Where Have I Been?!

It’s been a while hasn’t it?
Ugh it’s been a rough couple of months I tell thee! I bet you all thought I’d given up on my blog but alas no, I’m still in love with blogging!

I suppose it all started just before I went away on my cruise really, in late August. I wasn’t well at all but stupid stubborn me didn’t want to admit defeat and go into hospital.
So I went on my cruise (Read about it HERE!) and managed to survive the 4 days away, but when I got home I really wasn’t good at all so decided to go into hospital for antibiotics.

The 2 weeks flew by to be honest, but the last week I was TOTALLY exhausted from people coming in every 10 minutes doing ivs (antibiotics through a tube in my chest which is connected to a vein), asking to do observations, asking what I wanted for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper. Then I had to go to the hospital gym every day or do some form of exercise.
Luckily though, I managed to escape home at the weekends in between treatments and relax with my little doggy.
By the end of the 2 week course, I thankfully reached my optimal lung function and was allowed to go home. If I’m totally honest, I still didn’t feel great but I was so desperate for some rest. I was getting so snappy with nurses and people towards the end of the admission! Plus, I needed to get things ready for G’s birthday!

My boyfriend, G, turned 30 on the 4th of October and I’d organised a couple of surprises for him on the day! He normally manages to get at least one clue out of me so I was so proud I’d managed to keep it all secret.
The first surprise was a guided tour around Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club. So I gave him the postcode and he put it into the sat nav, still none the wiser. FAB!
Seeing his reaction when we pulled up to the ground was the BEST thing ever! He was so happy, the happiest I’d seen him in months – it definitely made up for the fact that I was visiting my rivals club (I’m a Liverpool FC fan)!!!

Time for the next surprise…
After I’d treated G to a new EFC top in the Everton shop next to Goodison Park, he got the 3rd kit top in case you were wondering (not), I put in the next postcode…

As G was having a 30th party on the Saturday (his birthday was on the Thursday before) he chose not to go on any mini breaks or holidays this birthday but we did manage to have a night away.

I chose to stay at DoubleTree by Hilton’s Chester hotel as it looked absolutely stunning and in beautiful grounds. It also had a Marco Pierre White restaurant attached to it and my G loves his food so knew he’d enjoy that!
We arrived and checked in about 4ish, received our seriously yummy (and warm) cookies and headed to our gorgeous deluxe room!

hilton hotel

We booked dinner for 7pm that evening and I was really surprised at how busy it was for a Thursday night – that didn’t affect the fantastic service we received though! We didn’t have any long wait for our courses (we chose to order from the set menu they had there as I was lucky enough to receive an upgrade at check-in which was £25 each for a 3 course meal and a glass of wine).

Shepherds Pie and peas for me

Steak, chips and peppercorn sauce for the birthday boy!

Breakfast the next day 😍😍😍

I’m so glad my boyfriend enjoyed his birthday and all my surprises for him, to see him happy really was the best part of the whole occasion.

So yeah, all that happened whilst I’ve been away.
At the moment I’m feeling a bit crappy health-wise. So annoying seeing as I was only in hospital about 3 weeks ago…
I’ve started a course of tablets so fingers crossed they work and I wont have to go into hospital again, cant cope!

I’m really looking forward to catching up with everyone and other blogger’s posts, so if you have a blog post you’d like some love on, link me in the comments below!

Liv x

Staybridge Suites, Liverpool – Hotel Review

This year for my birthday I actually didn’t want anything.
“WHAT?!” I hear you cry! Well I say that because I couldn’t think of anything I wanted or needed – I must be getting old ehh! Plus the fact that both me and my boyfriend are saving for a house and for our cruise later on in the year, I thought it best not to go big for my 29th…

So this year, I left my birthday completely in my Mr’s hands. Bit risky but hey, he’s got good form.

On the morning of my birthday I woke up to a cute text from my boyfriend saying to pack an overnight bag as we were off to Liverpool to stay in our favourite hotel! Perfect!

