My Week – From my sick bed – 1.1.18-7.1.18

Writing from my sick bed again today, lemsip in hand. It’s safe to say that 2018 hasn’t been the year of dreams for me so far. I think I’ll just brush this week under the rug and pretend it never happened. I look around social media and see everyone already achieving so much and it would be really easy to get myself down about it. But I’m not going to do that. I got sick, I can’t help it and the only thing I can do is go easy on myself and take this year at my own pace.

So how was my week? It makes me laugh that I can safely say that I’ve been sick all year. It’s just been a really bad flu so it could be worse. I’ve been in bed most of the week but I was able to venture out of the house for a few hours on Friday when I had a burst of energy.

Topher and I went to the cinema and saw The Greatest Showman and Ferdinand. Both films were really good and it was just what I needed. Ferdinand made us both laugh (though especially Topher – he was giggling more than the kids in the room) and The Greatest Showman was escapism at it’s finest. I enjoyed the film but I loved the soundtrack even more. When I got home I immediately checked Spotify to see if they had it and they did. Score! I’ve been listening to nothing since and it’s been a bright spot in the sea of sneezing, blankets, sore heads and tissues (so many tissues).

To round off a somewhat crappy week, I’ve done some damage to my car. Topher and I headed to the shop today to pick up some cat food and another driver almost crashed into us. It’s a ridiculous piece of road near us that is not clear which combined with the fact that the other person was going way too fast and didn’t realise it was my right of way luckily ended up with no damage to either car. We were both able to stop in time. Just.

So how did my car get damaged? I was flustered I ended up scraping my car alongside a lamppost when I was trying to move it out of the way. The sun was in my eyes and I didn’t see it. Silly silly. Luckily it’s all cosmetic damage as far as I can tell. Poor car.

Week 1 of 2018 is down and good riddance to it. Hopefully that’s all the bad stuff out of the way! Here’s to next week.

How was your week?

sick bed - new year

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2018 Goals – Slightly Sweary Goals

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great night whether it was partying until dawn or curling up on the sofa in some pjs and ringing in the new year with TV and lots of snacks. Topher and I went to a flat party and had a great time.

So I figure I may as well get my 2018 goals set in stone on here so I can start trying to achieve them. I understand that everyone isn’t a fan of goals and resolutions but I am so I’m going to talk about mine here. I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few months and I need to get my shit together, so I came up with a list of sweary goals to kick me into gear. Whatever works for you, right?

2018 Goals

Fuck the Target Weight – Get to Happy Weight

Since I’ve been doing Slimming World on and off since 2013, I’ve always had a target in my head. 10 stone. It’s how much I weighed when I left for Uni back in 2006 (yowza!) and it’s a healthy weight for my height. Twice I’ve gotten to 11 stone but no further. I’ve never seen a 10 on the scales.

Both times I’ve been super happy with my body at that 11 stone mark but I still wanted to get to my target weight as it’s something I thought I wanted. After getting to my happy weight twice and retreating back up another stone, I finally realise that my happy weight is where I want to be.

I’ve put on a lot of weight in the last couple of months and I’m finding myself feeling as bad as I did when I was at my heaviest. My diet is shit, I’m craving fruit and veg and I’m getting out of breath going up the stairs again. I want 2018 to be the year that I get myself back to my happy weight and stay there. Fuck the target weight – I don’t need it or want it anymore.

So what’s my plan? I don’t think I’m rejoining Slimming World, at least not for the first part of the year – I’m skint and need to save money for other things. I’d like to get myself back at the gym again because that made me feel good. And I’ve already filled the fridge with stuff that isn’t fried so I plan on concentrating on making healthy snacks as that’s my problem area.

Fingers crossed I get there because I’m sick of feeling like shit.

 

Earn some fecking money

As I wrote in my guilt post, I didn’t push myself at all in 2017 when it came to work. I was playing the comparison game and putting way too much pressure on myself. Therefore I ended up struggling a lot with money – especially in the last few months of the year. I thought that the only way to make money was through Begin.Create and when I didn’t, I was so horrible to myself and didn’t go out and get VA clients as a result.

So I’m going to be easier on myself in 2018 and just say earn some fecking money. I don’t care how but just find a way. Get some more VA clients, figure out what I want to do with Begin.Create, do matched better, affiliate marketing and odd jobs wherever I can find them.

I might even consider getting a part time job to take the pressure off. It’s hard to be creative when you’re worrying about bills that need to be paid. I’m going to consider my options and do my best to just get some money in the bank. Yes money doesn’t buy happiness but let’s face it, it does when you don’t have enough to pay the bills, right?

 

Stop farting around and book that trip to Japan

I want to go to Japan in 2019. It would be a dream for me. So this goal kinda depends on the previous on to get off the ground. The easiest way would definitely be to get a part time job. I’m not jumping into just anything though. I know how I react in different work environments and I don’t want to sacrifice happiness when that’s what I’ve been working towards since I went freelance.

So yeah, the trip will get booked if I can scrape together the money. Here’s hoping!

 

Get rid of crap…like seriously you have way too much shit

I’m sure this is on many people’s lists: declutter. It was on my list last year and I did get rid of a load of stuff…it’s just that there’s still so much crap in our house. I swear it’s breeding. So this is my continued task this year. Since we haven’t got a big wedding to deal with this year, I’ll be available for the majority of car boot season. I love car boots – getting rid of stuff and getting money for it. It’s so much more satisfying than eBay. But I will be ebaying a bunch of clothes too as they are worth more.

I’ve already taken out of my wardrobe any clothes that I bought to slim into and they’re in my eBay pile. I’d definitely advise that if you’re losing weight you should only buy clothes to slim into that are the next size down, not any more than that. I had bought stuff in the past that I eventually was able to fit into but this stuff I bought was for my target weight – very silly. As I said above, my target weight is no more so I definitely don’t need these clothes. What a waste of money. Fingers crossed I can get some cash for them.

 

And finally…

Stop feeling so bloody inadequate – you are enough

I’m sure people can relate when I say that I’m my own worst enemy and I’m sick of being so mean to myself. Overall I would normally describe myself as a happy person but I definitely need to be kinder to myself. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to get to a point where I can say that I’ve achieved this as I think it’s an ongoing process but it needed to be on my list. I’m turning 30 this year and I want to go into my 30s being a happier, more confident person. So wish me luck.

 

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2018?

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2017 in Review: Adventures and all of the Weddings

So what can I say about 2017? For me personally it was a year of highs and lows. The lows were really low but the highs were the best days ever so I feel grateful for this year. Topher and I did a whole bunch of decorating in the house, went to a huge amount of weddings, got hitched ourselves and went on the most amazing honeymoon ever. I did also struggle a lot with my mental health in the second half of this year but I got through it and that’s all that matters. So without further delay, here is my 2017 in review.

2017 in Review

You can see my previous years in review here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016.

January

2017 in review - JAN

I started the year strong, launching Begin.Create, setting up a new bullet journal and making a start on our wedding DIYs. This was also the month that I attended my first WeBlogNorth event. I’m so thankful for finding this community this year as it’s been a great year meeting new people and attending great events and workshops. I also did my first recipe post in awhile and it went down well – I love this chicken biryani and still make it now.

February

2017 in review - FEB

So many restaurant visits in February! Topher and I had a date night for Valentines day where we had dinner and went to the cinema at the Printworks. We saw La La Land and didn’t like it (sorry, not sorry). I wrote a wedding post on how to stay zen during the planning (this came in handy in the lead up to the big day). And finally, we put up floating shelves in our bedroom. 10 months on and we are looking forward to taking them down! They don’t work with our walls at all and have been threatening to fall down ever since (one of the ones on Topher’s side went pretty much immediately). I think we’ll replace them with something that involves brackets in the new year.

March

2017 in review - MAR

This was an awesome month as two of our best friends got married! Claire and Steve had a hand fasting in front of family and friends after doing a quickie legal registry office wedding the day before. Topher was a witness and I was the ride/camerawoman. I also went to Nottingham to visit my brother for a weekend which was nice – it’s been years since I’ve been to the city. There was more experimenting in the kitchen – I made yoghurt bark! And I also attended another WeBlogNorth workshop where we worked on our photography skills. So many photos of this cake on my phone. There may have also been another home decor project that I started.

April

2017 in review - APR

April started off with another wedding – family friends were getting their vows renewed. Topher’s mum turned 50 so we got her a massive rainbow cake. I discovered that calligraphy is hard at the Viking Arty Party. As well as redecorating my office, Topher and I also spotted a great deal on wood flooring so decided to move up our living room plans and get it done. It was also an excellent excuse to finally get rid of the wallpaper I hated in there. Topher also wrote about wedding planning from the grooms point of view.

May

2017 in review - MAY

So many wedding crafts this month! Wedding planning was going full steam ahead; I had a hair and makeup trial, had my first  dress fitting, wrote a post about the good and bad things about wedding planning and we worked on the seating plan together (Pickles and Luna tried to “help”). We visited Lucardo which is an escape room in Manchester and is awesome. Looking forward to going back even more now that they have a Harry Potter inspired one. I also did some more experimenting in the kitchen and we visited a few restaurants – nom.

June

2017 in review - JUN

Such a busy month! We had two weddings to attend, I attended the IWOOT Fathers Day event, Topher had his stag do, I went to London for Blogtacular which included spending a day in our capital by myself, Emma and I went to the Ideal Home Show and Food and Drink festival, I turned 29, we got a new sofa, and Emma voted for the first time. All this and I was still doing a tonne of wedding DIYS. This is the point where I burned out so decided to take a blogging break until after the wedding.

July

2017 in review - JUL

Another busy one but as I said before, I was on a blogging break so didn’t write about this at the time. I had my hen party which included Crystal Maze, Afternoon tea and all the cocktails at a sleepover at my house. Then Topher and I had to fly to Jordan for my cousin’s wedding the week before ours. Then we got married! I wrote about the day itself, the DIYs and details and shared our wedding video. Afterwards we had a mini moon at the Mere hotel in Cheshire. The rest of the month was spent recovering!

August

2017 in review - AUG

A quiet month indeed but it was definitely needed. I blogged mainly about the wedding but in real life I chilled with my new husband while we got excited for our upcoming honeymoon the next month. I dyed my hair black and we attended our final wedding of the year.

September

2017 in review - SEPT - Honeymoon

Honeymoon time! We visited New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and it was the best holiday ever. I wrote about New York and what we ate there, San Francisco and what we ate there, The Color Factory, our road trip and the Madonna Inn, Los Angeles and what we ate, Universal Studios and Disneyland.

2017 in review - SEPT

Also in September we celebrated a friend’s 30th, saw Fluffy/Gabriel Iglesias at Manchester Apollo and I attended the In Colourful Company Manchester Colour Walk as well as the Reeves Show Your Colours Event.

October

2017 in review - OCT

At this point, my scheduling was all out of whack so though I posted about things in November, they actually happened in October, so bear with me! In October I had some great blogger opportunities including World Pasta Day with Vapiano, Thai Taste Tour at Tampopo and Sky High Tea with Roberts Bakery. The latter was my favourite as how many people can say they’ve had afternoon tea 100ft in the air hanging from a crane?

November

2017 in review - NOV

In November I visited home and went to an Instagram workshop held by Katya. Both were fun and were the highlights of my month. Otherwise, this was where my mental health took a nosedive and I spent a lot of the time not leaving the house if I could help it. The clocks changing definitely didn’t help!

December

2017 in review - DEC

Christmas time! I’m happy to say that even though my mental health wasn’t much better, I definitely got myself out of the house this month. I did some work at the Christmas markets for an illustrator and I went to a lot of Christmas events. Once again I find myself having so many more Christmas do’s now that I’m freelance. I did some festive crafts and hope to do loads more next year when I’m feeling better.

Topher and I had a nice meal at his mums on the 23rd before grabbing the cats and spending Christmas at my parents. It was so nice to see everyone. When we got home, it was Emma’s birthday so we went ice skating (I didn’t fall!) followed by dinner at Dimitri’s. As for New Years Eve, we’ll be spending it with friends at a flat party (anyone else not like going out out?).

So that was my 2017. How was yours?

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The Trouble With Guilt

I’ve spoken about guilt and being your own worst enemy on the blog before and I feel like I need to revisit the topic.

I’ve been falling into the same trap I found myself earlier this year – only it feels so much worse this time. My down periods seem to be getting longer and I’ve been feeling so guilty about it. It’s the same old story – I have my down days, do little to nothing and then spend the rest of the day making myself feel horrible about it. Not only that but I was playing the comparison game and it made me feel physically sick at times. Yuck.

Being stuck in this hole has left me in a place where I’m not happy with myself. I haven’t pushed my business and it’s because I’ve been thinking what’s the point? Sometimes it felt like if I’m never going to achieve anything, then what’s the point in trying. It’s a toxic way to think which lead me to spending a lot of days in bed doing the bare minimum.

I’ve let it slide to other areas of my life too such as my health which I was so proud of at the beginning of the year. Recently I’ve been binge eating and only eating crap, which was making my insides feel like crap. I actually miss fruit and veg. My weight has increased quickly in response, undoing all my hard work which has taken me back to where I don’t feel good again.

guilt - make dreams happen

So how do I turn it around?

Stop making myself feel guilty. We all get into periods like this and the only way out of it is to stop feeling guilty about it. Guilt simply continues the cycle and everything stays the same.  I don’t want to stay the same. Things aren’t always going to go to plan and that’s ok. It’s all about baby steps and focus. Here’s my strategy for the rest of the year and 2018:

  • Be kind to myself
  • Create a meal plan that will make me feel good about food again
  • Make my to do lists short and sweet
  • Make a realistic plan for 2018

Does guilt play a big role in your life?

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What I Got For Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely day filled with loved ones, laughter, food and gifts. I had a great day with Topher and my family. So here’s what I got for Christmas. Since it was Topher and my first Christmas together as a married couple – we got a couple more things for each other this year. See this post for a couple of things I got him. He got me a Manchester cushion for our living room, Wall-e and Eve plushies and a book (not pictured). As for everything else:

what I got for christmas - all

  • I got cash from a few family members for me to squirrel away for Topher and I’s upcoming Disneyland Paris trip
  • Topher’s mum’s boyfriend got us the Hogwarts cushions. We already have our own house cushions but these will be perfect for the guest room. Topher came up with the awesome idea to switch them up for any guests that stay over so that they have their house cushions on the bed. We’re such nerds but I love it!
  • Emma got me the Minnie Mouse keyring and the cactus lights. Can’t decide whether to put the lights in the bedroom or the living room.

what I got for christmas -useful

  • My parents actually bought us a fridge freezer a couple of months ago so they just gave us little goody bags to open on Christmas. I got some chocolate, a lush bath bomb, a lego mug and some socks. They also got us the Disney calendar* to replace our food pun one from last year.
  • Topher’s grandma is always the winner of most random present but there’s always something useful in her packages. I got some makeup brushes, an appliqué embroidery hoop and some dishcloths.

what I got for christmas - secret santa

  • I joined in the In Colourful Company Secret Santa this year so I got a little bag of goodies from someone. I got a Disney/Cath Kidston reusable bag, 2 notebooks, a Harry Potter mirror and coaster.

what I got for christmas -cushion

  • My brother got me the brush pens – judging by my practice run with them I’m going to need a hell of a lot more practice with them before I get my lettering looking Instagram ready!

what I got for christmas -lush

I’m super thankful for everything I received and it looks like everyone enjoyed the gifts I gave them too so that’s always nice!

For previous years What I got for Christmas – see 2016, 2013 and 2012.

What did you get for Christmas?

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