Return To Sheldon Spa

So to end ‘My Weird And Wonderful Week’ quite perfectly, on Sunday morning, Matt and I escaped for three whole hours to Sheldon Spa in Faversham- my secret place, my hideaway. Last year for my best friends hen day, I visited for the first time and immediately knew that I wanted to come back with Matt for a romantic morning of peace and tranquility. Matt turned thirty years old quite recently, so I booked in for a belated birthday treat. It was just as lovely as I remembered.

We came with a little breakfast picnic of pastries, blueberries and smoothies and hung out on a lounger for a few minutes to have a morning cup of tea and some refreshing lemon water to start our relaxation.

The pool was so warm like a bath and we were actually really good and did some lengths before we hit the sauna.

The sauna was incredible. I suffer with a sun allergy and after we had some incredibly beautiful weather recently, my skin really suffered and it hadn’t yet managed to soften up properly and get back to normal. The steam and heat really cleaned out my pores and my skin felt incredible after using it. We sprinkled some eucalyptus oil on the stones before pouring (perhaps a little too much) water over the top and it smelt so beautiful. I felt like I could really breathe and let any worries of the previous week simply float away, completely out of my system.

We managed about seven or eight minutes in our first burst and then moved on to the jacuzzi where we chatted and let the bubbles massage our (pretty tired) bodies. It was just lovely!

I managed to read some of my book as I hooked myself on to the side of the pool and treaded water. After being a part of the promotion on Thursday, I really wanted to get lost in it and honestly it is so good so far. Once I am finished, I will do a book review and let you know a more detailed opinion for anyone thinking about reading it. As I read, I did tell myself off a little. I definitely need to make more time to read. It’s the perfect escape from reality and… it reminds me how much I really hope to write a book of my own one day. That would be my dream come true.

Matt went for his treatment which was a half an hour back, neck and should massage…and I read the whole time that he was there.

Then it was my turn (and I had the same treatment). The massage was amazing. I felt so pampered and relaxed after and I think I may have fallen asleep for a little while. I obviously needed it. I probably needed to catch up on the sleep that I lost when I was full of worry in the past week. When it was finished, it took me a while to regain my place in the day… I felt like I was somewhere else completely. It was amazing.

It takes a lot to leave me short for words, but I was too relaxed to speak.

Return To Sheldon Spa

It was so nice to have a little space in time to be completely selfish for a change. It was nice knowing that Noah and Ellenah were safe and happy so that I could feel much less guilt about taking some ‘me/us time’ on their time.

Sometimes it is so hard for me to listen to what my body really needs. What I really need, as a person.

The truth is, I want to give everything that I am to the people that I brought in to the world. When I say that they are my everything, that’s no joke. The parenting thing, I’m totally in it, one hundred and ten percent! The reality though, is that I can’t give EVERYTHING because then there would be nothing left…no good bits, no patience, no understanding, no empathy! And, I would be half the person that they deserve. I want them to have the best.

In this video HERE, I talk about ‘Me Time & Motherhood’…but I am terrible at taking my own advice.

It’s only when I went to collect the children after the spa and Ellenah had a melt down about who would help put her shoes on, I realised that I felt way more confident in handling the situation and myself. That little bit of time away stripped everything back and gave me a fresh start and a fresh voice.

I mean, I can’t be nipping off to the spa every day for a little talk with myself, can I?…I’ve gotta get real and knock that wonderful idea on the head.

But, surely I can save a little piece of myself in other ways. For the greater good?

How do you mama’s revive yourself and you sanity to be the best mum you can be?

With Love,

Ria x

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Faversham Hop Festival is so special to me. I have grown up with it. It is a strong link to my childhood and many happy memories. Some of my earliest memories actually. I have a photograph of a young, blonde girl standing in the crowds of people singing, morris dancers jigging, stalls of wonder and joy. The girl was nervous to the core because she was holding a baby owl… that girl was me! I remember feeling so worried at the time, that it might not like me… it may fly away…scratch me even! I felt unnerved about many things back then- weary, unsure…shy! Thankfully the owl didn’t do any of those things, it was actually lovely. I remember treasuring that photograph for such a long time after that day, like it was a huge achievement, a reminder that I could be brave… And honestly, I have loved woodland creatures ever since.

A Little Ria (Aged 6)

Hops

Over the years, Faversham Hop Festival changed for me. It changed from a family day out where I could spend my pocket money, choose friendship bracelets and beads from the hippie stalls and somewhere that I would search out old, musty, second-hand books that I would escape in. A place that I would awkwardly bop along to the bands and tunes that would cascade over my oldie-worldie home town… somewhere that I would hold baby owls!

