I don’t know about you, but I have always struggled with the notion of making things perfect. Whether it be my blog posts, my cooking or something as huge as the timing of my life, I basically just put huge amounts of pressure on myself to do everything right, and even when I think I do things right, I still worry that I may have upset someone or that somebody is judging me for it. Oh gosh, how complicated is my brain?! Please tell me I’m not the only one that over thinks and creates more problems than need be?!

In the limited time we’re given on this earth, if we’re not living life for ourselves, ignoring all the nasty comments and the sniggers of disbelief behind our backs, then we’re holding ourselves back from potential success and happiness. It’s been bugging me lately because I know that I can’t always live life like that, and that I definitely can’t please everyone. I tend to second guess myself when writing a blog post or instagramming a picture, worried that it won’t get enough likes or that people won’t take well to what I’ve poured my heart into. It makes things stressful and less enjoyable, and so I have decided to make more of a conscious effort to do what I want to do, feel confident and happy with my choices and just be that little bit more ‘so what’ about things! I know it won’t be easy to do, but it’ll make me a much stronger and happier person in the long run as I’ll be more able to shrug the little things off and stand up for what I believe in.7a3432525544f0265964d740f91d04bcAfter coming home from an amazing trip to Orlando, I decided to start up a YouTube channel – something I have wanted to do for a while now, but rather scared to do so. It’s one of those things that I think could go either way: I could really enjoy it, it could compliment my blog and be another way to connect with others whom have similar interests, or it could be an extra stress in my life, something that doesn’t go anywhere and then I count it as a failed attempt at something in my life. But what good is it if I don’t even try because I’m afraid of failure?! With my ‘so what’ attitude in full throttle, I felt the fear and did it anyway. My YouTube channel is up and running and I have already posted three videos! I have stayed in my safety zone at the moment, just posting videos from our holiday (Disney Vlogs) but I do have the intention of creating more content for my channel that will be different from Disney Vlogs, but these are easing me in gently, and hopefully gaining some following for the channel (I’m on 26 Subscribers so far!).

So, I wanted to share with you something that I am doing which is pretty scary for me to do in the hopes that you’ll

1. be really supportive and hopefully subscribe, and

2. that I can inspire you to do something you’ve wanted to do for a while, but you’ve been too scared to do so!

Let me know what you do, and remember life is far too short to be living it half-heartedly! Go out there and live life fully, and always follow your dreams!!!

Jessica Xx

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Last year was, embarrassingly, the first year I became interested in watching Wimbledon. Even with a family full of Wimbledon enthusiasts, I just couldn’t quite get my head round the game and didn’t understand what the fuss was all about! However, I was lucky enough to be invited to Wimbledon by a good friend last year and this is when it all clicked; I watched every match I could, I grasped the rules of the game, I became hooked. I suddenly wanted to be the next Tennis star – watch out Serena Williams!

So, whilst Wimbledon gets into full swing, I’m at home with the tennis on, making Wimbledon inspired treats to get me excited for next week as I’ve been extremely lucky to get another invite for this years Men’s Semi Finals. And although we’ve yet to experience the warm British summer we’re all hoping for, I’ve decided to pretend it’s sunny anyway and make some Pimms Ice Lollies. If you fancy making some too, the recipe is below!

Pimms Ice Lollies

Ingredients

500g strawberries, hulled and cut up into smallish pieces
10 mint leaves
75ml Pimm’s
200ml lemonade
100g golden caster sugar
20 thin slices of cucumber, cut into quarters

Method

  1. Put the strawberries and mint leaves in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
  2. Add the Pimm’s, lemonade and sugar, stirring together until combined and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Divide the cucumber pieces into lolly moulds and pour over the strawberry mixture, dividing equally.
  4. Put the mould in the freezer and leave to freeze for at least 4 hrs or until frozen solid.
  5. To remove the ice lollies, dip the mould in hot water for a few seconds, then carefully remove the lollies to serve.

