Spa day in Oxford!

Happy Thursday everyone!

So rather than sitting at my desk at work like any normal Thursday, today I spent the day in a brilliant spa complex in Oxford! It made such a nice change to get away from work for a day and completely relax, I now feel totally refreshed! I had bought the spa day as a present for my mum back in March but the complex had been booked up for months so we’ve had to wait until now to get a slot! It was definitely worth the wait though.. here’s how we got on..

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We arrived at the Oxfordshire Health and Racquet Club, otherwise known as Virgin Active, at 10.30am ready to make the most of all the facilities on offer before our spa treatments which had already been booked in. First of all we made our way to the gym for a quick workout and then headed to the pool area for a cool down and a swim. The pool area boasted a steam room, sauna and jacuzzi as well as a baby pool for the kids and a large 1.4m deep ordinary pool.

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After spending a good two hours enjoying these facilities and working up an appetite we decided to break for lunch and made our way to the lounge bar by the reception area. The menu was great with loads of choice from soup and pasta dishes to burgers and sandwiches from the deli. We both opted for the latter; a steak and onion ciabatta and a chicken, mozzarella and pesto panini with sides of sweet potato fries.

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The food was brilliant, we weren’t kept waiting for too long, and the prices were decent too. I expected to pay way over the odds for a lunch, or for the portions to be small, but £18.50 for two meals, two sides and two drinks didn’t seem bad at all!

After allowing our lunches to go down and spending some chill out time in the lounge we headed up to Tranquility, the spa treatments rooms, which we were booked into for 2pm slots.

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I was booked in for a facial whilst my mum chose a back neck and shoulder massage. We both thoroughly enjoyed our treatments and the experience was made even better by the lovely therapists who looked after us.

We came away from our spa day feeling totally relaxed and rejuvenated and we can’t wait til our next trip! We are hoping to come back to Virgin Active next year so I’ll be sure to book up in advance to avoid waiting for to long next time.

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So that’s how my Thursday turned out, I hope you all had a good day too! My next trip is a weekend away in Birmingham next Saturday so ill update you then; in the meantime look out for my next Throwback Thursday which I’ll post in a weeks time.

Speak soon!

Love Jess x

Weekend in London!

Hi everyone! This weekend I headed to the best city in the world with one of my closest friends for a night at London’s O2 arena to watch Lee Evans on tour. I bought tickets last November and had been looking forward to this weekend for so long that I couldn’t wait to arrive! image I met my friend at her house in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and we caught the train to Kings Cross station before navigating our way across the tube lines until we arrived at the famous Millennium Dome. I’ve been to this venue before to see various shows and concerts and it’s size and stature has always blown me away and I absolutely love it’s design! 02  02 pic The O2 isn’t just a concert venue, it’s so much more than that. With a multi screen cinema, bowling alley, numerous bars and plenty of well known restaurants you could come here just for an evening out with friends or to spend the afternoon lunching. You could even climb the roof of the dome if you are feeling a little more adventurous… That’s definitely on my to-do list for the next time I visit! cinema cabana After arriving at the venue just before 5.30pm we had plenty of time to kill before the show and so we headed for some dinner and drinks to help pass the time, plus we were incredibly hungry! There was so much choice that we could’ve eaten in about ten places but we opted the all you can eat Chinese, The Water Margin, which was great value for money and the food was brilliant! The dinner deal was £14.80 per person with drinks payable separately and this entitled you to as many food courses as you could manage; with three plates each it’s safe to say that we certainly made the most of it! chinese After our meal we headed to the ticketing entrance and made our way up to block 410 to take our seats (row R, 671-672) which I must say were very high up but we had a great view of the stage and the whole arena. We were directly opposite the stage and I’d sat in similar seats at a concert there last year so knew what kind of view to expect. empty arena me n steph Lee came out on stage at 8pm and played a fantastic show until 11pm so he kept us entertained for hours! He was absolutely brilliant and so funny with all new jokes that had everyone in stitches; my cheeks were hurting so much from laughing! There was a short interval at around 9.30 and a brilliant finale which involved Lee donning a sparkly jacket and playing the piano dedicating a song he’d written to his wife who was in the audience that night. He sang brilliantly (I didn’t know he was that talented!!) and then ended the show with his famous rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody which had the whole audience rocking and everyone was on their feet. It was a fantastic end to a truly amazing show and we had a brilliant night! lights After making our way to the packed tube station and heading back to King’s Cross via the Northern line we arrived back at Hatfield train station at around 1am well and truly exhausted and ready for our beds! But I had a brilliant time and am already planning my next show night as I can’t wait to return to The O2! me n steph kings cross My next trip is a spa day in Oxford which is coming up on 18th October so I’ll keep you posted on that and the other adventures I’ve got planned for the rest of the month! For now, thanks as always for reading, and I’ll write again soon. Love Jess x

Family trip to Liverpool – up and down in 24 hours!

Hi peeps,

So last weekend was a super busy one for me and I have only just about recovered!! I spent Friday night down the local pub with some friends and then went back to a hot tub party in the garden – very sophisticated if I say so myself! However, rather than sipping champagne from a posh glass, I ended up glugging large quantities of Blue WKD straight from the bottle… told you I was sophisticated!!

