Any Excuse For a Party! #VenueReview #AfternoonTea @MalmaisonHotels

IMG_1117My wonderful mum celebrated a ‘special’ birthday recently and as our family is well known for throwing a party to rejoice pretty much anything – even the opening of a new bridge! – it was only right that mum’s 70th received the full treatment.

Born and bred in Leeds, but now living in the West Midlands, my mum is a Yorkshire lass through to the bone, so it was always going to have to be a northern bash to enable family and friends to attend without the added cost of them travelling to Birmingham.

Using my Yorkshire contacts (thanks, Auntie Vicky!), we decided upon a surprise afternoon tea at the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds which I booked for 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon. I organised everything with help from the lovely Aimee in events and then sat back and waited for the date. Read more

How Do You Cope With The Tough Times? #SelfHelp

How do you cope with the tough timesWe all experience tough times at certain points on our life journey. This may be due to health issues, financial problems, grief, pain, or loss. However, it’s how we deal with them that defines us.

Too many people disappear into victim mode when presented with a challenge. Whereas others find an inner strength that helps them forge through the anguish and hopefully come through these tough times with more wisdom, clarity, and vigour than ever before. Through my books and blog, I hope to share with people all my tough times – the gritty side of life – and then show my readers how I was able to emerge from the pain as a better version of myself. Read more

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer Holiday

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer holidayThere’s a Billy Crystal film called City Slickers that was a firm favourite of mine back in the 90s. The basic plot was about three friends who take an annual trip together without their wives. Each year the trips get wackier. In City Slickers they travel to the Southwest to drive cattle on a supervised vacation. The legendary Jack Palance plays the tough cowboy, Curly Washburn and Billy Crystal plays Mitch, the man on the edge of a midlife crisis.

It’s a fun film to watch, but it also has a few valuable lessons mixed in amongst the humour. One of my favourite parts is when Curly explains ‘vacation’ to Mitch. ‘Y’all spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then expect to come up here and unwind them in two weeks.’ This pretty much sums up the basic work/life balance of the twentieth century. We work long hours sometimes risking our family time and leisure activities and then expect to fully relax when herded onto bus, plane, and coach on an all-inclusive trip to Spain! Read more

Trek to the Top Challenge #Fitness

Trek to the TopAll of my friends appear to be taking part in a fitness regime these days.  The hugely popular 30 Day Abs Challenge, created by mum of eight, Robyn Mendenhall Gardner, has changed my sedentary pals into crunchers, plankers and leg lifters.  If I knew how to crunch I may have joined them.

Not to be outdone by my toned up, trimmed down friends, I decided that action was needed to be taken if I wanted to get that summer body I craved.

I may have hung up my running shoes after completing my half marathon back in 2012, but there is nothing stopping me from dusting them off and putting them to good use once more.  Running is out of the question as my knees creak louder than my floorboards these days, so I wanted to keep it simple-ish! Read more

#WordlessWednesday Cadiz #Spain #Travel

It was my blogging pal Cathy, from Between The Lines who first introduced me to Wordless Wednesday. I enjoy seeing the selection of images on a variety of topics and was, therefore, tempted to join in.

Here is a selection of photographs from my trip to Cadiz in Seville last year. A beautiful place to visit.

 

Cádiz is an ancient port city in southwest Spain, built on a strip of land surrounded by the sea in the Andalusia region. The home of the Spanish Navy, the port boomed in the 16th-century as a base for exploration and trade. It has more than 100 watchtowers, including iconic Torre Tavira, traditionally used for spotting ships, and 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral, on the waterfront.