I feel as though June has been such a manic month, and this week was definitely one of the busiest. I turned 28 on Wednesday and spent the few days around it celebrating before heading to the lakes for a weekend of chilling with my love.

Here’s everything I was loving last week.

Team Lunch

My lovely work girls decorated my desk this week for my birthday, bought me a gorgeous candle which I’ve been wanting for ages, took me out for lunch and surprised me with cake for breakfast – they certainly know how to make a girl feel special!

Birthday In London

I spent my actual birthday on a work trip to London, but I actually had a really lovely time and even got to see one of my friends who lived down there. It’s not every day you can say you spent your birthday on the 29th floor of a building looking out over London whilst in a meeting.

Charlotte Street Hotel

My parents also happened to be in London on Wednesday so I met them for dinner at the Charlotte Street Hotel just off Oxford Road. My lovely friends Erin and Lily also came to meet us for a drink and it was really nice to catch up with them both. Also, the hotel itself was a really lovely place if you fancy a drink or some food if you’re in the capital.

Goldsmiths Event

On Thursday evening, I attended a bridal event at Goldsmiths in the Trafford Centre to learn about their new collection which is inspired by different brides and their styles. We learnt about timeless, vintage and modern looks and saw flower arrangements, makeup and hairstyles for the different ones. It was really interesting to see the different types of looks and figuring out which represents me the most.

Lake District

This weekend was spent in the Lake District, just outside of Keswick, which is somewhere I’ve visited before. We had such a relaxing time and I feel it is just what I needed to re-set my mindset and have some well-needed rest. We wandered around Keswick too on our second day and it was lovely to reminisce about the last time we were there.

Keswick Reach 

I couldn’t mention the Lake District without talking about Keswick Reach Log Retreat which is where we were very kindly invited to stay. From the moment we drove in until the moment we left, everything was so perfect and the staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcome, including leaving me birthday cakes, chocolate tiffin, a birthday card and bottle of fizz.

Oxley’s Health Spa

Jordan surprised me on Saturday with a trip to a spa which I had absolutely no idea about. We visited Oxley’s Spa which was about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying and it was such a lovely day. The pool was so relaxing, the lunch was incredible and I had a pedicure as well which was a lovely treat.

The Girls

Whilst I was in the lakes, I started a new book, The Girls by Emma Cline, and I’m really loving it already. I used to read so much a couple of years ago, but now I find when I get in bed I’m already so tired that all I want to do is fall straight to sleep so I’m going to make a real effort to try and read more as it helps me to switch off.

What have you been loving this week?

Every house is completely different – that’s the beauty of putting your stamp on something you call your home. Jordan and I have been in our house now for coming up to 18 months, and I can’t believe where the time has gone: It feels like just yesterday we were dreaming of being homeowners and then the next minute, we’ve been living in our own little space for months.

When we were looking for our home, we had a list of what we wanted, what we were willing to sacrifice and what would one day be on our wishlist. We saw all kinds of different houses, from cute little terraces to slightly bigger semi-detached to some which needed a lot of work doing them – and everything in between.

Although a lot of first-time buyers do buy a ‘doer-upper’, renovating a whole house wasn’t on our list for something we were after, mainly due to having to borrow more money, and not having the bandwidth to be able to complete such a big project whilst working full time; and as much as I like a challenge, I thought that taking on a project that big would be a bit too much to handle.

Since we bought our home, there have been little bits and pieces that we have done here and there, but more in a cosmetic sense such as painting different rooms, hanging up pictures and investing in some prints. However, the longer we live here for, it’s becoming more apparent that there are bigger projects that I’d like to undertake on the house when the time is right.

I’d been having a browse on Pinterest for home renovations inspiration (because why not…) and a website that kept coming up, again and again, was Three Counties who specialise in conservatories, windows and doors. Click here to learn more about them.

A conservatory isn’t something I’d ever considered for our house, but it definitely is something that would not only add value in the long run but would also allow us to make better use of the garden in summer, and also in the colder months too – and as a bonus, the cats would love it probably even more than we would! We’re quite lucky that our garden is a square, so doing something like this leading out from the kitchen wouldn’t be a problem.

When I looked into the different options they provide, I realised that a simple conservatory could be even more spectacular than I imagined: They have so many different options ranging from orangeries (a combination of a traditional home extension and conservatory) to glass extensions (a modern take, adding a high-performance glass veranda) and latern roofs (a window structure that lets in a lot of light) all of which would add the wow factor to any home.

Obviously, these dreams are just a distant wish at the moment, whilst we save for the wedding, but home renovations are something I would like to start planning in the next couple of years to make our house as homely as possible.

Have you ever considered a home renovation? What would you go for?

This post was written in collaboration with Three Counties. Visit their website to learn more.

So today is my 28th birthday… The big 28 – except… no one really celebrates it as a landmark age do they?

Although it’s not a monumental age and isn’t as much of a big one as 21 or 30, it does mark a significant time in my life. It’s been the realisation that I’ve been ‘grown up’ for longer than I’ve noticed, and that adult life has managed to creep up and plant it’s seed without me even realising.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve legally been allowed to drink, 10 years since I went to university and over 10 years since I’ve been driving; for the past 6 years as well that I’ve been trying to carve myself some sort of career – so it does seem like quite a big one in a way.

I’ve never massively been into birthdays and I don’t fear getting older at all. If I’m completely honest, with working so far in advance with the wedding, I’ve already been thinking that I turned 28 a while ago, and when people ask me my age, that’s usually my go-to answer.

