January was a long year.

Everyone always bangs on about January and how long is it, and yes, we all know January is a long month, blah blah blah. But this year January has hit me harder than ever before!

We celebrated Danny’s birthday on the 17th and it feels so long ago already. We had the best day. There’s actually nothing I love more than day drinking and eating with my best pal.

But payday was just so far away for so long and all plans for 2019 were being made all around me and bit by bit my wage was disappearing before it even hit my account.

Weddings are like buses aren’t they. A few years ago, 2015, I had 3 weddings to attend, and 2016, I had 2. The last few years, nothing. This year, boom, 3 weddings. Along with this, I also have 3 hen dos to attend. With the 3rd hen actually being for a wedding next year.

Whilst I’m obviously super excited about these events I can’t help but feel a bit sad that it means I probably won’t get a holiday with my boyfriend this year. Reasons are 2-fold: We’ve both got various weekends away for pre-wedding/wedding activities spread right across the summer. And therefore we’ve both got no money. I’m holding onto the thought of a cheeky last minute all-inclusive getaway somewhere but I’m not convinced.

I’m still fighting my depression. Some days I feel so full of life, and others I just want to curl up in a ball. I sleep deeply but I dream excessively so I wake up feeling exhausted. It’s becoming relentless!

One of the things I learnt in therapy is that anxiety is basically just a sense of not feeling yourself. Something I’m guilty of doing is putting myself out for others. Going way over where I need to go to ensure that the other person is happy and content. I always thought it was a good thing, and a great quality to have, however in exchange this can often mean that I am left uncomfortable or stressed as I’m trying too hard. Sounds ridiculous until you break it down. The summary is essentially to be more selfish.

So on that basis I’m dedicating February to self care. I’m going to make sure I eat well. I’m gonna try my best to get to the gym. I’m booked in to have my hair cut and coloured. And to have my nails done. I’ve got a new bra on it’s way, and I’ve just ordered some new make-up. I want to feel good for myself.

I’ve also been really enjoying reading to care for my mind, and I’m currently reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz. It’s a little bit dark, but I’m finding it interesting. (Any other book recommendations welcome!) I loved Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love. It made me feel normal. A reminder that nobody is perfect, we just don’t tell each other that.

The last thing i’m focusing on at the moment is de-cluttering. Following the Marie Kondo trend. Everyday I seem to find a few more things that I don’t need or that no longer “spark joy” and so I’m getting rid. At the moment “getting rid” just means putting them in the boot of my car…! So I actually need to make the effort to go to the charity shop to complete the transaction. I will have done this by the end of February.

The first weekend of March is hen do number 1, and to be honest I cannot wait. I’m excited to spend the weekend with my best friend and celebrating that she has found her forever.

Until then… xoxo

31

The fact that I’ve been 30 for over a year now and have just turned 31 is slightly alarming.  The year seems to have completely flown by but on reflection, a whole lot of stuff has happened.

IMG_1666

Sadly there’s been some lows. A close friend has been poorly, and of course my beautiful home town was the victim of a terrorist attack – the Manchester bombing. The combination of these events triggered several panic attacks, they just make you realise how precious life and health is.

Fortunately the lows have been outweighed with some highs! Lets talk holidays. My 30th year was kicked off in Barcelona, an absolutely brilliant birthday present from my very kind and generous boyfriend.

We booked a last minute trip to my parent’s Andalucian Villa in July, and then again in September accompanied with some friends.

We also then made it to Budapest in March. So definitely can’t complain with the travelling involved in my 30th year.

Other highlights include…

Buying a flat! On the 12th May 2017 the purchase of our flat completed. I’ve spent the last year putting our stamp on it, and genuinely look forward to coming home every day. Still a few things to do; one day I’ll be able to afford wardrobe doors, and you can never have too many house plants.

IMG_0873

I got a new job! After years of working in Customer Service and then in numbers and spreadsheets, I’m finally able to put my creative background into use in the marketing department. Am I earning the salary I thought I would be on at 31 – no. But am I going in the right direction – hopefully yes. Swings and roundabouts.

Went to some great gigs, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastadon, Deftones.

Also, in my education as a Manchester United fan, I made it to Wembley for the FA Cup Semi Final. A very entertaining day out!

So to summarise, it’s been a good year all in all.

What’s strange about being over 30 is that the things your mum told you you wouldn’t care about when you’re older are so true. Things I no longer care about are as follows:

  • What people think about me – if people don’t like me that’s fine, I probably don’t like them either 🙂
  • Conforming – don’t get me wrong, I like to follow the fashions etc, but it will always be my own version of them. I also wonder at what age I will stop dying my hair blue, or pink, or purple, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.
  • Gossip – most gossip I hear now my response tends to be an eye roll followed by a muttering of “grow up”.
  • Friendships dying out – my mum always told me friendships would grow apart, and I used to be so worried by it, but the friends you need stick around, I promise, don’t worry about the others.
  • Nights out – I’m all for a few pints, but if I’m not in bed by 12 I will turn into a pumpkin.
  • Fear of missing out – nope, just don’t get it anymore.

