2018: A Year in Review

My #Best9 of 2018 on Instagram

2018 has been a mixed year. There’s been a few personal and professional changes, some of which were not as positive as I would have liked and I’ve allowed myself to wallow in a funk on more than a few occasions, at one point even contemplating giving up blogging altogether. However, when I looked through my Bullet Journal and the photographs on my phone in preparation for this post, I was reminded that this year has actually been full of more incredible experiences than almost of any other. 

Here’s just some of the highlights…

The Bloke won a camera for a squirrel picture. That squirrel picture was more popular than our wedding photos.  Continue reading

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The Letter From Santa: Sonia Boal

Looking for a new story to read with the kids? I always love a good Christmas story, and this year Sonia from Losing the Plot has an exciting new children’s book out, ready for the festive season:

The Letter From Santa

Santa is in his workshop at the North Pole, when suddenly he discovers a leak. 

In a land of ice and snow, this seem a bit odd. 

He and his chief Elf and Safety Rep (Jingles) go “up top” to investigate. 

But when they get onto the roof they discover something shocking that could spell the end of Christmas for everyone. Continue reading

Setting Up a New Bullet Journal in 2019

How to Start a Bullet Journal in 2019

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

Bullet Journals are a great tool for anyone who (like myself) have busy lives, being easily adaptable for tracking daily and future activities, goal-setting and organising your lifestyle with the use of bullet points instead of repeated lists and complicated organisers. Created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from New York, they have become an internet phenomenon over the last few years and I have developed a personal obsession – it has helped me to developed my own blogging and business strategies and activities, helped me to streamline my working day, become more organised in my personal life, and I can’t get through my week without it. 

For more information about the Bullet Journal system, here’s the official website.

While they were initially designed to be purely simple and functional, I have seen the development and creativity of different layouts (or ‘spreads,’ as they are known) become increasingly more exciting and detailed, with trackers and overviews now being adapted for every possible activity. However, the beauty and effectiveness of using a Bullet Journal means that spreads can be as easy or as complicated as the creator decides and they can be customised to suit every individual need.  To date, there isn’t a diary, notebook or journal available on the market that is suitable for the sort of trackers I use, so it’s easier to create my own. I also find the process enormously therapeutic and fun! Continue reading

Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Visiting Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Whenever I go to London I always research interesting ideas on Pinterest  for places to visit and experience as I find that tips from locals are always much more useful than some of the bigger travel guides. During every search there is always one thing that appears repeatedly: Peggy Porschen Cakes ‘Parlour’, an Instagram haven with a pastel pink frontage, adorned with gorgeous floral displays that change throughout the year. 

Opened in 2010 by award winning cake designer, author and Creative Director Peggy Porschen and her husband, the bakery is situated in Belgravia, and I discovered that it was in the vicinity of the station I was travelling from on Monday, so I decided to take a little detour and treat myself to a cupcake (for breakfast – why not!). Continue reading

RIP Stan Lee

I think it goes without saying that the world lost an icon on Monday with the passing of Stan Lee. His characters have always been a huge part of The Bloke’s life (as an avid comic collector), and the film adaptations that have developed into the Marvel Universe Hollywood blockbusters have defined parts of our lives together and provided us with some of our happiest memories. He will be hugely missed… RIP Stan Lee.

 

London, Airbnb and Wicked

It’s been a surprisingly beautiful day and The Bloke and I have just been on a train to London. We were really lucky with the seats, it was quiet and we had a really nice chat with a Ugandan-Canadian girl who is studying at uni here. It’s always interesting to meet new people – she told us about her education in Uganda and her plans to go into robotics, used words like ‘hella’ and ‘legit’ and told me I had a baby face. 

Bonus points for her then… Continue reading

All Change

I live in a row of terraced houses in a suburb of Birmingham with a set of neighbours on each side in the connecting properties. We’ve lived in this particular house for about 3 1/2 years, and while the residents have changed numerous times in the house to the left (which is a rental property like ours), the ones to the right have always been a nice couple that we’ve had a good relationship with.

The biggest problem with terraced housing is that the walls are often paper thin, meaning that even a basic conversation can be heard next door. A year ago I had a little rant about how noisy the new neighbours were – from the evening they moved in the music was cranked up and the parties started, but after having a conversation with one of the tenants he appeared with a bunch of flowers, an apology and his phone number with the instruction to text if they were being too loud. Continue reading

Home Alone

Today I found myself in a rather unusual situation. 

I have the whole house to myself. For the whole weekend.

I am officially home alone for three days. 

The Bloke is away on a course with one of his favourite photographers in Manchester. The course and walk-round session on Saturday takes up most of the day, so he is staying in a hotel the night before and after. He’s nervous, but I’m incredibly proud of him for putting himself in a situation that I know makes him hugely uncomfortable – he doubts his abilities as a photographer (despite the fact that his photographs are fabulous) and I’m hoping that it will prove to be a huge confidence boost and a great opportunity to meet some new people. Continue reading

Reconnecting

2018 has been quite a mixed year for blogging, so I took a little break for a little while. However, I’ve started to develop my posting schedule, have suddenly found myself with a whole list of content ideas and was quickly reminded of the sheer joy it brings and just how much I missed it. I also miss the connections that I have with some of my online friends and their posts… 

During October a number of my writer friends start to plan for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with the goal being to write 50,000 words. To coincide with this, I’ve set myself the challenge of participating in my own little National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) but on my own terms and will be posting every single day for the entirety of November.  Continue reading

The Vows I SHOULD Have Said at my Wedding

A year ago today, I put on a big, poofy dress and walked down the aisle in front of our family and closest friends, given away by my mother to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’ Now, when I say ‘walk,’ imagine the kick-line of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders (if the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders had overdone it on the cheesecake and hadn’t properly exercised in years) – my dress was so massive and poofy that I was desperately trying not to fall on my face, so I chose kick the bottom of the dress out of the way instead.

What can I say – I like to keep it classy. 

The Bloke looked all dashing and handsome in his suit, we said our vows, the registrar made a joke about triplets (don’t ask), and then we took the photos, ate the food, cut the cake, danced a bit, talked a lot and generally had a rather knackering (but wonderful) day.  Continue reading