cooling of the body.' Which was the perfect way to cool down. As a beauty blogger too i revelled in the fact that this would also close all the pores after having all the toxins drawn out, so i made sure to do this before my massage treatment.

As part of the Thermal Spa, you also have access to the 'Relaxation Room' which can be dimmed or lit, with fruit infused water, fruit and magazines available to help you unwind even further. For the benefits and whole experience of the facilities, £15 for 120 minutes is an absolutely bargain! If only there was a branch in Bournemouth, i'd go every month!

By now, as if i wasn't relaxed enough, my therapist came to shimmy me along into the next part of the experience. This is one of many treatment rooms here, where the therapist and i had a quick consultation before the beginning of my massage. I chose the signature treatment of 'Total Spa Experience':  'Relax and unwind with this complete treatment allowing you to receive a multitude of experiences in one. Begin with a full body exfoliation, followed by a warm cocoon envelopment and soothing face and scalp massage. Then, enjoy the comforting touch of hot stones which will leave you feeling relaxed and at peace.' It was nothing less than delightful (although i must add if you have a problem with getting your baps out then perhaps go for a different treatment!), this one does involve showering the salt scrub off mid way through but i was made to feel completely relaxed and comfortable throughout, my skin was beautifully soft after but i guess the treatment you chose is down to what you feel your mind and body needs most when you go to book, there's such a variety of treatments and massages to cater for any aches, pains or woes.

After my massage i was left to enjoy the Relaxation Room with a glass of pink prosecco, i honestly could've stayed there all day, completely switched off and in a state of bliss, since becoming a mum i've found it really hard to ever completely switch off even during a Lush Spa Treatment or even at home when try to re-create the essence of a spa. But the combination of the thermal facilities and 60 minute long massage my mind was completely at ease. It's really affordable and i felt so looked after from start to finish. I would recommend to anyone and everyone within travelling distance to a Spa Experience to try it out. 

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A Mother's Confession

On starting my blog I always wanted it to be a place for me to vent, to get down my thoughts and experiences as a new mum. Over time my blog has evolved and I love how varied and broad the topics are now. I got into a really good flow of posting 2-3 posts every week, but lately you may have noticed the lack of posts, this comes from a lack of motivation, which stems from what I'm currently dealing with in my personal life. I don't even know if this is something I should be 'broadcasting' on my blog, but at the same time I want this to be a place where I can do just that, in hopes that someone somewhere will be able to relate, and I'll find the support I need to help me get through it...

When I was growing up I always thought about the future and had a vision of what my life would be. In those daydreams I never thought I'd get to this point, I guess I had rose tinted glasses on of how simple and easy life would be. Being in the situation I'm now facing is far from what I wanted, but one of my mottos is do what makes you happy, and I've been unhappy now for far too long. As much as I'm a resilient person, it starts to take its toll and I can see myself becoming a shadow of my true self...

What I'm trying to say is that, I've been unhappy in a relationship for way too long. There may be parents who feel the same and will do everything in their power to keep their family together, they may get engaged, have more children in hopes that it will improve the turbulent relationship but potentially waste 25 years of their life being miserable with the wrong person and end up bitter, jaded and full of regret. And that's not how I envision my life to be either.

Maybe I'm selfish for blaming my unhappiness on someone else, maybe I'm a bad mother for wanting to split with my child's father, but in my own life experience and observations, it's much better to lead by example, showing to myself but also my son that you don't have to stay in a bad and love-less relationship; you can change your situation, you're the creator of your life and can improve your circumstances. Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you envisioned, or to society's standards, but you have to find your own happiness, and if that means being alone, leaving someone you're just not compatible with and discovering what you really want from life, than that's okay. Be brave. Discover your passions and attract positivity.

I do feel like a hypocrite because I'm usually a huge advocate of inner happiness... loving yourself and not letting it others control your emotional wellbeing, but when every day is a battle, creating your own happiness becomes a real chore rather than an attitude.

If you've got to this point still thinking wtf is she on about, I'm going through a break up. An emotionally challenging time of my life that's been the consequence of months of unhappiness, and that's why my blog has stalled. It is still early days and I don't want to rush anything. I want to create a stable and positive environment for my son and as adults we will be courteous and amicable to each other in hopes to share the parent responsibility as equally as possible. I hope to soon find a new lease of life, cleanse my aura and get back to business again. But for now I can't commit to amazing blog content that I'm proud of when my head is full of fog.

So that's my confession I guess, now that it's written down I can start to process it, but also a confession to the world (okay my friends, family and readers) that this is my situation, this is the hand I've been dealt and I'm going to do my best to make the most of it. I was hoping by writing it down it would make me feel better, and it absolutely has. So here's to being brave, breaking the mould and shaping myself into a strong, independent woman that destiny's child would be proud of. For now, I don't really know what else to say except, please single parent club, welcome me with open arms and a gin and tonic. 

P.S this is no way a dig at the person in question, it's just my honest account and a confession of how I'm feeling and what I'm going through. My blog is a place for me to share my lifestyle and sometimes it's not as perfect and edited as I make it to be, and that's why I want to share it, I want to be honest and real..