For those who just want a Pimms Cocktail:

200ml Pimms
600ml Lemonade
Cucumber slices
Strawberries
Mint sprigs
Orange slices

Put all ingredients into a jug, mix up and then serve with ice!
Processed with MOLDIV

The recipe is from BBCs Good Food website (click here for the link) and I’m really impressed with it; it’s extremely  simple and delicious! I hope you enjoy making and of course eating these Pimms Ice Lollies, I know I will! Plus enjoy getting into the Wimbledon spirit, don’t forget your strawberries and cream at the supermarket shop this week!

Jessica Xx

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I can’t believe it’s over! We have come home from two weeks of adventure, laughter, fun and lots and lots of walking…wow there’s lots of walking in Orlando! But let’s just say that’s probably for the better, as without the walking, I don’t doubt Tom and I would’ve come home two stone heavier!! Anyway, we have arrived home safely, with extra suitcases filled to the brim with souvenirs, gifts and lots of Disney merchandise, that now we’re home, we have no idea what we’re going to ever do with it (yes, you do get carried away there don’t you!). I mean we needed a goblet that lights up for our juice in the morning right? And I definitely needed a stuffed Dumbo that comes with his very own blanket, yeah? Ermmm maybe not, but hey, what the hell – these things don’t come around often, so when they do, you go all out!

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We spent the majority of our trip in Walt Disney World, as well as visiting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, which houses the amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The trip was unforgettable and everything we’d hoped for and more. However, it was such as shame that during in our visit, Orlando experienced some extremely sad times – the Orlando shooting (the worst in US history), a little boy was killed by an alligator on Disney property and Christina Grimmie (whom I was such a fan of) was shot dead by a deranged ‘fan’ of hers at a meet and greet – so of course our emotions were slightly mixed throughout the trip due to the tragedies that occurred within only a couple of days of each other. We did however, keep our spirits up and make sure that our trip was not so affected by these things that were very much out of our control.

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Disney World is magical – I even saw a sparkle in Tom’s eye every time we stepped foot in that place! You honestly go from serious adults who only buy things they actually need, to being big kids, wanting to buy every single thing they sell that is shiny, colourful and somewhat tacky. It’s madness! We did budget for this though – so we’ve come home with our fair share of ‘tat’…It’s obligatory!

We did every Disney Park, apart from the water parks, with Hollywood Studios being Tom’s favourite and Magic Kingdom being mine. Despite the fact we’re in our twenties and childless, we made time to meet with characters, buy Minnie Ears and go on baby rides – and trust me, you have to do this! The nighttime firework displays are out of this world and being someone that doesn’t typically enjoy fireworks, I could’t have enjoyed this part of our day any more – it was truly spectacular. Missing this so much – thank god I filmed it, I can watch it whenever I feel crap!

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The Universal Parks were more action packed and full of thrill rides, which of course Tom and I revelled in, but we have to admit that it doesn’t come close our experiences at Disney World. We were however, blown away by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter though – being huge HP fans, this is something we’d been looking forward to for a very long while now, and it absolutely met our expectations! I’d love to visit it at quieter times though as you can’t take it all in with such crowds.

So I’ve done a quick list of things we loved and what we would recommend, as well as including some of our photos. I will, however, be doing separate blog posts on our WDW photos and experience, and a blog post about our hotel visit. Plus maybe our WDW haul – so watch this space Youtube…!!!

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Favourite Rides

Universal Studios – Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Escape from Gringotts & Dragon Challenge

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Tower of Terror & Hollywoods Rock N Roller Coaster

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest & Kilimanjaro Safaris

Disney’s Epcot – Test Track & Soarin’

Disney’s Magic Kingdom – Space Mountain & Splash Mountain

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Food We Loved

Universal Studios – Doughnuts from The Simpsons Land – May I suggest just one between 4 people…we got one each and barely touched them – they are SO big!!!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Fish & Chips at Three Broomsticks

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Toffee popcorn & visit Mama Melrose Italian for dinner (the steak with mac and cheese was amazing)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Mickey Pretzel

Disney’s Epcot – Pastries from France Pavilion – these are seriously good!

