#23 Three new cities – Palma city number 3

Whilst on our girly holiday to spain my friends planned for us to to fit in a trip to the city of Palma to help me tick off the third and final new city from my 30 before 30 mission. I truly have amazing friends. We visited Palma at night for a few hours so I didn’t get to see the whole city but what I did experience I loved.

We started off at a little Japanese all you can eat restaurant where the food comes around on a carousel, similar to the sushi restaurants you see in England. It’s a fantastic idea as you can see the food going past on small tapas style dishes and you just take what you fancy. I had some of the most amazing food here and was so lucky that I got to try new foods that I wouldn’t back home such as caviar and squid, it was absolutely delicious.


From here we went to meet my friends mum and dad in the hotel they were staying in and had a cocktail on the terrace whilst looking out at the sea, it was so picturesque, beautiful and relaxing, I could have stayed forever.


Although I am glad we didn’t as after our cocktails I was taken into Palma city centre where I experienced one of the most unique bars in the world, Abaco.  An absolute must if you are ever in Palma. I can only describe it as a stately home that has been turned into a bar whilst keeping all its original features and décor. You can’t help but get wrapped up in the romance of it and feel like you are a princess from years gone by, such a beautiful, magical place (although the cocktails need a little more flavour and dare I say a little less alcohol).

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Although our visit was quick it was still wonderful to be able to visit a new city, drink in the atmosphere in three very different establishments and make memories with my friends that will last a life time, leaving me wanting to visit again and take in the many more attractions that Palma has to offer.

Thankyou to Linz, Lucy, Jean and Frank for helping me tick number 23 off the list, showing me Palma and helping me make memories that will last a life time.




#13 – A girly Holiday

When I wrote this list I was quite embarrassed to admit that I had never been on a girly holiday, surely it’s a right of passage, something everyone should experience at least once.

Now this is where having amazing friends comes in handy. One of my best friends took it upon herself to take the lead on this one, which I am so grateful for as otherwise it probably would never have happened. Not only did she take the lead and get things organised she also convinced her mum to let us use her apartment in Spain for three nights for FREE! Now this simple act of kindness might not sound much to some but when I tell you that her mum sold the apartment after we booked and then agreed to freeze the sale and postpone all their plans till the day after we left just to ensure we still had accommodation, you can see how amazing her and her family are and for that I am hugely grateful.

Unfortunately the weekend away did not start well with one of the group being rushed to hospital just days before we were due to fly out and unfortunately wasn’t well enough to join us, leaving just three of us. Things did not get much better after that, on the day we flew out a lorry jack knifed on the m56 causing delays and obstructions resulting in one of the party being stranded on the opposite side of the village to us and no easy way to make it to the airport. After a lot of phone calls, favours from family and detours we finally made it to the airport with minutes to spare. I know what you’re thinking, “stop the dramatics you made it” and we did but the dramatics don’t stop there I’m afraid. Whilst practically running from check in to boarding we had to do the mandatory security check and I don’t know if it was the red panicking face that made me look suspicious or if the security guard thought she could have some fun with someone clearly running late but she informed me that she would need to take me away for a private search! This is horrendous, especially when you are a big old prude and have visions of them stripping you off and searching every crevice of your being for drugs – at this point I was seriously thinking a weekend in Spain was not worth the humiliation of flashing my bits in an airport but thankfully they didn’t check any orifices’ just my bra! To her utter disappointment she found nothing but my whiter than white boobs and had no choice but to release me and we just made the plane.

The plane journey was nice and relatively smooth, as smooth as a Ryanair flight can be anyway and boy was I looking forward to the weekend.

When we arrived we hired a car and I immediately bowed out of driving duties, trust me that would have made for a totally different type of write up, leaving the other two to battle it out – quiet literally sometimes, whilst I took the back seat, closed my eyes and held on tight for the entire holiday. As a person who naturally avoids driving it always amazes me when people prefer to take the wheel, crazy.

The apartment was gorgeous and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer base. Once we were settled we started planning for the weekend and as I had never done this before I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it was everything I could want and more. We somehow managed to fit in every type of girly break into one weekend from sunbathing on the beach, drinking cocktails in a posh sea front bar, dancing in Magaluf, swimming in the sea and stuffing our faces with food and having a good gossip.

Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy about far too many hilarious stories because what happens in Spain stays in Spain, that and the fact if I spill their stories they may never speak to me again let alone agree to another girly holiday next year. However what I will say is that as the strap line for the holiday fast became “you can’t make this shit up” it was one of the strangest, funniest most amazing weekends ever and I belly laughed so much it hurt. I will also add that the car nearly got cut in half by an electrical gate, now that would have made for some interesting insurance paper work!

The weekend passed by far too quickly and I loved every minute of it and before we knew what was happening we were saying our good byes and heading home.

O wait you didn’t think the drama stopped there did you? I wish!

At the airport just before we went through the “no return” doors to the airport lounge I realised I had lost my boarding pass. Now this would have been bad enough except I knew it wasn’t my boarding pass I had lost as we had just randomly picked one up each and I knew full well I had my friends. I could tell from her reaction that she didn’t know it was hers I had lost, she was concerned but not stressed, so off I ran in the generally direction of where we had been sitting with my heart beating a thousand beats a minute trying to construct a suitable conversation in my head whereby I could explain that, “no I hadn’t found the boarding pass and obviously I would pay for a new one but actually it’s not mine and sorry hun but you’re screwed you can’t board the flight – see you back in England!” or a conversation where I beg security to let her travel as me and I stay behind as her, both had about the same success rate for me being hit in face at some point! Thankfully I found it in the girls toilettes on the side next to the sink, wet and sloppy and ran back to the girls. As I approached them it became apparent that by this point they were well aware of the fact that it wasn’t mine I had lost. As tempted as I was to pretend it was still missing I valued my life too much and presented my friend with a beautiful soggy boarding pass – but hey she made it home she should be grateful, right?

Luckily the drama ended there but the memories and laughter lines will last a life time.

I want to say a huge thankyou to Lynsey for organising such an amazing trip and being such a fantastic friend

to Lynsey’s mum and dad, Jean and Frank, for holding off on the sale and for staying in a hotel whilst took over your apartment.

To Lucy for sharing the weekend with me, being a brilliant friend and for, well, just being you – never change!




#16 A Triathlon (or rather a 10k commando challange)

As I already admitted here I bailed on the triathlon idea and agreed instead to complete the Delemere 10k commando challenge, here’s how I got on……

For those that are not familiar with this event I can only describe it as pure madness, basically it’s an obstacle course for adults, in a forest covering 10k.

The course started off with a 1k uphill run, it nearly killed me and I was having serious doubts about why I had agreed to it. Thankfully (or not) it went downhill from there! The course included muddy pools of freezing cold water up to our middle, climbing over hay bales and walls and running whilst carrying sand bags.

There were various stewards around the course dishing out encouragement and helping with the obstacles along the way. I can honestly say I have never before been so grateful for a strangers hand on my ass in all my life, but boy did I appreciate those men man handling me over the walls!

I thought I would find the mud and cold water the hardest to endure but to be honest I was so hot and sweaty that I was grateful for the coolness of the stinking, dirty and somewhat questionable water. In actual fact running with the sand bag was the hardest bit for me, the hill seemed to go on and on and on and I swear someone was adding sand to my bag with every step that I took. I thought that lugging my two year old around all the time would have stood me in good stead for this part but nope, my arms were useless and if it wasn’t for some random guy who took pity on us showing us how to throw them around our neck to better distribute the weight, I think I would have launched mine on the floor and thrown the ultimate toddler tantrum.

The challenge ended with a water slide down a hill. We noticed this before we started and I was mortified, so many people were congregating around the slide watching and laughing at everyone, I really didn’t want to make a fool of myself and it played on mind the whole way round the course. However when we reached the slide my husband and boys were waiting for me and knowing the end was in sight I was more than happy to fling my exhausted body down that hill with complete disregard to how I looked. It was the messiest and funniest thing I have done for a long time and certainly entertained my children.

I thought this challenge would kill me. I wasn’t sure if it would be sheer exhaustion, drowning, an angry team mate or the ridiculously large number of corgies randomly running around the course but I genuinely thought I wouldn’t make it out alive but I did. I finished the course, I survived, I pushed myself to new limits, grabbed another experience that life has to offer and ticked one off my list. I am enjoying my new adventurous life right now, got a challenge? Throw it at me!

I want to say a huge thankyou to

My team, we started as a team and we finished as a team and I genuinely couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without you.


Michelle for introducing me to this event, organising our team and helping with the training.

My mum who was daft enough to sign up too, well done you smashed it! thankyou for completing another item on my list with me.


My husband and my boys who have encouraged me with my training and came along on the day, waited in the cold and rain and celebrated at the finishing line with me.