 

Staybridge Suites, Liverpool

This is our absolute favourite hotel we have stayed in, it was our 4th time here! I say hotel, but really they’re mini apartments.
Each room/apartment has kitchen facilities, a bathroom and depending on whether you go for a studio or suite, a bedroom. This place is fantastic for extended stays and for people who have to work away from home for a long period of time as it’s just like a home away from home.

Staybridge is part of a collection of chains that is owned by the company IHG. They own chains such as ‘Holiday Inn’, ‘Crowne Plaza’, ‘Hotel Indigo’ and ‘Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’.

I actually didn’t realise IHG had that many Staybridge suites all over the world! They have hotels in; Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Lebanon, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, The USA and the UK.
There are several Staybridge suites in the UK; Liverpool, London – Vauxhall, London – Stratford City, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.
I have only had the pleasure of staying in their Liverpool suites but my parents gave me money for a weekend away for my birthday, so we’re going to stay at their Birmingham suites in the very near future!

Instead of going out for dinner, my boyfriend thought he’d be all romantic and cook me dinner in our room using the kitchen facilities. So before check-in at 3pm we went to the supermarket and picked up a few bits for a curry.
If you are staying at Staybridge and find yourself with nothing in the fridge to eat, head to their ‘Pantry’! Its like a little mini shop where you can buy microwave meals, snacks and drinks. They even have toiletries and other useful things you may have forgotten to pack. Really is such a great thing to have in a hotel.

 

Arrival

We arrived at Staybridge, went straight to reception and the fantastic Guille was there to take care of us. He checked us in and took details of our car so we could park in their secure underground parking.
Since our last visit the hotel has had a bit of a refurb and it whilst it looked fab before, I love this new refurb more!


We got our key card from Guille and headed to our room on the top floor. Room 618.
How gorgeous is the set up in the lobby where the lifts are? I love that mirror!

hotel room

Excuse our bags!

hotel room view

Check out that view!

staybridge bed

How I wish I had that bed throw… and that wallpaper… and the pictures…

We opened the door and it was just like coming home…
My boyfriend had booked a studio suite this time and it’s just perfect for one night. I saw that the rooms have been refurbished as well as the main areas of the hotel. The new design is beautiful and I love the colours that they have used!

staybridge kitchen
The kitchen has everything you could ever need for your stay and includes a dishwasher, because after all, who wants to wash dishes whilst away?

When booking the room online my boyfriend also mentioned that it was my birthday. As a very kind gesture I was given a card and some chocolates as a present from Staybridge which I thought was so lovely! These were scoffed watching tv in bed that night haha!

chocolates

‘The Social’

When we checked in Guille told us that ‘The Social’ was on in the main breakfast area that evening from half 6 to half 7.
We have been to a couple of Staybridge social events in the past and were so pleased that we’d be able to go to another.

The hotel runs ‘The Social’ every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and its a chance to meet and chat to other guests. Each evening is hosted by a member of the Staybridge team, they’re ever so friendly and they come over for a chat too!
On previous stays we’ve loved chatting to Elaine, she does all in her power to make you feel welcome and take good care of you. This place is seriously full of amazingly friendly people, it’s one of the main reasons we like coming back so much!

On this occasion our host was Lisa and this was the first time we’d met her. She was lovely, kept our drinks topped up and asked about our plans for the night.
Staybridge Suites treat their guests like Kings and Queens and all the snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) served at The Social are completely FREE!

alcohol
My boyfriend and I love The Social and find it’s a great opportunity to meet people from all over world and learn about their culture. This occasion we spoke to people from Ireland, India and the Czech Republic! Love the new chairs too, Staybridge!

 

The rest of the evening…

After the Social we headed back to our room where my boyfriend got his cook on whilst I enjoyed a lovely warm shower using the luxurious products that were in the bathroom. The shower gel smelt gorgeous!

Everything in our suite was exceptionally clean and I watch Four in a Bed so I know what to look out for, haha!

I would’ve had a picture of my meal that my boyfriend made but I was just so hungry and relaxed after my shower that I scoffed it so fast it didn’t touch the sides!
Such a lucky duck to have a boyfriend who is an amazing cook! Ooh, that rhymed!

