Saturday, 10 December 2016

Travel | America

Hello!!

Gosh it feels so strange to be blogging again, i've had a pretty crazy few months so blogging has been pushed to the very back of my mind! Sometimes you just need to take a few steps back for a while and give yourself a little break, putting pressure on yourself to write passionately when theres so much going on around you and you're ridicously busy, is not something you can force! 

I've been away for just under 3 months now, it's been a whirlwind 3 months but I am feeling motivated and festive with Christmas coming up and have lots of exciting things coming up which I can't wait to share with you!

So, a few months ago I wrote about stepping out of my comfort zone, which involved getting on a train with Abbie and going away for the night, a really big deal for me then. 

But almost 2 weeks ago, I completely outdid myself. 
I hopped on an airplane to my favourite place in the world, America, for a whole week! Not only was it my first time travelling completely by myself, but it was also my first time ever leaving Abbie overnight, but I knew she was in the best hands! 

The trip had been planned for some months, but due to recent unplanned events, I wasn't able to go, that was until two days before I was due to leave, when a bunch of my awesome friends and family encouraged me to go still! To be honest, the break was well overdue and despite all my anxieties, I knew I really did need to do this. What made this trip that little bit more special was finally meeting one of my oldest and best friends for the first time, ever! 10 years ago we first started talking so it was such an awesome and overdue thing to do!

So Saturday morning I made the decision to go still, and on the Monday morning I headed off to Heathrow! Eeek.



Things weren't smooth sailing going over there, the first flight was pretty turbulent, and I can't even talk about the food, I ate my bread roll, and luckily I'd bought some cakes for the journey so devoured those instead! Just as I was planning my next step, I got pulled in at customs and quizzed for an hour and a half by Homeland Security...Now, I've seen Homeland, so my expectations were pretty bloody scary, but of course it wasn't really anything like that at all, thank god. Naturally I was anxious, despite the fact I knew I'd done absolutely nothing wrong, they searched through all my luggage, also handed me a permit so they could look through my phone and also tried contacting the person I was staying with, just to make sure my story added up. Although they were all pretty stern I must add how lovely they were too (just adding that incase they read this...) haha but no seriously, they were genuinely just looking out for me and even helped me to my next flight...

Because of all that, I almost missed my connecting flight, I had to run to my gate, somehow lost my boarding pass along the way, managed to get it reprinted just as they announced we were boarding, phew right? No. Got on the plane, only for it to circle the runway for half hour before being told maintenance were coming as there was an issue with the plane, were then told they couldn't fix the issue, so we all had to get off the plane and wait, at this point I'd been awake for about 24 hours (couldnt sleep on the plane annoyingly), so I was grumpy and a bit spaced out, turns out i'm pretty fiesty when i'm super fricking tired, so apologies to the flight attendant and 4 airport staff I moaned and snapped at..Luckily we were all called back on our little plane, where my body finally gave in to the deliriousness and I slept until we were just about to land!


I don't know what it is about America, I just feel such a connection to it, I've mentioned in some previous posts, ever since I watched Home Alone 2 back when I was 9, I just wanted to be there. That's why visiting New York back in 2009 was a dream come true for me. But this time I was in a completely different area and it felt just like home!

It took me a day or so to get used to the time difference, for some reason I get jet lag going places rather than coming back.. But once I'd adjusted, I did what any parent without their child did, I SLEPT! ALL NIGHT, I didnt think that was possible for me ever again. God it felt good! Zzzz

I got a little too excited about going to Walmart and Target, such typical American shops you hear people talk about, it's odd though because if someone from over there got excited about going into Asda, I'd be a bit taken aback..You should've seen my face when we walked into one shop, Christmas decorations galore!! It's pretty much what I imagine heaven to look like! Shelves from top to toe with wreaths, fairy lights, Christmas trees, Santa's, candles, literally everything. How I didnt buy one of everything I don't know! I mean the highlight for me was the huge jars of Nutella, never in my life have I seen such beauty..



I celebrated my first ever Thanksgiving! Boy, Americans sure know how to make you feel welcome and warm and fuzzy! The food was delicious, the people were amazing and I haven't laughed quite so much in a long time! Oh and I also had my first glass of wine in years, went straight to my head, great job Jess! Plus I made some Oreo Truffles for everyone which I have to say, were bloody delicious..