Becoming an adult is something I’ve talked about on the blog before. It’s such a smooth transition that you barely even realise it, but in reality, I expected to wake up one day feeling completely different; when that day never came though, I started to consider that maybe I had been a grown-up for longer than I’d even realised.

The thing with being an adult is, no one tells you how to do it, no one congratulates you when you’ve done something right, and no one is there to ask when you’re stumped (except my trusty friend Google) – it’s a bit of a learning curve that we all go through.

Growing up has never been something that bothers me: I always wanted to own my own house, have a family, good friends, little fur babies, to go on holiday, and yet in the past few years, I’ve been doing all these things that I used to class as being ‘grown up’ without even recognising I was doing them.

But 28 does mark something exciting for me and that’s stability. I am in a stable job, making a stable income; I have stable friendships and a stable relationship; I have a stable view of where my life is going and what I want to achieve in the next few years and it’s a really interesting time for me.

It’s no lie that time seems to go ridiculously quickly, but is that because we aren’t making the most of it?

As much as I love a weekend at home doing nothing, pottering about and not having any plans, I also love to be outdoors, exploring new places, eating good food at amazing restaurants, driving somewhere exciting, seeing friends and family – I like to make memories.

In my 28 years, I’ve made more memories than I thought possible. I’ve made lifelong friendships, found my soulmate, made a path for myself, and it’s been such an exciting time in my life that I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.

I guess this is growing up?

This week has been such a foodie week with a few different trips out to restaurants in the week and a home-cooked meal on the Friday. I can’t believe as well that it’s my birthday next week – this year is just flying!

Here is everything I was loving last week!

Pen & Pencil

On Tuesday evening, I was invited to sample the menu at The Pen and Pencil in Manchester, so I took the chance to have a catch up with my best girl, Hannah. I’d seen her the weekend before, but we still had loads to catch up on and the food was great too.

Salon Success Dinner

I was very kindly invited to the Salon Success summer dinner on Wednesday evening at Grand Pacific, which has been a restaurant I wanted to try for the longest time. The food was incredible, and it was lovely to catch up with the team and some of my favourite blogging girls.

Alchemist 

I took my Mum to The Alchemist in Alderley Edge on Thursday evening to sample some of their dishes they are doing in association with Foodinate, who provide a meal to a local person in need. We had a really lovely evening, and the staff were incredibly accommodating.

Home Cooked Fridays

I was working from home on Friday as I wasn’t feeling great, but it meant that I could prep things for dinner so we could have a nice home-cooked meal. I ended up making a Quorn chilli with homemade flatbreads, and it was delicious – if I do say so myself.

Parklife

This weekend I spent at Parklife Festival which is held at Heaton Park in Manchester. I’ve not been for the past 3 years, but I used to go every year. I had such a great day with all my friends, day drinking and dancing and the weather was amazing for it too.

Confidence Man

I wanted to do a special mention to my favourite band that I saw at Parklife Festival which was Confidence Man. It was my second time seeing them and they are just so incredible live. They were one of the first artists to perform on the Sunday and it set the day off on a high.

Soccer Aid

I caught a bit of the Soccer Aid match for UNICEF when I got home on Sunday evening and I really enjoyed it. I used to be massively into football and even had a season ticket to Manchester United but it’s been a while since I sat and watched a match and even better when it’s for charity. It got me excited for the World Cup too.

What were you loving last week?

One of the things that I’ve found the most exciting about planning a wedding is definitely looking around the venues. We got engaged just before Christmas, which is a very popular time, meaning that a lot of venues will have open days and showcases to give you a taste of what they could offer you for your big day.

When we first started venue hunting, I had my heart set on a Christmas wedding, which was great because a lot of the places had their decorations up still so you could see what would be there on your wedding day; but after some considerations, we decided to push it back by a few months to spring. If you had a couple of years before you wanted to tie the knot, I would recommend going to the venue in the month you are considering so you can have an idea of what the lighting will be like, whether the flowers will be in bloom and generally how warm/cold it will be.

We looked around a number of different venues from country manor houses to barns to golf clubs to hotels – we even toyed with the idea of getting married abroad at one point – and each of them had their own special features. If I’m honest, I found hunting for the perfect venue to be one of the hardest decisions as it sets the tone for so much of the rest of the day from the food, to the flowers, to the colour scheme and everything else in between.

One of the great things about some of the venues that we looked at was that you had exclusive use for the whole day; that means there are no other weddings on at the same venue on the same day, which let’s face it, nobody wants.

If you’re based down south or want something a bit different from everyone else in your hometown who is also getting married at a similar time (a real problem that we had!) then I would definitely recommend going further afield. One of the venues that I’ve seen that struck my eye was the gorgeous Silchester House on the border of Hampshire and Berkshire. This country house is situated within an estate, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. Click here to see more about the venue.

Not only is this place easy on the eyes, it also boats an interesting history, being one of the first country homes to hold a licence for civil marriages almost 20 years ago. Since then, the stunning backdrop has been cared for by the Bijou team: It has been transformed into a beautiful wedding venue with light and airy interiors with exclusive use for couples.

Even though the venue itself is quite the spectacle, the overall feel of the place is incredibly intimate, which is just what you want for your big day. Take your keepsake photos in the library, drawing room or music room and take advantage of the original features.

I hope you have found this post interesting and it’s given you some food for thought if you want a slightly different feel to your wedding.

xx

This post was written in collaboration with Bijou Wedding Venues.