19 for 2019

Happy new year! Instead of the usual resolutions, I’ve decided to do #19for2019 instead. It’s pretty much the same kind of thing but more of a list of things to do. 19 things to be precise. I want to tick off as many as possible. The cool thing about this list is you can put anything on it big or small.

#19for2019 comes from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast “Happier” and I remember listening to last years 18 for 2018 lists from her and all the listeners and wanted to take part. However it wasn’t on the cards for me – I definitely wasn’t in the right frame of mind in 2018.

I’m all for it this year though, so check out my list for #19for2019:

  1. Go trampolining with mum
  2. Get to target at Slimming World (the happy weight not the super skinny one)
  3. Finish Florida 2015 scrapbook. Yes you read that right and no I haven’t finished it yet!
  4. Make and finish wedding & honeymoon scrapbook
  5. Finish Tangled jigsaw
  6. Visit York
  7. Make 5 recipes from Mowgli cook book I got for my birthday this year
  8. Get a denim jacket and sew my patch collection onto it
  9. Vlog Japan – Currently I just do musical roundups of trips. I partly attempted to vlog our honeymoon but kept chickening out. This time I want to go for it.
  10. Put up a towel rail and fix the towel hook in our ensuite. A niggly job that I’ve been putting off!
  11. See something at the theatre
  12. Archive and organise my mountain of paperwork
  13. Scrapbook and organise the giant box of sentimental bits and bobs I’ve accumulated over the years.
  14. Take the tape off the walls, polyfill the holes and touch up the paint in the living room. I can finally call the room finished when I’ve done that!
  15. Do a 30 day yoga challenge. Long time readers will know my back/arm/repetitive strain issues so I want to see if yoga will help at all. I’m not doing the gym any more so need to do some kind of activity
  16. Finally do indoor skydiving – this has been on my list for years
  17. Get a savings app to track my spending better
  18. Rejig blog layout and transfer photos to new storage platform. I’m currently with Flickr and with all the new changes, I have just over a month to get all my 7 years of photos off there. A huge job!
  19. Open a new savings account and actually have something in there at the end of the year.

Have you made any resolutions this year?

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2018 in Review

Balance. That’s definitely a word I’m going to live by in 2019. You may have noticed that my posting this year has been somewhat erratic. Hopefully that’s something that’s going to change next year. I’ve got a bunch of posts planned for the new year so let’s start by looking back on the old.

You can see my previous years in review here: 201220132014,2015, 2016 and 2017.


January was a bit of a quiet one. After coming down with the flu on New Years Eve, I spent the next couple of weeks in bed. Eventually I ventured out to Bake with a Legend and go out for a couple of meals with Topher.


February despite being freezing was a much better month for my physical health. Mental health though, not such much. But I did go out for a few meals and the highlight of the month was flying to Disneyland Paris with Topher. He got the flu while we were there but we still had a great time.


I spent most of the month writing about our Paris Adventures here and here as well as finally finishing our honeymoon video. It only took me 5 months… Improvements in the house slowly came along as well as we got a new (to us) bed in the guest room as well as a new cat tree for Pickles and Luna which they appreciated. The old one was dead!


April was the month where I started getting serious about turning my mental health around. I made a big decision and decided to start hunting for a 9-5. I needed some structure, some cash and less pressure on my creative side. Topher and I went to one of our couple friends’ leaving party (they moved to Japan for a year), had some tasty ramen and bubble tea and I finally put up some more frames in the hallway of our house. I also joined the library and got a new car!


May is definitely the month where things started to look up. I got a job and started at the end of this month. A celebratory pizza was needed! I also sorted out some clutter at home by doing a car boot with Emma. In terms of the blog, I barely wrote anything!


A bit of a big thing happened in June. I turned 30! I celebrated in style; Junkyard Golf, dinner and cocktails with friends at the weekend and then on my actual birthday after work I went to a Japanese restaurant with Topher and Emma. Here’s 30 things I learned in 30 years.


July started with Claire and I going to the Manchester Eats Festival which was really fun. A perfect day out for two foodies. Topher and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary by staying in a treehouse in Anglesey. And finally at the end of the month, Topher’s step-brother Adam turned 18 so of course that involved a few drinks!


My oh my was August a busy one! Most of it was taken up by our annual Jordan trip which Emma came along to for the first time. Check out our adventures; The Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Petra and Amman. I’m still working on the video but I’m hoping to have that done by the end of January. The big event during our Jordan trip was my cousin’s wedding. A great evening. Other highlights of the month included going to a Premier League football match with my parents and celebrating a friends birthday.