Have you ever been to an American cinema? 
Well this was my first time but LOOK, look at those seats! I swear I felt like a rich celebrity sitting in my own private cinema room in my house, red leather seats, that RECLINE, can you tell how excited I am about this? I practically led down for the entire movie, which by the way, was amazing, if anyone is thinking of going to see Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, do it, it's the best film i've seen this year! So definitely go! Also, the size of the drinks..I know we ordered large but blimey, you kinda needed 2 hands just to carry it!




FOOD! Everything tastes so much better over there, even down to the bread, the amount of peanut butter sandwiches I had was ridiculous! I know it's not as good for you as the food over here but sometimes it's so nice to relax and eat whatever you want!
We popped out to a proper lovely pizza restaurant, the whole atmosphere just lifted you right up, the football was on the TV, the people were so jolly and bubbly, and the pizza...my god the pizza, the cheese, i'm actually salivating just thinking about it again..If it was acceptable i'd probably just eat there every single day I was there..


Have any of you ever heard of something called disc golf? It's exactly what is sounds like! Basically you have frisbees, you're on this large green which branches off into the woods and past brooks, and you have to launch your disc and try and get it into the basket at the other end..Obviously I was utterly shit, something like 24 over par, (it's the taking part that counts thank you..). I did think it was gonna be easier than what it was, turns out I have no arm strength whatsoever so took me twice as long to get it anywhere near the basket, however I'm pretty sure I did hit par on one, so I call that an achievement. Hopefully i'll be better next time, although lets be honest, I can't get much worse..
It was also the perfect spot for some lovely autumnal looking photos, any photographers heaven!



I think what I enjoyed the most was being able to completely relax, something I've not done for 4 years,   this year i've really started to find myself again, and it's been such an amazing thing. To be able to just sit and watch TV, stroll out of bed whenever I wanted to, and to put myself first, I'm so content just curled up on the sofa, watching Netflix and doing absolutely nothing, which is exactly what I did on a few days. Oh and can I mention how nice it was to have a bath or shower without having a child shoving all her toys in there and/or jumping in with me? I also didn't have to share any of my food either...





And as quickly as the holiday started, it came to an end, it was pretty bittersweet having to leave, it went far too quickly! Luckily the journey back to England was much smoother, even if I did walk the entire course of the airport in Atlanta to baggage claim, only to be told my luggage had gone straight to London and I didn't even need to collect it..thank god for there being a train or I would have missed my connecting flight! 

Considering it was pretty much bedtime on the plane, I managed to sleep for a good 4 hours, meaning I wasn't arriving home feeling like crap! Again the food was questionable, the sticker on my meal stated "Pure veg" but upon inspection I wasn't convinced...cucumber stuffed bread roll was my evening meal that night! Yum....



I had such a lovely time away, it's given me the motivation I really needed, one of my new years resolution for 2016 was to go abroad and say yes more, so I'm so proud of myself for actually doing this. I know this is gonna sound a little cheesy but I feel like me again and it's amazing. Surrounding yourself with positive and happy people really is all you need, from there you really can do anything. 

For those of you wondering, Abbie had a blast without me, not only did she sleep through every night but once (yes she still wakes up for me), she had the greatest time with her favourite bunch of people! I'd decided that unless she asked for me or got upset, we weren't going to FaceTime or anything, I didn't want her to be fine then possibly get stressed seeing me, as it turns out she didn't ask for me once, and greeted me with the biggest smile and cuddle when I got back, it was just awesome!

Until next time America..
Happy Christmas!

Jess x


Friday, 2 September 2016

Stepping out of my comfort zone..

For those that know me well, I'm one of those people who likes a plan, I like to know timings of things and I like to have a routine. But just recently i've been feeling a lot more relaxed and have been wanting to try new things. For as long as I can remember, i've suffered with anxiety but up until a few months ago, I don't quite know what happened, but I feel different, i'm suddenly more relaxed. I can't explain how or what but I suddenly had this epiphany. I've been stuck in the same cycle of things for a good few years and this year I have really begun to explore and get back out into the big wide world again. It's a work in progress, I can't just cart myself and Abbie off to the other side of the world just yet, but all the little steps i'm doing are really doing wonders for my confidence. Realising that I CAN do what I really want, it's an amazing feeling.

I know what i'm about to say might not be a big deal for some people, it might be your daily life, but for me, who's always been held back by anxiety, it's such a big step. So this past weekend Abbie & I jumped on a train to visit my Sister for her Birthday. A year ago I would
be panicking about how I was going to get there, how would Abbie be, the journey, when would I stop, would she sleep ok somewhere else, would she be clingy etc etc, constant anxiety! Abbie isn't the greatest traveller in a car because she gets the worst car sickness, so taking the train was the next best option. I was a little apprehensive, I didn't want her to be poorly and then have to worry about the journey home too..

Aside from a new nerves, I was surprisingly calm, an oddity for me to say the least. I don't want to go on about how proud I am of myself, (although if anyone has any gold stars to hand, I won't turn that down....), I have to put all my calmness down to the absolute perfection Abbie was the ENTIRE time, firstly, it was her first time on a train, ever, she took it in her stride, sat in her seat quietly and watched out the window, we even had a half hour wait for the second train as well, and she was amazing with that, didn't bat an eyelid on that train either and coming home was even better, I can't even find the words to describe just how proud of her I am, I'm so so lucky to have such a wonderful little cherub!

We had such a lovely time away, Abbie thoroughly enjoyed herself, she literally didn't stop all day, playing with the other kids, enjoying the amazing toy room her Auntie has and also trying to steal the neighbours cat..sorry Alfie. I took a few hundred photos whilst I was there too, so nice to take my camera out again, it's been far too long, so i'm gonna leave you with some of those now, hope you all have a good weekend :)





















The morning after....


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Twenty Five.

I'm not just saying this, but I think it's actually law now, where if your birthday falls on a Friday, you are entitled to celebrate it for the entire weekend, possibly even Monday AND the Thursday if you want to be really greedy, which is exactly what I did!

So with that in mind, I had a super busy and fun weekend to celebrate my (ugh don't want to say it...) 25th Birthday. Every year I tend to not want any fuss or anything big happen, but this year things feel different, for one, i'm actually socialising again, I know, i'm being serious. Two, the sun actually came out for the entire time so had to take advantage of that, I might have moaned a few times that it was too hot but there we go..and three, I'm now 25, from now on I really am an adult, a proper one this time, not just a young adult. When I was younger and I knew someone was 25, I would think wow, I can't wait till I'm a grown up, they can do whatever the hell they want...Oh childhood innocence. 

I pretty much just ate this weekend, spent it with some awesome people and got very little sleep. But it was the best birthday i've ever for a while, so thanks to everyone who made it so fab for me!

As tradition, I headed off to Longleat on my actual Birthday, typically it did rain a little in the morning but completely dried off by the time we got there. Abbie actually got involved in the safari part this time, giggling at the monkeys and not moaning until the very end, bonus. 

Here are a selection of photos from the past 5 days, as I mentioned above, mostly food, but also mostly out and about too, which compared to my life last year, is completely different..

Hope you all have a great week :)









Yesterday I headed off to my favourite little cafe in Bath, The Green Rocket, you might've seen a few posts ago that I went on and on about how amazing it was, and this visit was no exception. The roast dinner was once again flawless, and I even demolished a vegan flapjack too, which by the way was THE BEST flapjack I have ever had, gonna need to try and recreate the recipe I think! The plan was to have ice cream but my eyes were too big for my belly and I probably would've exploded if I would've stuffed anything else down my gob.

So a little retail therapy did the job instead, a stop in LUSH, Primark, Boots, Superdrug and a few other places too, I do love Birthday money, means you shouldn't feel guilty about buying yourself new things...I say shouldn't, because I still did. I can easily spend money on Abbie but anything for me and I can never justify it..i'm sure it's a parent thing though, I certainly had no problems before she existed..

Bath is one of my favourite places, it's so beautiful and picturesque, there's always things going on and now I have found my new favourite cafe, I think i'm gonna find myself there a lot more...Oh and also, I WORE A DRESS, if you know me well, you'll know that's a rarity, I'm one of those awkward people who constantly plays with their outfit and pulls on it all the time. But it was far too hot to wear my usual jeans and t-shirt so I just went for it, wasn't too scary actually ;)





Thanks to everyone who sent me Birthday messages too, I had a wonderful few days, kinda looking forward to the next one too now ;)

x


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