#16 A triathlon

OK, so I guess I knew that there would come a point in my list when I would fail and the triathlon seems to be the first to go. I have got to be honest I am probably not fit enough to compete in a triathlon however that’s not what is stopping me, it’s my irrational fear of cycling on a road or in a group. I am terrified I will get knocked off. I am still aiming to complete a triathlon at some point but the reality is it wont be before December 2015 so I have made the decision to set myself a new fitness challenge. The new challenge is equally as difficult to someone as unfit as me and I only have 7 weeks to get myself in shape!

The new challenge is the Delamere 10k Commando run, where I will have to run 10k whilst completing an obstacle course and carrying sand bags. To me right now this sounds impossible, in fact I cant believe I have actually signed up. Luckily for me (unluckily for them) I have signed up as part of a team with the hope that we will motivate and inspire each other to complete the crazy course.  I have the feeling it may be easier for them to do some weight training and just carry me around the course, at least that way we might stand a chance of finishing it before midnight!


To give you an idea of just how unfit I am last night I went for the first run in years and managed 3.4k in 23 minutes and I swear I thought I had popped a lung! The next 7 weeks are going to be hell on earth but I am determined, motivated (for now) and focused on crossing this (if not a triathlon) off my list.

If anyone has training advice I would very much appreciate it.




I love Leeds – three new cities

Last month my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and as always he blew me away with how thoughtful his gift was. Not only did he whisk me away for the weekend but he made sure it was to a city I had never visited before so that I could tick another item off my 30before30 mission.

He chose Leeds.

We stayed in the Hilton hotel in the centre of Leeds, walking distance to all the shops and bars. The first thing we did was hit the shops and wow Leeds has shops, lots of shops. There were many high street chains that I recognised as well as some designer stores that I would normally have to shop online for and some lovely little boutique stores specific to Leeds, it was shopping heaven. After lots of shopping we found a lovely little underground bar called the new Conservatory and had some lunch and a cheeky afternoon drink before more shopping and then heading back to the hotel.

The hotel itself was lovely with a nice pool and sauna to relax in. Or at least it would have been if it wasn’t occupied by the LOUDEST female in the whole of world. She made it uncomfortable for everyone else just by talking and snorting. After 5 minutes of hearing every sordid detail of their conversation we snook off and hid in the sauna, well until my husband physically couldn’t take any more in fear of passing out and we had no choice but to re enter the pool. Luckily she left shortly after round two and we were able to have a more relaxing swim.

My husband had booked us a table at a teppanyaki restaurant, some thing I had never tried before and didn’t know what to expect. It was brilliant, a whole new way of eating out. I loved how we could chat with the chef and watch him cook the food in front of us, showing off as he set fires, tossed food and invented games of golf for us to play on the hot plate. We had so much fun laughing and joking and drinking copious amounts of wine that we couldn’t believe how long we had stayed in there.


The next day we were surprising clear headed so started the day with a full cooked breakfast at the Hilton and then went to the Armouries museum. I never used to be interested in this kind of stuff but since working with public service students in my new job I have turned into a bit of a geek and loved looking at all the old armour and reading about crime and its effects over the years. From here we headed back into Leeds for yet more shopping and stumbled across a food market selling the most delicious filled donuts. How we actually managed to eat anything else is beyond me but I couldn’t possibly leave them there, they were begging me to eat them, honest. After another wonder around we had to leave and I was honestly disappointed, Leeds is one of the best cities I have ever visited and I really want to go back again soon.


Special thanks to my amazing hubby for arranging for me to tick off yet another mission, this list would never get completed if it wasn’t for you. Also thanks to my mum for having my boys for the weekend, Leeds with kids would not have been the same.



#8 Write a blog

After writing my 30 before 30 list I knew that the only way I would actively try and complete it was if people knew about it, so I wrote this blog. Of course that automatically crossed #8 of the list but I felt that was a bit of a cheat, especially as this blog is only read by my friends and family and maybe a handful of other people who happen to stumble across it, probably by accident. Therefore I decided that in order to cross off #8 I had to start a second blog and as I have been writing beauty reviews for an online magazine for the past 6 months I figured a beauty/lifestyle blog would be the next logical step. Plus the fact PR companies send me tons of FREE lotions and potions, I’d be mad not to.

So The Strawberry Fountain was born https://thestrawberryfountain.wordpress.com/

Here I showcase all the beauty reviews I wrote for Women Make Waves, the ones I am currently writing for Birds on the Blog and a whole host of new reviews, stories, competitions and general ramblings about all things girly. Living in a house with three males I have found The Strawberry Fountain to be the perfect buoyancy aid to prevent me from drowning in testosterone (god help me when they are teenagers).

