Snippets of Life :: Cedar Falls Health Farm.

Apparently my bestest bud is a big old fan on hen dos. She had not one, not two, not three but four hen dos. Yes that's right my friends, four hen dos. I'm here to tell you all about the fun we had on the fourth one. She kept trying to make out that this little trip away wasn't a final hen do before the big day. Let's call a spade a spade here and just accept that, yes, dear Becca, it was a final hen do, and what a hen do it was.

I'd thought that a little spa trip away before the wedding would probably be a great idea so I had a search online and found a really good deal for Cedar Falls. After letting Becca know about my great idea we decided whether we really could fit this trip in with just a week to go before the wedding. It didn't take much deliberating before we just said yes. We took a leaf out of Zoella's book *roll of the eyes*, apparenty. 

Once we arrived, we knew that we'd made a bloody great choice. The gardens were gorgeous, the views were breathtaking and the health farm itself was beautiful. Once we'd checked in and were shown around, it didnt't take us very long to throw our stuff into our room and head down for our afternoon of relaxation.

We started off the relaxation with a delicious hot chocolate. We then felt a little bit crazy and decided to treat ourselves to a glass of wine. It was a bloody lovely rosé! After sipping on our yummy rosé, reading our magazines and chatting the hour away, we thought a nice dip in the pool would be a grand idea... Who knew we'd end up stuck in a water fitness class?! It was only a 30 minute class and we did actually have fun. It just wasn't quite the relaxation class we had in mind.

What was really bloody lovely and refreshing was our walk around the grounds. Just take a look at these views! You'd feel pretty awesome after a little stroll around those wouldn't you?

We hadn't booked any treatments in for our stay because we were just happy enjoying what Cedar Falls already had to offer. Next time we go (and we definitely will!) I might have to book myself in for a little something because their treatment rooms looked so calming and peaceful.


After a few hours spent in the pool and the hot tub, and our walk around the grounds, we got ourselves another glass of wine and made our way down to the relaxation room. This room was immense. The walls were painted a deep red, there were lamps that looked like giant hot rocks, there was really nice relaxation music in the background and there were bean bags all over the floor. It was bliss. We could happily have spent the rest of our time in there. Sadly though, it would soon be time for us to eat so he forced ourselves back to our room and changed into something a little more appropriate for an evening meal.

I was a little worried about the evening meal to be honest. A three course meal was included in the offer and I'm such a fussy eater that I was sure I wouldn't find anything to eat. Fret not friends, I certainly found some things I could eat and MY GOD were they delicious. Squatternut bosh (it just sounds much funnier like that, no?) soup for starter, marinated chicken with a red wine jus for main and raspberry frozen yoghurt for desert. I honestly cannot even begin to explain how delicious it all was. My favourite was definitely the squatternut bosh soup. I could have eaten a whole troth of that. The only negative thing about the meal was that the portion sizes were too small. It is a health farm after all so I guess we should have expected it.

After stuffing our faces we made sure we took full advantage of the facilities again and spent another couple of hours playing in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub until 10PM when it was time for it to close. We were well and truly relaxed after that.

It was really the perfect thing for us to do before the wedding. It took Becca's mind off of the worries and stresses of the week to come, and it was just bloody lovely to spend some time with my besty before her husband stole her away from me forever (yeah right!).

Have you ever been to Cedar Falls?

Leona 

Running Tips :: Get Yourself A Pair Of Decent Headphones*.

I'll say the same to you as I said to my peeps on Instagram - I'm wearing a towel ya dirty mares. Did you think I was going to hang around long enough to take a selfie in sweaty running gear!?

Let's be real here guys, I think we can all guarantee that I'm not a professional runner here or anything but I will just say this - I have been on three runs now so I definitely know what I'm talking about... Ok I really don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to fitness but what I can tell you about is a little bit of my experience so far and what I've learned.

1. Just go for it. So you may not be a great runner? You think you might look silly in front of people or you're just worried that you might get funny looks. It really is very unlikely that someone is going to even bother looking at you. To them, you're just a runner. They might glance at you for a second or they may just carry on with whatever they're doing. They don't know you from Adam (although I'm sure he's a very lovely fellow!). You're in their sight for 10 seconds, max, before you run off along your merry little way. I promise you this- after the first few people you pass, you won't even notice them anymore. 

2. You are a lot more unfit than you ever thought. Seriously. Running takes a lot out of you but it's bloody brilliant. You might feel like you want to die during and for the next 30 minutes after a run but you will feel like you can take on the world when that death-like feeling goes.

3. Get a decent pair of running shoes. I treated myself to some Asics upon recommendation from my sister and they're great. They support my feet and, more importantly for me, my ankles. They keep my feet cool and they are really lightweight. They were also reduced by £35 - kerching!
You really should treat yourself to a good pair of shoes if you plan on giving running a go. Something that's supporting, soft on your feet and gorgeous is a grand idea. I decided on a bright pink pair with a touch of black, because running in colourful shoes was a very exciting thought for me.

4. Treat yourself to a decent pair of earphones. I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of earphones by Sudio* to try out. Before this I was using the headphones supplied with my iPhone and I really wasn't a fan of them. 
I opted for the TVÅ's* because I don't usually like earphones that get right in your ear and these seemed perfect for what I'd be needing them for. When they arrived I was very impressed with the packaging. The quality is way up there with what you would expect of Beats or other pricier products so that was the first tick on the list of pros. Upon taking them out of the box I was surprised at how lightweight the earphones were! This looked promising as I was fed up with getting sore ears from using Apple's standard earphones. I had a quick listen while I was sat on the sofa and was impressed with the sound but was excited to take these babies for a spin later that night.

