Financial assessment

After the spa and yoga retreat maybe I should update with the finances side of things…

I went over all my outgoings and reduced a lot of them, for example, switching energy supplier saved me £6 per month (doesn’t seem like much but it all adds up, plus why would you want to pay someone more for the exact same thing?!)

Changed my contents insurance from a whopping £23 per month to £61 per year with £35 cash back!! That’s a good example of how much it pays to shop around!

I have also paid off my loan by throwing savings at it and my credit cards have also gone, this frees up even more of my income.

So now I am starting from scratch and need to save around £2500 to pay off Bali/Thailand flights and spending money. So this is where the fun begins…

IMG_1232
Pic is a little deli in Narberth.

I used Martin Lewis money saving website to research and reduce my bills.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com

Yoga Retreat

For Mom’s birthday this year we wanted to take her to Sri Lanka for a yoga retreat as she’s always wanted to go. Obviously Sri Lanka is a bit far while she’s having treatment so, as a compromise we have come to Aruna Yoga Retreat in West Wales.

We are staying for 3 nights, yoga every day and fresh home cooked food (with a super healthy option if you would like to lose weight, like me!) made by Karen the owner and yoga teacher.

Karen came out to greet us when we arrived and welcomed us into her home, as we are the only guests we were allowed a room each which was a bonus!

We were introduced to her two rescue dogs, Teddy and Mouna. Then sat in the garden in the sunshine and discussed the options for our stay, when we wanted to practice yoga, and take part in swimming and walking. Once a plan was put in place mom and I went for a swim. The pool was perfect for the two of us and one depth so mom could practice her hydrotherapy exercises.

Karen made us a delicious dinner of ratatouille, roasted sweet potato and salad. All very healthy and vegan, followed by baked bananas with chocolate. A dessert I will definitely be making for myself in the future!

Once our food had gone down we had our first Viniyoga and relaxation class. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything more than salutation to the sun, Karen explained everything clearly and I was surprised at how much came back to me.

Seeing as mom and I are lightweights, we went to bed straight after the class while we were still in relaxation mode!

Our breakfast was ready for us when we got up the next day, I had opted for a green smoothie which was lovely and filling. We then had free time which we spent enjoying the sunshine and reading books on health and playing with silly putty (it’s therapeutic!).

IMG_1279

After lunch Karen took us and the dogs for a walk in Solva, and we sat and had an ice cream overlooking the harbour.

On our return it was time for yoga class with some of Karen’s regular attendees, then a dinner of stir fry which I offered to help make and insisted we have loads of noodles! This was followed by a dessert of fresh strawberries.

We stayed up talking about everything and would fall into bed feeling nourished body and mind as a result of the excellent food and exercise.

Day two started with a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for me, once that had gone down we had our yoga session, followed by a swim before lunch of salad and tabouleh, again vegan and delicious, giving me plenty of ideas for my healthy living plan for my return. (Less than 200 days until Bali/Thailand!)

Karen then took us on a walk to Abermawr with Teddy and Mouna, where we sat and watched the waves. Karen showed us the Quartz in the rocks on the beach then ambled back to the car through the woods.

IMG_1272

IMG_1276

Dinner was a very healthy curry (wrote down the recipe for that one too!) and delicious homemade berry crumble for dessert.

Mom then had a Reiki session with Karen while I soaked in a lavender bath.

Red smoothies for breakfast on the last morning, followed by a yoga class with some locals who told us about places in the area worth visiting on the drive back.

Lunch of a tasty and filling salad then a walk from Caerfai to St David’s. Amazing views over the bay, dipped a toe in the well of St David which is said to heal the infirm, and lit a prayer candle in St Non’s cathedral which was also home to a nest of house martins!

IMG_1286

After our walk we reluctantly packed our bags to leave.

Both my mom and I would recommend a stay here with Karen as we felt so looked after and nothing was too much trouble for Karen. This yoga retreat was definitely more than we expected and it felt more like staying with a friend.

http://www.pembrokeshireonline.co.uk/yoga_retreats/index.html

Spa

I know I’ve only just come back from Brighton, but as a present to our mom for Mother’s Day, my brother and I said we’d pay for a spa break. So my fellow Welsh Wanderer for this blog entry is my mom!

After much deliberation I booked St.Brides spa hotel in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. I chose this particular venue because we’ve been here before and I was blown away at the quality of the whole experience, and also because they offer an oncology spa retreat. So mom has something to look forward to inbetween treatments, and I get to come along to be pampered and write about it!

We went to the spa as soon as we arrived, plonked ourselves down on the loungers in the relaxation room and promptly dozed off in front of this view of Saundersfoot Bay:

IMG_1211-1

Our treatment for the first day is a facial, I had booked us into the double room facing the ocean where we have treatments done simultaneously. We enjoyed chilling out on the heated beds while our therapists prepared everything. Then 50 minutes of bliss while our skin was cleansed and exfoliated and massaged!

Sat in the infinity pool watching the world go by until it was time to be shown to our room.

IMG_1208
Sea view room with a little balcony to watch the waves.

After a fine dining experience in the Cliff restaurant and over indulging by having a dessert too we head straight for bed. Yes, we are lightweights, it was only 9pm. Lazing around doing very little is extremely tiring!

Day two starts with a huge breakfast and back in the spa for the morning. Sun is shining today so sitting in the infinity pool was glorious!

IMG_1221

IMG_1220

Our treatment for today is hydrating body immersion, which consists of being rubbed down with a natural sea sponge, then having beeswax painted all over, wrapped in a linen blanket while enjoying either a foot massage or scalp massage. Amazing!

After a GIANT Caesar salad we lay down on sun loungers on the balcony overlooking the bay. I actually caught the sun! In west wales!

IMG_1219

We had a wander around Saundersfoot (only time we left the hotel) before dinner which we weren’t ready for because they really feed you here!

Most importantly, mom enjoyed and is starting to learn to relax (clearly didn’t get my lazy gene from her side!)

http://www.stbridesspahotel.com

Oncology