Anyway I think its fair to say that I have ticked another mission off my list-yippee.

Huge thanks to everyone that has liked or followed The Strawberry Fountain on wordpress and facebook (if you haven’t then do…now! please)



#10 Drive a car I could never afford

For my 29th birthday my husband surprised me by helping me complete #3 and #10, unfortunately due to the bad weather on my birthday #10 was cancelled. We managed to rebook it and went on 29th March to Three Sisters in Wigan. The aim of #10 was to drive a car I could never afford, now in my head this was going to involve borrowing a car or test driving one from an expensive dealership – if I could get away with it. My husband, however, went one better and arranged a track experience for me, driving an Aston Martin that cost approximately £45-50,000 second hand, definitely not something I will be able to afford in this life time.

The whole way there I was a nervous wreck, I literally felt sick to my stomach convinced I wouldn’t be able to drive it, would crash it and end up with a bill for £1000s or make a fool of myself.

When we arrived I found I was in a large group and a number of us would be on the track together, in various super cars. Now call me naïve but it hadn’t even entered my head that I would have to share the track with other people, the possibility of me actually crashing had just quadrupled in the space of seconds and my heart was racing so hard I swear I was seconds away from a heart attack.

My husband, mum and two boys grabbed a seat in the café area whilst I went for my briefing, a room filled predominately with men, self-confident, loud, and eager to reach top speeds, men. I was sat at the back shaking and praying I could get the car off the start line, concentrating so hard on the instructions you would have thought I was expected to sit an exam.

The activities for the day were explained to us and I was relieved to hear we would go round the track with someone else first to get a feel for it. I met my family and we wondered out to the track and I was fitted with a safety helmet. The weather was a dismal, raining and cold and I couldn’t understand how everyone else was so excited, for me the wet track made it more fearful not more fun.


I must of looked like I was about to be tortured, (which seems to be a reoccurring theme with this list!) as another driver kept asking if I was ok and if someone had booked this as a surprise for me and did they actually like me – I couldn’t help but laugh.

Within minutes my car –the amazing Aston Martin, arrived. The instructor was wonderful and immediately picked up on the fact I was terrified, although the shaking hands were probably a giveaway. He asked me to adjust the seat and told me I was a bit short to be a racing driver as I could only just see over the steering wheel if I strained my neck like a giraffe and did I want to swop cars? Not a chance, if I got out of this one there was no way I would get back in another one, especially with all these people watching. So I strained my neck and stretched my legs and prayed I wouldn’t die for the next 10 minutes and besides, I was convinced my eyes would be shut through sheer terror so what difference would it make if I could see over the steering wheel anyway.11079196_10153204661061738_2046991983_n

The instructor told me to start moving the car and the fact I couldn’t find the gear stick was not a good start, although apparently highly amusing that I hadn’t known about the pedals on the steering wheel. Anyway once ready we set off and immediately I was over taken, and then again and again. I was shaking like a leaf and didn’t dare move in case another car came past, but the instructor was brilliant and told me exactly where to drive to and assured me he was watching for other cars and wouldn’t let me crash, plus he pointed out I wasn’t really going fast enough to do much damage anyway– cheeky sod!11081758_10153204661281738_1533744843_n

After lap one I felt more relaxed and quickly got to grips with the course picking up speed and by lap 4 I was starting to smile instead of shake. By lap 6 I was really starting to get confident and enjoying myself and putting my foot down on the straight bits, then it was over. I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly, it was invigorating, nerve wracking, enjoyable and scary all rolled in to one. It’s a freedom behind the wheel that doesn’t seem right yet you desire it non the less. A true battle of heart over head and impulse over sense. I have a feeling this type of activity is something that is enjoyed more the more times you do it. I definitely plan to do this again and hopefully next time I will be more confident to put my foot down from lap one and follow my need for speed instead of my head for road safety.

The idea of this was to drive a car I couldn’t afford and I definitely managed that. The Aston Martin was lovely to drive and having the gears on the steering wheel was brilliant. I would highly recommend track experiences and I would highly recommend the three sisters in Wigan, the staff were brilliant.

Thankyou to my mum and my boys for coming to watch and sharing another of my 30before30mission experiences.

Thakyou to my wonderful husband who organised the whole thing for me and made my experience one to remember, it truly was awesome.