Disney’s Magic Kingdom – You must get a Dolewhip Float!! Plus have dinner at Be Our Guest if you can get in – and make sure you get the drinks in a Goblet too!!

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Also, I just wanted to say that all of these photos are my own and none of them have been edited at all.

Come back on Monday for more Disney World Blog Posts!

Jessica Xx

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As some of you may know, it was my Mum’s big birthday in April, and as one of her gifts (yes one of – we well and truly spoilt her!) my two sisters and I booked to stay at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa in Chester. After reading numerous TripAdvisor reviews, the choice of where to book seemed really quite easy, and so we booked the hotel months in advance. On my Mum’s actual birthday, we revealed the hotel surprise to her, she was thrilled to be going on a break away with her three girls – something she hasn’t done since her 50th birthday!

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Firstly, the hotel was extremely easy to find, and once we did arrive, we were delighted to be met by gorgeous grounds, a large car park and a stunning building which looked even better than the photographs, which is always reassuring! Mum, being the designated driver, pulled up right to the entrance (as it was raining at this point) and dropped us at the front, whilst the three of us ran into the reception with all the bags and waited for poor Mum to park the car in the rain (sorry Mum!). Luckily, she parked easily and was soon inside, undercover and away from the wet weather.

We were met by the lovely Jane at the hotel desk, whom in my Mum’s words “gave us the best welcome to a hotel in a very long time”, which she followed up with “and I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in my time” – very true! Mum wasn’t lying, Jane was wonderful at her job and had only been there 6 weeks, so thank you to you Jane (if you ever see this!). The reception was absolutely stunning, a true mix of modern and traditional decor – it was very luxurious and definitely was a hit with my Mum.

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We had booked two rooms: a deluxe twin room and an executive twin room. The executive room was more spacious, including a small lounge area which was perfect for the four of us to sit and enjoy a glass of celebratory champagne in! Whilst the deluxe room was decorated the same with almost the same amenities, just without the extra space. Both rooms were decorated to a very high standard and were beautifully cleaned and well maintained. We were all impressed!

As I said earlier, we were met with 5* quality service on arrival, and this did not dip at any one point during in our stay. We requested an ice bucket up to our room for our vintage champagne, and within 5 minutes we had our ice bucket along with four glasses. We also had a slight issue (on our part) as we could not get the heating to work, but once again, within only a few moments of asking for help with this, someone was upstairs and sorting out our problem – nothing seemed too much to ask, which is something you expect when you are paying to stay somewhere.

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We booked a table at the hotels restaurant Ciro’s Brasserie at 8pm as none of us felt like venturing too far after our day of shopping at Cheshire Oaks. Once again, we were pleasantly surprised, as considering there was a wedding dinner being served in the function room at the same time as our dinner, the service never fell short and the food was delicious. The restaurant had a fabulous menu, making it hard to choose, and also included lots of local produce, which is nice to see. Our dinner was absolutely scrumptious and I would absolutely recommend a visit to Ciro’s if you stay at the Grosvenor Pulford!

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On our visit, we also used some of the spa facilities – although none of us had a treatment – and I would say that the pool, steam and sauna rooms are in need of an update. It is slightly outdated and looks very used and worn down, yet the size of the pool and the surrounding areas are fabulous. We had a lovely swim, but unfortunately the jacuzzi was not working, so it was more like sitting in a bath, and the steam room felt more leisure centre than luxury spa. This was not something that we were overly bothered by though, and with the high standards throughout the hotel, we were able to overlook this. Plus the Japanese garden next to the spa area was absolutely mesmerising.

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Overall our visit was a huge success and I would definitely recommend the hotel. The service was fantastic, the hotel was beautiful and the food was delicious – and they made it very special for my Mum too. For more information on The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel visit their website here: www.grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk

Thanks for reading and do let me know if you ever visit the hotel!

Jessica Xx

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