September was the month where I finally made an apple crumble from the apple tree in our garden. So tasty! I also wrote about doing One Second Everyday for a whole year. And then I dropped off the face of the blogging world.


A busy month for travel (I’ll use this as an excuse for the lack of blogging) I visited both Leeds and London. Leeds was a great time for me and Topher. He had a gig to go to in the evening so we made a day of it and spent way too much money on all the pretty things. And then London was a trip specifically for Topher and our friends to go to ComicCon. I just went down so I could wander around London which was really good fun. I finally visited Camden and a bunch of shops we don’t have up north. In other news, we finally bought Halloween decorations for our house.


Lots of food and home improvement this month. I tried to do #BEDM and failed miserably. We put up some frames in the living room – I might finally be able to show a finished room next year! And I also bought a pin flag which since this photo has a few more pins on it… Topher and I went to the Doki Doki festival in Manchester and bought so many pretty things for our house including this print. I’m really hyped for our Japan trip now!


And finally December. This is my first blog post of the month so I have nothing to link. Just lots of photos. As you can see, we ate all the food, went to all the Christmas parties and played all the games. Topher and I went to his mum’s for Christmas day and then drove over to my parents for Boxing Day with the cats and stayed over for a few days. We just got back yesterday morning and went out with some friends in the evening.

New Year’s Eve this year is being spent at home for some peace and quiet and I’m chuffed to bits. 2018 wasn’t the best year in the world but it could have been a lot worse!

Here’s to 2019!

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#BEDN Day 1: Something New and Personal

#BEDN Day 1: Something New and Personal

Hello to another new month. I’ve decided to take part in #BEDN which is Blog Every Day in November. It’s only been just over a month since I last posted but it feels like so much longer. I’ve been a rut. A blogging rut. I’ve been on a bit of a break since I got my office job back at the end of May. I was just so exhausted from writing and fully lost my mojo for a bit there. Even though I’ve had plenty of things to write about, I just avoided the whole thing completely.

So here I am, taking a challenge and doing the opposite of what I did for this blog in October. Instead of not blogging at all for a month, I’m going to be blogging every day. I’m interested to see if I’ve still got it – by getting back to basics and just writing for the sake of writing.

Onto today’s subject – something new and personal. 

To any new readers; hello there. I’m Diane. Awkwardly waves. I’m 30, married to my best friend who live with in Manchester with our two cats. Since I was a child I was used to moving house a lot (25 times to be precise) but as of 2016, I bought my first home and am staying put.

To my older readers; thanks for sticking around. I am still here.

So something new. A lot of things really are new in my life. The main thing being that after two and a half years of being self employed, I jumped back into full time employment. It was just the kick I needed after a few months of my mental health taking a nosedive. Is that personal enough for you? Awesome, both boxes ticked.

It’s been great for me to be back in a routine. Especially one that forces me to get out of bed in the morning. The job itself is mentally interesting enough that I’m not bored but not so full on that I get too stressed. It’s a perfect balance. Also it’s been so nice to have a steady pay check. My husband Topher and I have been able to replace so many things in the house that were on their last legs as well as have nice meals out and save up for holidays. Oh and have savings for the first time in multiple years!

Anyway that’s enough rambling today. Are you taking part in BEDN – say hi in the comments!

Let’s do this November.

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One second every day

I can’t remember if I mentioned it on the blog before but over a year ago I downloaded the 1 Second Everyday app on my phone. Since September 1st 2017 I have been recording a video every day and I have been loving it. I’ve seen other people do it online before and thought I’d give it a go myself.

Most of the ones I’ve seen either started on the person’s birthday or on New Year’s Day. Well I downloaded it at some point near the end of August so didn’t want to wait until either of those things. Plus I was close to jetting off for my honeymoon so figured September 1st was as good a time to start as any.

I think one of the main ones I’ve seen was from Zoella a few years ago and though my life isn’t as interesting, I figured it would be nice to see the regular every day moments alongside all the fun times.

So what happens in my video? My honeymoon, Disneyland Paris trip and Jordan trip, lots of freelance times, a few nights out, both Topher and I turning 30, seasonal stuff and general chilling. There’s a lot of food and cat clips as well as a massive chunk where you see a lot of my bed. Illness and depression caught on film. It’s hard for me to watch that part but it’s nice to see the difference when I get my new job and I come out of the funk I was in. It’s just a reminder that life is full of both highs and lows so you just have to roll with them.