 

Cider Stall

Chutneys + Honey

It became one of the main social events of my year as I grew in to early adulthood. It was there that I bumped in to old friends who I hadn’t seen for ages, fell in love, danced with abandon, laughed until I couldn’t breathe, fell in love…again, discovered vodka, lemonade and lime (my tipple of choice to this day), wore flowers and hops in my hair, stumbled upon ‘Hop Fest After Hours’ when the crowds dispersed… Lock-ins were a must, flame and chain throwers hustled the stragglers gathered in the market place and conversations in to the night were had up on my old school bridge with someone special.

I’m sure grateful for that time, space and freedom to grow and learn. It has mattered somewhat, to the person who I have grown up to be.

And…

Now it has changed again.

Maria Noell

This year, I was a mama in the midst of ‘The Hop Festival’ chaos. I went VERY easy on ‘The Tipple’, appreciated the stalls once again, spent time with friends and people I truly love… I bopped along to the bands and sang along a bit, wore hops in my hair and smiled…much!

Great Friends

Katie + Me

I felt balanced out. Like I was reliving a bit of every phase of growing up, with it ending up exactly as things should be.

Noey Bon Boey

I witnessed the festival secure a firm spot in the children’s hearts and memory banks, as they played hook the duck, adventured in the fun house and ate ice-creams. All while they listened to the tunes and bands cascade over their oldie worldie home town.

They will look back on photographs of themselves and these days…much like I do the one of me and my baby owl. Their faces so innocent, fresh and excited. Their big eyes taking in everything around them and living life without a care in the world in the world.

Els Bels

They may not remember how their soft, little hands clutched mine as we weaved through the crowds or how I smiled at them for smiling at life around them…or how I stroked Ellenah’s bright, blonde hair gently off of her face so that it wouldn’t end up in her ice-cream…or how the sun beamed over Noah’s smile as he flew into the air on the bungee trampoline… But I will! They are my memories, for my memory bank…and more that I will never forget.

Els & Daddy

Springy Noah

I cherish these memories. I flourished in these times of The Hop Festival and I enjoyed them fully for every reason they should be… for that reason, I would never trade in my here and now to do it all over again.

Back then it was exactly as it should be and it was preparing me for this version of my life. And, I wouldn’t change a single thing!

xoxo

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Originally Written On 08/10/2015

Nobody has just a ‘Hen Night’ anymore, right? 


So when I was in full Hen Planning Mode for my bestie, I knew that I wanted it to be a two-day kind of shindig. As previously mentioned, my friend Katie is not a party girl. She LOVES to dance but falling out of clubs is not her bag. 


After deciding on her ‘Bridal Shower’… I wanted the event for the next day to compliment the relaxed atmosphere from the day before and I wanted ‘The Bride-To-Be’ to come away from her Hen Weekend feeling like a million bucks and ready to tie the knot.


I think that I always had a spa in mind. It just felt like it would offer everything that I wanted for my friend and also (and quite selfishly) for a super busy mama like myself. A spa just seemed like the perfect treat for a lovely group of women to escape their to-do lists and duck out of normality for a few hours for some well deserved relaxation and pampering. 


I can’t believe that I have been living so close to such a wonderful little secret in the shape of Sheldon Spa (Located Lees Court Road, Faversham, Kent)


When we arrived on Sunday 31st May 2015 at around 9.45am, we drove in to what felt like someone’s driveway. We thought that we had the wrong address at first but as we edged closer we realised that we were exactly where we were meant to be. It looked idyllic and it didn’t feel like we were anywhere near our local town…AT ALL! It was so pretty and serene. 

From the moment that we stepped through the door, confused and a little ditzy- nothing felt like too much trouble and all of us girls felt immediately at ease…and ever so comfortable. 


We were taken through health and safety straight away but nothing about it felt too harsh. I’ll be honest, it was thorough… but, nothing about it felt like anything more than being shown around your girlfriend’s house and having a bit of a chat about beauty and general girl talk. The therapists were professional but human. They felt like old friends.


Inside, it was absolutely stunning. The attention to detail was on point and for somewhere that looked so modest from the outside, it was incredibly spacious.

I LOVE this decor. It is so fresh looking and subtle but so very sweet. A perfect, girly haven. Although, next time I come back, I want to come with Matt and I know that he would appreciate how gorgeous it looks too.

Considering that we were at the spa for five hours in total, I didn’t pick up one magazine but I loved knowing that they were there. Before I left home that morning, I shoved a book in my bag but next time, I’ll leave it at home… I wouldn’t need it.

There were so many places to sit and relax and I’m sure that I lost a fair while gazing out of the windows at the beautiful garden.

 I’m not going to lie… Before we left the spa, I made sure that I used each and every one of these products on my face and body. I love Clarins products and it was such a nice touch that they were complimentary. I love lotions and potions but I have quite sensitive skin, it was nice to see them use a reputable and trustworthy brand which I love. Huge thumbs up!

Do you see what I mean about attention to detail? These personal touches make such a difference and really set them apart from other Spa’s. 

Sometimes in life, you have to make time to shut yourself out of the matrix for a few hours because when you do, you can really achieve so much. 

You can spend real time with the people who raise you up, support you and who make you the person that you are. These people are invaluable to your happiness.

You can use this time to write. Letters and notes of encouragement to the people who may need it, will appreciate it and will love to re-visit monumental moments in their lives when your written words exploded from your heart on to paper. 

You can spend this time dreaming, deciding, believing, planning… Just being! 

These moments are even better with fizz…

And even better when you get to drink fizz with friends and your loved ones.

You can smile.

And not for anybody but yourself.

Simply because you can and it is absolutely okay to.

You can be kind to yourself, your soul and your body.


You can appreciate the fleeting moments of solidarity to remind yourself that you, just one person in this big, wide world…are pretty amazing.

We had all that we needed to relax and let go…

And plenty to do while we awaited our treatments. I had a Weleda facial and I still struggle to find the words to describe how amazing that was. I’ll be honest and say that during the treatment, I hardly felt like I was in my body and that is for real. It was such an incredible experience. My skin felt great and for a week after, I didn’t put a scrap of make-up on my face. I felt completely zen and just so happy and comfortable in my skin.


All of the ladies were impressed with their treatments. From pedicures, to back, neck and shoulder massages- we all felt so relaxed and at ease. One of the bridesmaids couldn’t stop smelling her skin from the massage oil and there were a lot of sad faces when it was time to leave.

Saying that, we didn’t leave before indulging in a delicious cream tea to finish off such a wonderful day.

And delicious it truly was.

 

I honestly can’t say a bad word about Sheldon Spa and I’m just kicking myself that I didn’t find it sooner. As a woman, it is important to feel comfortable in our surroundings and able to embrace our different body shapes and sizes. At Sheldon Spa, it felt a lot like home…seriously, I wish I lived there! There was such a fabulous atmosphere and I couldn’t recommend that you visit there enough. 

You really will come away feeling amazing about yourself and like you are seriously winning at life. I can not wait to go back, with the ladies again and hopefully before then (and sometime soon!) with Matt, the man of my dreams.

With Love

x Ria x

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Originally Written On 06/06/2015

This will be a date that I will always remember. For many reasons.

London Baby

This was the day that I trotted off to London with one of my best friends, had a marvellous day and went to a concert in the evening.

London Baby

Doesn’t that sound simple? To me, it really is not so simple.


I am a Mum, a wife, a blogger, a vlogger, a business partner in a retail shop, a friend and somebody who worries non-stop over things that I probably can’t change.


A day trip to London would usually have me feeling very anxious. Anxious about getting bombed or stuck on the underground somewhere… All crazy and incredibly neurotic thoughts! It has been such a long time since I shimmied around on the tube without a care in the world. Back in my single days, I was always on a bloomin’ tube but now it all feels like the scary realms of the unknown.


I was setting myself up to feel a panic for a few days prior but for the first day in a long time, the day came and I didn’t feel anything but excitement! I got myself ready and armed with my lippy, I rushed to catch the train and to embark on a wonderful day out with my girl friend. My heart didn’t race, I didn’t need to catch a breath and for a change I really felt like I was in the day. Wingin’ it without the constant haze of questions that would usually plague me when feeling out of my depths.

London BabyI felt so proud of myself.

London Baby

I didn’t search for constant reassurance that everything was okay back home. The kids were with Matt. They were all okay. Without me their worlds did not crumble and fall apart. It was absolutely okay that I took a day to be me in the city, looking around at the magnificent buildings, marvelling at the history, posing in a red phone box and ahem, falling out of a bar door, oblivious of a step after what, one cocktail?… It wasn’t so grim, in my embarrassment, I turned my little stumble in to a dance move and moved on. It’s a bit sad that it had to be somewhere as thriving as Leicester square though, that sucks a bit haha.

London Baby

London Baby

We laughed all day.

We were even mistaken for Londoners on three occasions and were asked for directions like we knew where the fudge we were. Most happy in our comfies and particularly me, in my wellies- we were a little phased as to why people would think that us country girls knew anything about anything at all. Especially as we seemed to be the only people in London waiting for the green man to ping up at the traffic lights to cross the road and on the occasions we crossed with everybody else, dodging traffic… we held hands…like that would stop us from getting ploughed down by a truck, haha.

Honestly, the whole day was amazing… but then… it was Usher O’clock! Words cannot express how surreal it was watching him perform. Laura and I have grown up loving his music. Hearing him sing and dance his songs back to us… in an arena with thousands of other people… it was just crazy insane. It took us back to our teenage years in a heartbeat and needless to say, we screamed like teenage girls, loving every second of such an incredible experience.

London Baby

I can’t believe that London, The O2 and Usher was a week ago. I can’t wait for what adventures are coming next for us girls, in whatever place we end up in next. If I can handle London… I can handle anywhere- no matter how scary it may seem!

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Originally Written On 01/04/2015