How to spend a lazy weekend

Mustard pattern cushion: Rooi*, grey ombre throw: Next*, Lonely Planet guide books: Amazon, 36 hours 125 Weekends in Europe: Amazon, pineapple candle: Primark, white chair: second hand

Due to a few things happening in real life, I've really scaled back my weekends and taken a step back. Usually I spend both days frantically fitting things in and constantly back and forth on trains into London. By the time Monday morning rolls around, I wake up exhausted ready to start the working week. The last few weeks I've very rarely left my Essex town instead choosing to spend my free days at home. I feel so much better for it and haven't even really felt the FOMO. It's been so nice to mooch around at my leisure and spend some time with local family and friends.

I've been setting aside one day at the weekend where I literally don't leave the house. Sometimes I don't even get dressed! Boy has it been good for the soul...

I never set an alarm and even if I do wake up early I like to lounge around and very rarely get up before 11am. I love to treat myself to a indulgent breakfast - smashed avocado, crumbled feta and chili flakes on crusty tiger bread is my brunch of choice. Then I like to potter around to do a few life admin bits and bobs that I have missed out during the week.

After lunch I like to settle down with a book underneath a cosy throw with a cushion and a candle flickering in the background. Sometimes it is my Game Of Thrones book on my kindle - on the third book now! - or it something from my collection of travel books. I'm absolutely obsessed with travel books. It could be researching places I've already booked or looking for inspiration for must-visit countries in the future. My list grows bigger by the day! I'm forever making wish lists on Air BnB in far flung places.

I've been really enjoying to put aside a Sunday to bake or cook something new from my mountain of cookbooks. So I usually volunteered to cook dinner for the evening.

How do you spend a lazy weekend? I recommend you take a day out for yourself!


Travel plans for 2017

2017 is the year we finally move out - fingers crossed! - so travel will have to take a bit of a back seat. That's not to say I'm going to be sitting at home twiddling my thumbs but there won't be any huge holiday plans. We'll be visiting a few old favourites again and trying to keep it cheap.

I've never been a massive fan of Paris but keen to explore more as I really don't think I have seen the best of it it. I stumbled across some cheap Eurostar tickets thanks to Hannah so decided to treat my mum for Christmas as she's never been. We're heading over for the night in January for less than 24 hours in the French capital. We probably won't do much sightseeing preferring to eat cheese and drink wine. But I can't wait. It'll be so nice to introduce my mum to some things I've seen before. If there's someone who enjoys stuffing their face as much as I do, it's her!

Image taken from My Sentimental Heart

Originally the boyfriend and I had big plans to spend our ten year anniversary - say what?! - in Marrakesh. But buying a house has put a serious strain on our finances so that idea soon went out the window. Instead we're heading off to Northern Ireland for a few to spend time with Connor's family and embark on a Game of Thrones tour around the country. This has been high on my list for ages! Despite the fact I'll probably freeze to death, I'm so looking forward to it. Northern Ireland is absolutely beautiful and I've never explored the countryside, only the city. We're going to be doing the Causeway Coastal Route with the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Dark Hedges and Ballintoy Harbour on our list to visit.

Image taken from Little Winter
This year I managed to squeeze in two girls trips to Plymouth and Bristol. They were so much fun that we've decided to need to do one next year. I've been to Brighton quite a few times but it's one of those places that never gets old. There's always somewhere new to eat, to drink and to wander. We've got a few days plans for when the weather starts to warm up in the spring.

Image found on Pinterest via All That Is Interesting
Our big holiday next year is a two week trip in Poland with our partners in crime - can't quite believe that will be our fifth annual year of going away with each other. We're heading back to the place that started it all. Warsaw. My friend's family have a flat in the city so it will be cheap and cheerful. Plus there's so much more to Warsaw to discover! After four days in the capital we will be heading about an hour away from the city to spend a few days with his grandparents in the country then catching the train north to Gdansk. Here we'll be basing ourselves for a week whilst exploring the beach of Sopot, Hitler's chilling Eastern Front headquarters Wolf's Lair and the port city of Gdynia. Despite it being a budget option, I'm really looking forward to it. I stumbled across Gdansk on Pinterest earlier this year and looks so beautiful, my friend also has some great things to say about Polish beaches too!

Image taken from Fat Frocks

In September I'll be heading into Wales for the weekend for a very good friend's wedding. I'm looking forward to an almightly catch up. I've been to Cardiff before so am really pleased to go back for some more exploring. I think the weekend is going to be one of the highlights of my year!

Image taken from Bow Dream Nation

German Christmas market
Finally I wanted to round off the year with a trip to a German Christmas market. We trekked to Bruges two years ago for a festive market but haven't been to one since. I'm sure I've mentioned before that Germany is probably one of my favourite European countries so I'd like to experience a proper Christmas market. I'm not 100% sure which city yet as I'm hoping to score some cheap flights but it will be somewhere in the country.

So now you know mine, tell me your 2017 travel plans!

The top four places to visit for a weekend break in Great Britain

It's only this last year that I've really come to appreciate what is on my doorstep. For years I had dismissed Great Britain in favour of far away lands. I'm hoping to explore more too with Glasgow and Cardiff on the agenda for next year. While we don't have the weather we most certainly have the beauty. Here are my top four places I've visited in Great Britain - I think you should visit them too!

I was whisked away to Oxford for a birthday treat last year and it fast became one of my favourite UK city. Even on a cold February day it was beautiful. I loved wandering around the colleges from Harry Potter, eating afternoon tea at a grand hotel, climbing to the top of a church tower and wandering around the independent shops. There's so much to take in and see, whether you fancy a weekend away with the girls or a romantic few days with a partner. We stayed at the Malmasion which I highly recommend!

Plymouth is my first venture into Devon and now I'm desperate to visit more. It's not the prettiest of cities but it offers the calming sea, good food and a whole lot of history. Plus a gin distillery! It's a fantastic base to explore more of that world thanks to being only an hour boat journey from Cornwall. It's a place I can definitely see myself seeing more of.

If you love food, you'll love Bristol! Go on a wander down to the harbour, take a self-guided Banksy tour, mooch over to Clifton, enjoy the brunch scene and wander through the town centre. It has such a cool, fun vibe and is quite a young city thanks to the university. It's also a cracking night out if you fancy packing your dancing shoes!

The Highlands
The Highlands had been on my bucket list for a long time so when a friend moved there, I quickly organised a visit. Well quickly might be a lie - it took me two years! It is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I really couldn't believe this was on my doorstep. To get the best out of Scotland, you really should hire a car and drive around all the little towns and villages. We saw castles, seals, lochs, waterfalls and lighthouses. I never knew I loved the outdoors so much!

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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