We spent the rest of the evening eating snacks we’d bought, in bed, watching tv.
My boyfriend got a bit peckish later on and we discovered a card in our room informing us that we could use Deliveroo to order in a takeaway direct to our room. How awesome?! I looked on the Deliveroo app and found a dessert shop nearby called ‘Heavenly Desserts’ and I was SO tempted to order one… Next time maybe!

 

Breakfast

staybridge breakfast

After a very comfortable sleep, we woke up around 8am to get ready for breakfast. Breakfast is served in the same place that The Social is held and is included in the price of your stay.
There is everything you could ever wish for to eat for breakfast served in a self-serve, buffet style and there is also a member of staff at hand to help with any requests you may have.

My boyfriend opted to have a cooked breakfast and I just had toast. So exciting aren’t I?!
There are also a variety of juices, teas and coffees on offer. Again, self serve, but you can eat and drink as much as you want here and you don’t have to pay extra -fantastic! One guy we seen went up 4 times getting food!
My boyfriend enjoyed his breakfast and said everything was fresh and cooked perfectly. My toast was.. toast haha, not much you can say about toast is there? But yeah I enjoyed my breakfast too.

After breakfast we just sat for a while and chatted to each other and others around us before going back to our room to pack.
Check-out came around and it was time to say another farewell to our favourite hotel.

We both had a fantastic stay (again) and can’t wait to return once again to Staybridge Suites. Thank you for a wonderful birthday stay!
Watch out Staybridge Birmingham, you’re next!!!

 

 

Livvy x

 

 

 

 

I was not paid for my review and is entirely my own views.

The Last Year of my 20’s

I can hardly believe I’m writing this. I’m 29 tomorrow!

Where have all the years gone, I feel like I’m still 18?!
I see friends around me turning 29/30 and cant really believe it. Some are married, have children and I suppose are ‘proper’ grown ups.

I guess one reason I don’t feel 29 is because I still live at home with my parents. It’s not my choice but it’s okay. I’m not engaged/married and I don’t have children either which I suppose are couple of the main hallmarks of people my age. The ones who have life figured out. Have their shit together.

Will I, in my last year of my 20s, get my shit finally together? I doubt it. Do I care? Not anymore.
All through my 20s I’ve been trying to ‘find myself’ and figure out what exactly do I want to do with my life but I’ve discovered that life is ever changing and people don’t stay the same.
Life events change circumstances. You can have everything one minute and it all be taken away the next!

When I was younger, I thought I had my life plan mapped out.
Get my GCSEs,
do my a-levels,
go to uni,
meet the love of my life,
have my own place at 25,
get engaged
married by 29.
Children have never been in my life plan as I have always known I wouldn’t be able to have any.

How wrong was I?!
Yes, I got my GCSE’s but a-levels were a totally different ballgame. This is when my health started to take a bit of a serious nose dive. I couldn’t keep up with coursework and was in hospital a lot. So unfortunately I never got my a-levels, so that meant no university.
I met my boyfriend at 23 but we’re still saving hard for a deposit for our own home. It’s a lot trickier when both of you are ill and unable to work… I never factored that into my life plan did I?

It is disappointing, don’t get me wrong. All through my 20s I got quite down over not being where my friends were in life. Why couldn’t I just sail through life as easy as them?
I even had to see a psychologist I got so depressed over it.
But now I realise that life is different for everyone and there are no set rules.
One way the psychologist described life was: most people take the motorway but others, like me, take the scenic route. We both get to our destination but just go a different way.

Another thing I have realised is to enjoy where you are in life.
Over the years I have had friends who have died before their life even began, I know they would’ve done anything to have stayed on this earth. Just being with family and enjoying the simple things in life.
When I get frustrated now (yes, I still do sometimes) I think of them, how I know they’d do anything to be where I am.

Life is not about events to me anymore, its about love and happy moments. The owning my own home/ married life things are bonuses to me now. If they happen, great! But if they don’t, I’m blessed to feel love and see the sun rise and fall every day.

 

be present

%d bloggers like this: