I’m sure you’ll know by now that travel is a bit part of my life, and even more so, this blog. This year I vowed to myself that I was going to spend more time in the UK, discovering places on my doorstep and further afield, and so far it’s going well.

With the train prices going up and up (and no longer falling into the ‘railcard’ age group, sob…) I tend to drive wherever we decide to go and it’s always nice to be in the comfort of your own car when travelling for a couple of hours.

I’ve rounded up some of the ways to make sure that your car is ready for your summer road trip.

Plan Plan Plan

I’m a stickler for organisation when it comes to road trips (and in my day to day life) so I always like to plan ahead. If we’re travelling on a Friday evening or Saturday, I try to check the traffic the same time the week before to see what it is going to be like when we’re planning to set off and adjust accordingly. I also try to look for an alternate route just in case the traffic starts to build when we’re already in the car.

Check For Damaged Parts

There’s nothing worse than chancing a damaged part of your car before you head out on a road trip, and if anything went wrong, it would completely ruin your time away, and probably put a dent in your purse. Checking your car over a week or so before you’re heading off is the best way of making sure everything is intact and gives you enough time if you need anything fixing.

Test The Tyre Pressure

Guess which idiot drove all the way to Nottingham with tyres that were the wrong pressure? You got it! Keeping your tyres at the right pressure is not only, yano… logical, but it also decreases the amount of petrol you use. If you head to a petrol station, they will usually have a machine that you can use to measure the pressure – just make sure you google your car’s requirements or check the handbook first.

Get A Service

As with anything car related, getting a professional to check over it every 6 months to a year is really important to make sure everything is running smoothly. Regular car servicing is mandatory & can be booked online here if you’re looking for a quick and easy service.

Check The Oil Levels

I’ll be honest that this isn’t something I ever did until I had a really annoying little icon on my dashboard that just wouldn’t go away until I took it to the garage, and guess what it was – the oil levels! Now, whenever we go away, I always tend to do a little check, just to make sure that everything is as it should be (but mainly because dashboard icons can really get on my nerves!)

I hope this post has helped you think about a few extra steps to take before you head out on the great open road and inspired you to get out and explore the gorgeous places we have on our doorstep.

This post was sponsored by Ossett Tyre House. 

London

This week I attended a conference in London and I had such an inspiring day. I love going to London for work events, and as we got a taxi from Euston to The Excel, it felt as though we did a bit of sightseeing as well! The weather was gorgeous and at the end of the day we were treated to some drinks on the River Thames.

Itsu

I was working from Manchester on Friday and my manager and I decided to treat ourselves to Itsu for lunch as it’s so close to our office. I went for a sushi platter and a sparkling elderflower drink, both of which were delicious. That’s the problem with working in the city centre, the amount of choice for lunch!

Leaving Drinks

It was my friend Laura’s last day on Friday so we all went out for food and drinks after work. We started in the Northern Quarter before going to PLY for pizza. It was a really fun night, but also sad as I’m really going to miss her personality in the office.

Birmingham

On Saturday I took a day trip to Birmingham to see my friend, Noemie, who has been living there for a few months. We wandered through the streets in the sunshine and went to her flat for a Royal Wedding party. Afterwards, we headed out for a drink and some Mexican food, and it was such a fun day.

Royal Wedding

How could I write about this last week without mentioning The Royal Wedding? I absolutely loved it! It’s made me so excited for our big day next year and I thought Meghan looked absolutely stunning. I loved the flower arches and the whole church was just breathtaking – can one my friends marry a prince please?

Great Manchester Run

Although I didn’t do the run this year, I felt so proud of the whole of Manchester taking part. I had a couple of friends who were running and they both did amazingly well. It’s inspired me to start running more and maybe even sign up to one later in the year.

Yogberries

One of my favourite things about the warmer weather is getting the chance to eat ice cream and frozen desserts wherever possible. As the weather was so lovely on Sunday, Jordan and I drove into a little village that we used to live next to for some froyo and it was delicious – I wish they delivered to our house!

DIY

On Sunday evening, we went to help out at my friend Charley’s boyfriend’s new restaurant that he’s opening in Chorlton. The place is a bit of a building site, so we helped with painting and cleaning the outside windows – it was all worth it though because we got to see her sausage dog! I can’t wait until the place has opened either as it’s in a great space.

Sunday Dinner

After working up an appetite at the restaurant, we decided to head for some mezze on our way home. We stopped at a place that we always drive past, Damas, and sat outside as the sun was setting. I’ve mentioned before that I love Greek food and this place was delicious too. A perfect way to finish off the weekend.

What were you loving last week?

It’s not difficult to find reasons to travel to Greece. Between historical sights, seaside cities, and countless breathtaking islands, it’s about as appealing a destination as there is in the world. Much of the country more or less epitomizes what we think of when we picture beautiful Mediterranean lands. For many, however, interest in Greece comes from childhood – before consideration of beaches, islands, or cities, and rooted in history and legend.

Perhaps more than any other culture or kingdom in the history of Western civilization, Greece is defined by its legends. While most of them are just that – legends – they are the tales, characters, and locations that shape our understanding of the ancient culture and in many ways keep it uniquely interesting. And the fascinating thing is that a lot of these myths and bits of history actually do lead to landmarks and destinations you can get to while travelling in Greece.

These, in particular, are four remarkable places to visit if you have an affinity for ancient Greece and its culture and legends.

Delos

Known as one of the most sacred places in ancient Greece, Delos is an island in the middle of the Aegean Sea. It’s said to have been the birthplace for Apollo and Artemis – two of the most prominent Greek gods. Later on, the island became a bustling trade centre, in part due to its mythological significance and also thanks to its favourable location.

One of the amazing things about Delos, particularly for visitors, is that it hasn’t been built up in modern times. That is to say, while the island remains a fairly popular spot for tourists, it’s free of commercialization or even much in the way of contemporary architecture or upkeep. That allows people who make it to the island to take in untouched remnants of buildings and culture that are believed to date back at least 5,000 years.

Olympus

Mount Olympus is perhaps the most thoroughly fictionalized place in Greece (which is saying something). Known as the ancient home of Zeus and the gods, the mythical mountain has been portrayed as a sort of Utopia above the clouds in numerous films. More recently, an “Age of the Gods” game series has been developed. Showcasing the beauty of Mount Olympus, the series uses animated, superhero-like interpretations of Greek gods to attract an audience. It’s just the latest in a line of interpretations that make Olympus seem like a fantasy realm of sorts.

That’s more or less what it is in mythology, but the important distinction is that Mount Olympus itself is not a myth. Located near Thessaly, it’s a very real mountain, towering over the sea at almost 3,000m. People hike the mountain from a town called Litochoro, and there are places to stop and rest for the night along the hike.

Kommos

One of the best-known ancient Greek tales is that of theMinotaurr. Legend has it that King Minos, who ruled Crete and was the son of Zeus, was cursed by the gods to have a son who was half-man and half-bull. This son – the “minotaur” – is among the most feared and intriguing monsters of the ancient world. Minos built a labyrinth for the minotaur to dwell in, with unfortunate visitors or prisoners driven to try to escape his wrath within the walls. It’s a legend that’s still familiar to day, and even seems to have inspired a recent game about characters stuck in a trap of elaborate design.

Unfortunately, there is no labyrinth to visit in real life – at least not definitely. But Kommos, on the southern coast of Crete, may in fact contain some of its walls. This is known to have been the home of King Minos, and with well-preserved ruins, you can still explore it, and possibly even get a little bit lost within.

Delphi

The Delphic Oracle is another famous character of Greek legend, and is likely rooted in some form of reality. Films like 300 among others have presented a stylized, fictionalized version of the oracle, but the truth is likely that there was simply a high priestess in the area who was trusted for certain kinds of advice.

Nowadays Delphi is a fantastic place to visit largely from a visual perspective. Located on the side of Mount Parnassus, the Delphic ruins are actually designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and standing among the ruins looking out on the surrounding land is something visitors won’t soon forget.

Have you ever been to Greece? Where would you recommend?

Jordan and I were really lucky when we bought our house that it didn’t need any work doing to it and we could move in straight away. We were only the second people living in it and it’s less than 10 years old, so the only work was more painting and decorating than anything else.

We’ve been in our house just over a year, and during this time, it’s becoming more apparent to me that I’d like to do the house up a bit more to our personal tastes: Although there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it, so to speak, I feel as though it isn’t a true reflection of who we are as a couple and I think we could add value to it for the future by investing in it now.

Once you buy a house, usually you either get a higher mortgage to do it up a bit, or you do bits here and there yourself, but in our case, because we didn’t really need to do massive work and it was already liveable, we always put doing it up on the back burner.

After we got engaged, it’s been even harder to save to do any home renovations, and as we don’t hate the space we’ve got, I’ve started to invest in more artwork and plants that will tide us over for the time being.

But the one room that does annoy me, and is probably the highest on my to-do list to sort out, is the bathroom – mainly our en-suite. To me, bathrooms can become quite dated, quickly, and ours definitely has. Not only are the tiles a bit grubby (no matter how long I sit in the shower, scrubbing them with a toothbrush) our shower door has also fallen off the hinges, so we make do with a shower curtain.

The lighting isn’t great in this room either because it is so yellow, and overall we have a lack of storage. I thought because it is quite a small space, it is one that we could try and get to work on as soon as possible and it would probably be the cheapest.

What I found when buying a house is, things can definitely cost more than you were anticipating, but for something like a bathroom renovation, there was no chance that I was going to give it a go on my own.  drainage services.

I started searching the internet for places that weren’t going to break the bank and had a look on Pinterest for some inspiration on what we could do with the limited space that we had. We also had a look at some bathroom showrooms, and I would highly recommend doing this if you want to do up any room: If you plan to visit bathroom showrooms though, check Harrogate Bathrooms for design and consultation services.

We’re only in the initial stages of this project, but once it is on its way, I will be sharing before and after pictures so watch this space. It’s really exciting doing bits and pieces to somewhere you own, and really putting your stamp on it so I am actually looking forward to it.

This post was sponsored by Harrogate Bathrooms. All views are my own. 

When it comes to our wedding, a lot of people have mentioned how organised and on the ball I’ve been with organising it, from looking at venues days after becoming engaged, to going to numerous wedding fairs and even researching our honeymoon (by far my favourite part) but for me it’s come naturally.

Day to day I’m a painfully organised person and because I’ve worked in the events industry previously, I’m well aware of how fast places fill up even 3 years in the future so I wanted to get a move on as soon as possible – plus, planning a wedding is meant to be fun, and I knew that the more time I gave myself, the less stressed I would be.

A wedding isn’t ever something you should try and plan last minute or even a few months before if you have particular suppliers in mind, but there are definitely things that I would suggest doing as far in advance as possible, the first being the venue. Once you start looking into wedding venues, you will soon be aware of how far in advance people plan their weddings, and if you want to get married within the next year, there may only be a couple of dates available so it’s best to start looking as soon as possible.

If you get engaged around Christmas or Valentine’s, a lot of places will hold open days and evenings around these popular times to showcase their spaces and what they have to offer. This is a great time to have a look around, meet the teams, and more importantly, try as many caterers as possible.

Your next job should be to start looking for and hiring the professionals in charge of running the important aspects of your wedding. This could include your photographer, caterers and any entertainment whether it be a DJ, saxophonist, or a live band. These suppliers are likely to be in demand, especially if you’re getting married in summer, and booking early allows you to shop around as much as possible, which takes the stress out nearer to the day. 

Although you might have told your nearest and dearest the date of your wedding, I’ve learnt from experience that people forget, so getting a save the date sorted as soon as possible is important. People usually send these out about a year in advance and there are some great templates online.

Sending out invites is usually a 2-stage process: Doing the save the dates as far in advance as possible allows you to design, order and post out your official wedding invites about 3-6 months before your big day. My advice would be that if you want to get married in the week (meaning that people may need to take the day off work) give them as much notice as possible. 

One of the steps I want to get out of the way next is choosing our wedding rings. Whilst you don’t have to buy these until nearer to the day, it’s worth shopping around early so that you can find the cheapest prices and settle on a design you like. As I mentioned, Christmas and Valentine’s Day are often the most popular times for people to buy wedding rings so plan to buy before or after these periods and take advantage of sales if you find them. If you’re ordering a ring online, make sure to give yourself enough time for delivery, as well as time to try on the ring and return it if it turns out to be wrong – planning is key.

I hope you have enjoyed all of my tips for trying to be as organised as possible when it comes to planning your wedding, and although it might seem like a daunting task, I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I’m sure you will too!

Have you got any tips for planning the big day?