Basically, I really am so impressed with them. The sound quality is great, notably the bass. Architects are far more motivational when you can feel the bass kicking your butt into gear. The sound doesn't sound tinny or lacking at all! 
The one thing that blew my mind was the function button. One click pauses your music, two clicks skips a song, three clicks takes you to the previous song and holding the button down starts voice control. Just one little button does all that! How handy? Ain't nobody got time for faffing around with different controls while you're in full run mode! For just over £25 I am impressed! Who wouldn't want a pair of earphones named after Phil Collins?

5. A great playlist. Now that you've got yourself a pair of great earphones, you really do need a bloody good playlist. I'd recommend putting together a playlist yourself instead of downloading a running one. You know what motivates you the most! Whether it's McBusted, Spice Girls, Architects, Nirvana or Alfie Boe, just go with what gets you pumped!

So there you have it. Like I said, I'm not a pro at this running malarky but with just a few runs under your belt you start to understand what works and what helps you get through it! Saying that, do you have any other tips for me? 

If you fancy treating yourself to a pair of Sudio earphones, they have kindly given me a 15% off code to share with you all - "ohleona15!" They offer free shipping as well, score!

Leona 

*I was sent a product to review by SudioAll views are honest, and in the words of Bert, "indubitably!" my own.

Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Days.

This knobhead and I have been together for 9 years. Can you believe that? Whenever someone asks how long we've been together, my answer is always met with something along the lines of "bloody hell. How old are you!?". Well friends, I'm 25 and I was just lucky enough to meet the love of my life (vom. sorry.) when I was 16. Liam was 16 too but it was 3 days before his birthday so really, he was 17. Childhood sweethearts eh?

If you were coming here to find a soppy post about how much I love him then you're mistaken. I mean, I love him, with all my damn heart, but today I feel like sharing some things that annoy the shit out of me about him. We're like that you see. We're cunny funts.

He never plays with me if it's bed time. You know when you just feel playful and mischievous and you just want to annoy the shit out of someone? I get like this quite often and sometimes I just want to like, wrestle with him or have stupid conversations and Liam's having none of it. 
Although the times he joins in and we spend nights in bed laughing away at total and utter rubbish are my favourite nights. 

He won't let me listen to a song over and over. If I find a song that I like I'll listen to it over and over. I really mean over and over too. I'll happily listen to it 15 times in one day if I have the chance and Liam just isn't into that.
Over the past few years he's actually got into this habit himself though and we can quite often sit together in the car and appreciate a belter of a tune. 

He makes me change the toilet roll. Sometimes I just can't be arsed, alright? yolo.
To be fair to him, this annoys most people, right? 

He won't watch Love Actually with me. Because apparently I watch it too often and it isn't Christmas. Pfft. Like that's even a reason.
No, this is the only one in the list without a contradiction. He should really watch Love Actually with me because it's bloody great. 

He won't take a picture with me. Nine years and he still mostly refuses whenever I get a camera out. I've just resorted to pulling a funny face and getting him in the photo with me.
It does make for funny photos like the ones above though. They pretty much sum up our relationship - Liam is the responsible adult and I'm the annoying little twat. 

He's a really good cook. Liam just gets it. Me? I have to read a recipe four times, lay everything out and really get my head in the game. Liam just cracks on with it and makes delicious food.
This really is nothing to complain about if we're being honest here.

He hates it when I rewatch Vines. If I find something funny, the chances are I will find it funny for the rest of time. This means I regularly go through my "likes" on Vine and chuckle away to myself. Honest to god, Liam looks like a little part of his soul has died whenever he hears those familiar sounds. It's hilarious. 
I can understand how that could get a *little* annoying I guess. 

So really this was all just one big fat lie and none of this pisses me off even a little bit. We make each other laugh by being equally annoying and quite frankly, chuffing hilarious. Like I said, I loves him I does. 

That's probably why we're getting married next year. 

What's that? We're getting married next year? YEAH BOY WE'RE GETTING MARRIED NEXT YEAR!!! Haven't I told you yet? 

This post may contain sarcasm. Not about the wedding, that's totally serious. 

Book Review :: The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer!

The Shock Of The Fall :: Nathan Filer.

"‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’"

The Shock Of The Fall was a weird one for me. I was sucked in from the moment I read the blurb and was really excited for the story to unfold. Sadly it didn't deliver as well as I had hoped. I enjoyed the story and I wasn't left feeling disappointed after reading it but there was just missing something. Maybe I'd hyped it up too much for myself?

I enjoyed the story but it was quite difficult to follow in places. Matt suffers from schizophrenia and because of this, the story flips between flashbacks, real-time and hallucinations and at some points it took me a few moments to realise which one we were in. While they lend themselves to the representation of Matt's illness, the quick flits between each time frame made me feel quite distracted while reading.

I did enjoy the anticipation for the story of his brother, Simon, to unfold. Matt relays scenes over and over in his head until he finally understands them and this is exactly what he does with the underlying story of Simon. You feel as though you are learning more about the circumstances of Simon's death along with Matt. I really enjoyed the story of Matt's parents too. Their struggle with not only grieving the death of one of their children but their struggle over (what they think was) a failure to help Matt.

It was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it because, although as I've said I felt like something was missing, I still couldn't put it down.

Have you read The Shock of The Fall?

Other book reviews
 one :: Memoirs of an imaginary friend by Matthew Dicks.
two
 :: The Bay at Midnight by Lucy Clarke.
three :: Dear Fatty by Dawn French.
four :: The Sea Sisters by lucy Clarke.
five :: The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Leona