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After the eventful hot tub evening, which resulted in not getting to sleep til 5am, I was picked up by my mum at 7am (yes, really!) and had a mere hour to get ready for the long car journey to Liverpool, my second home, where we were going to my cousins 21st birthday party. I have been going to Liverpool around 5-6 times a year every year since I have been born; all my family live there, my mum was born and bred there, and I really do think of it as my second home. We usually stay for longer than just one night so we can make the most of what this brilliant city has to offer and can spend more time with the family, but unfortunately this time it was only a flying visit.

If you are planning on visiting Liverpool you will need at least 3 or 4 days to absorb everything that there is to see and do, from the historic Albert Dock to the buzzing new Liverpool One shopping centre which is home to an eclectic mix of high street and designer shops, eateries and department stores.

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Images above top – bottom (courtesy of en.wikipedia.org, liverpoolfilmoffice.tv,  telegraph.co.uk,  tridentbc.com)

The iconic Liver buildings, the historic St George’s Hall, the beautiful Albert Docks lit up at night, and the slick new shopping centre Liverpool One 

Anyway, back to my weekend, and after spending some time with the family and meeting my new baby cousin (so cute!) we started getting ready for the party and got all dolled up. We arrived at The Crying Tree pub/club venue in Gateacre (we’ve been here for many family parties before!) and were treated to a lovely buffet and a brilliant Las Vegas theme.

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After dancing the night away with all my lovely family we returned back to my nans for a good nights sleep and a hearty full English breakfast the next morning! We then made the hellish journey back down South (4 and a half hours stuck in a  hot car!!) and napped for the rest of the afternoon as soon as we got home – I can’t keep up with this partying lark anymore!

That sums up last weekend, on to the next one soon … next stop is Majorca and I’m so excited! I’ll keep you posted on that one for sure!

Love Jess 🙂 x

Race for Life 2014 – What a Day!

Hi Everyone!

So today I wanted to share with you my experience of taking part in the 2014 Race for Life at Oxford University Parks on Sunday 13th July. I took part in the race with one of my best friends and the two of us wanted to jog/power walk the 5k rather than run it as we hadn’t trained much and it was a hot day so we didn’t want to overdo it!

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We arrived at the venue shortly before 9am with the race due to start at 10am so we had plenty of time to wander round the site and see what was going on. There were stalls by Pink Lady, & Heart FM and we were handed out free bottles of water, apples and brioche/croissants to keep our energy levels up!

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At 9.30 there was a welcome on stage by Matt & Michelle from Heart FMs breakfast show followed by a talk from a recent cancer survivor and an Oxford university science lecturer giving information on the research that looks in to cancer cures and explaining how vital it is that we continue to fundraise to try and beat it. After this we had a warm up from a couple of dance instructors which was fun and everyone joined in so there was a real sense of togetherness for all involved!

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We started the race dead on 10am and enjoyed a brisk jog up until the 1k point before we switched to a power walk between 2-4k and then ran the last kilometer to the finish line where we were met with cheers from the gathering crowds and a hi5 from Matt (Heart Breakfast) and were greeted with a volunteer handing out more free water bottles and, most importantly, our race for life medals!

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After watching hundreds of people flock towards the various food outlets for much needed hot dogs, burgers and chips we decided to take advantage of the free brioche buns that were handed out and gently strolled out of the park towards the exit where I was met and congratulated by my lovely parents who had offered to pick us up! Had we had a bit more time to spare we would have checked out the rest of the stalls at the venue and maybe spoke to a few more race finishers, but it was getting close to the midday sun, the heat was rising and we were feeling tired so headed home for a shower and a nice chilled day instead!

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Just so you know, we finished the race in 48 mins and were very proud of ourselves. Oh, and we also raised over £320 between us so would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that sponsored us!! If you would like to donate to either of our JustGiving pages it’s not too late as we will be sending the final totals over sometime in August.. click on our pages below to have a look!

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https://www.justgiving.com/jessicabuck/

https://www.justgiving.com/antoniaansell/

Thanks for reading everyone!

Love Jess x

Day out in Oxford!

So after the excitement of my London trip I thought I was going to be chilling out and relaxing on my final day off work, but my eagerness to get out in the beautiful sunshine took over me and I soon roped in one of my best friends to keep me company on a trip to Oxford, our wonderful home city! girls We spent the morning shopping in the Westgate centre (most of our time was spent in the massive Primark store which the centre boasts!) and then meandered our way up the historic high street in search of some bargains. After a brief stop at the well known Carfax Tower we decided to go for lunch as all the shopping was tiring us out! carfax We stopped at  Pizza Hut at the top of the high street and enjoyed a lunch time buffet each which was a brilliant deal at £6.99 per person for as much pizza, pasta & salad as you could manage! I would recommend getting there earlier rather than later so you don’t have the left overs from the pizza that no one wants! But overall we really enjoyed our meal and it wasn’t too busy which was a bonus. pizza After our lunch we headed off to do some more shopping and made a special visit to the brand new H & M located in the Clarendon centre. I’ve wanted a H & M to come to Oxford for ages so was very excited to see what it could offer me! Here’s a pic of us trying on identical dresses in the changing rooms… typical girly photograph!! dresses Once we were all shopped out we headed home where I had a nice chilled evening ahead of work the next day! I’d had a lovely few days off and was well and truly prepared for my race for life event which took place on Sunday 13th July.. Please check out my next blog post to see how I got on! Thanks for reading everyone 🙂 Jess x