So without any further rambling, here’s my life from 1st September 2017 to 31st August 2018.

I’ve already carried on filming videos this month and I have no plans of stopping. So here’s to another year of memories!

Have you ever heard of 1 second everyday?

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Home Again: A catch-up

Home Again: A catch-up

So today marks one week since I got home from Jordan. Where has the week gone? And when did it get so cold? To be honest it’s a relief – I can finally sleep comfortably at night again. And layers are my friend.

After an über lie in today, I’ve been pretty productive after jumping straight back into work this week. Stuff has been cleaned, clothes have been organised and plans have been made. So here’s what’s happening.


A shopping trip was needed

I realised that I had no office appropriate winter gear so headed to Primark yesterday with a budget. I was doing so well until I wasn’t. Damn you homeware section. It all started with a halloween pumpkin LED light and escalated quickly from there. Topher was pretty annoyed until he saw the Winnie The Pooh Honey Pot (mug) I brought home for him. Bit sneaky of me but #noregrets. To be honest I think I did pretty well over all and came out with pretty much everything I need including some new ankle boots and some tops to go with my black cord pinafore.

I’m also pleased I managed to hold it in when I popped into the Disney Store that same day. Hot damn I know where my pennies are going this winter! Fellow Disney fans will know the usual pain of heading into a Disney Store and it all being stuff for little kids. Well, not any more. There is a ridiculous amount of merchandise for adults now. The buying team at Disney are killing it. If I hadn’t have been struggling under the weight of my giant Primark bag I might have caved and bought everything.

Oh and in other news I got my hair chopped off again. My head feels so much lighter and it’s awesome.

Routines are coming back

Earlier this week Topher and I signed back up for the gym and he’s been twice. I haven’t been yet but have full plans to head back tomorrow. Wish me luck! As for our weight loss, I was super pleased to find out that I’d lost half a pound at Slimming World since before the holiday. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever lost weight on holiday! It’s definitely all down to having a dress that I needed to still fit into for my cousin’s wedding. Otherwise I would have been left with a black tie event to go to and nothing to wear. So now I have the motivation to keep going as we’re home again and I can eat when and what I want. Target here I come.

Topher and I also want to get back into the routine of going to the cinema as we barely used our Cineworld passes over the summer. Money down the drain so that needs to change. Any suggestions of what to see? I like the look of Searching.


Holiday dreams are becoming reality

So officially our next holiday is Japan in Easter. I’m so excited I can’t even. While in Jordan I was doing so much “Japlanning” (thank Topher for that one!) and I’m pretty sure everyone in my family has gotten an earful of our plans.

This week we were discussing holiday allowance for 2019 at work and for the first time in a while I realised we could also go somewhere else. So I mentioned to Topher that if we were able to save enough and I could get the reward flight I’ve been saving miles for, maybe we could even do Hong Kong next October. It’s safe so say that he’s totally up for that as we want to complete all 6 Disney resorts in the world so watch this space!


What I’ve been reading and watching

I read three books in Jordan as well as another since I got back. My favourite was Happiness for Humans by P.Z.Reizin* so definitely recommend that one! It’s about an AI called Aiden that is chatting to a human called Jen and decides to help her find a boyfriend unbeknown to her.

I went to the cinema once in Jordan too and saw The Meg. I can best describe it as something along the lines of Deep Blue Sea (remember that film?). It’s a B movie but takes itself a little too seriously. I think it would have gone down a little better if it was a little sillier because that’s what I was expecting from it.

I watched the last episode of Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale and totally screamed at June at the end. Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who did too.

I’ve gotten Topher into watching Brooklyn 99 too so we’ve been watching that together. I started from the beginning for him so can’t wait to catch up to where I got to.

Also on Netflix I was able to watch To all the boys I loved before which was really sweet. It’s exactly the type of film I would have loved when I was a teenager. Plus it was so refreshing to have a minority lead in a teen film where the story isn’t about the fact that she’s a minority. More of this please. And last night I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser. So cool to see Barb from Stranger Things be the star and my teenage self also loved this film. What are you reading and watching at the moment.


Upcoming posts

So you may have noticed that up until recently I completely lost my blogging mojo for a bit there. Well it’s not totally back but it’s on the way I think. I got a burst of motivation during Jordan and I have a whole bunch of posts planned for the season ahead so we’ll see how it goes. I need to write about Jordan (as well as make the video) as well as a few other bits and pieces so I’m just trying to ease my way back in and not put too much pressure on myself. Fingers crossed!


How was your summer?

Anglesey - beach

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