Things I do care about:

  • Honesty – deceitfulness and lying is just unacceptable.
  • Being happy – genuinely the overriding factor in anything, if it doesn’t make you happy don’t do it.
  • Cosy nights in – netflix and chill. G&T, duvet, sofa.
  • Having a handful of close, reliable friends – they’re the best.

So there we go. Cheers to being 31, and here’s to the next 12 months. xoxo

IMG_1257

 

 

 

 

 

10 reasons I needed these boots.

1. They’re shiny.

2. It’s Christmas.

3. They’re shiny.

4. It’s Christmas.

5. They’re shiny.

6. They were in the sale.

8. They’re shiny.

9. It’s Christmas.

10. They’re shiny.

I think I’ve justified it.

Did you ever have a pair of shoes when you were little that were dedicated for parties? Your party shoes? I have great memories of heading to Clarks with my mum and dad as a little’un, the shop assistant bringing out the strange contraption for measuring your feet (interestingly, John Lewis sell them here!) and then picking out my party shoes with great excitement.

This was basically my 30 year old version of that.

The most perfect shoes for the party season. Let me know if you agree.

You can check out the rest of Topshop’s metallic shoe range here! Boohoo also have a really good selection here.

Merry Christmas!

 

When Ruthie came to town.

Ruthie is my mother. She lives approximately 112 miles away in north Cumbria. After living in Manchester for 20+ years whilst myself and my brother were growing up she occasionally likes a day trip back down.

With Manchester absolutely booming on the penultimate Saturday before Christmas our first stop was to get a cup of tea somewhere we could sit down, which to be honest on any Saturday is a task. I had previously spent my last £14 on some ridiculous christmas tree decorations from Paperchase, featuring a unicorn and an avocado, so when picking these up discovered that the Paperchase cafe is a delightful little place. Loads of seats to choose from, but enough people in there to create a nice atmosphere. A gorgeous selection of Italian pastries- cannolis and sfogliatelle (as seen on this year’s bake off 😉) , and more! Super friendly man behind the counter, what more could you want!

img_1170

Strolling through St. Anne’s Square came the sounds of a men’s choir, to be met with the Northern Quarter Boys Choir – essentially a bunch of bearded hipsters singing everything from Wham’s Last Christmas to Spice Girls 2 Become 1! They were raising money for Christie’s and I’d love to know how much they raised – shout out to them for awesome entertainment!

img_1210

Next stop – Vapiano’s. Vapiano’s was always somewhere I used to go on my lunch break when I lived in London. One had opened just behind Topshop, at Oxford Circus when I worked there, and the novelty of it was just fab. For those of you who haven’t been – you are given a card – like a credit card – upon entry. You find any table, sit down, then head to a food station where you can pick what you want to eat. They make it fresh in front of you, and then you take it away to eat. You then pay for whatever is on your card on your way out. Perfect for groups of friends when it’s just a ‘mare to split the bill, as you all have you own cards. Can’t fault the food, or the atmosphere, and the best bit is you’re free to time things exactly how you want, with no pressure from wait staff. I’ve been 5 times in as many months, so I think that speaks volumes. I remember the Corn Exchange when it was full of shops – but the restaurant idea it’s now trying out is a much better use of it’s space.

Final stop was The Royal Exchange. For Guys and Dolls. I saw it in London back in 2005, with Ewan McGregor in it. However this is a new production. The musical is relocated to Harlem during its renaissance and celebrates the vibrancy of that era in Black America. It’s bold, colourful, and heartwarming. Also, the Royal Exchange is an amazingly compact theatre, and if you haven’t been I urge you to go.

So there we go. A delightfully Christmassy day out.

xoxo

Why do we have two bottles of soy sauce?

One of life’s great questions. Or just something that has bothered me for a few days. In a life so strictly organised I can’t understand how this has passed me by. But the evidence is there loud and clear for all to see; in the cupboard above the kettle, there are two open bottles of soy sauce.

I should introduce myself. I’m Harriet, and this year I’ve turned 30, and become a homeowner, and my organisational skills have peaked. I’m inquisitive (not nosey!), and I’m interested in everything. By day I’m trapped in a corporate world of spreadsheets and numbers and by night I’m counting the bottles of soy sauce in the cupboard.

In all seriousness, when I’m not re-organising the cupboards (something my boyfriend tells me I do way too much), I’m busy planning our next adventure. Whether it be to a new brunch spot in town, to a new European city, or just a night out with friends, I like to have an agenda.

I’m not very good at doing my make-up or doing my hair, but I absolutely love life. I’m not 100% sure what this blog will bring, but hopefully a bit of entertainment, inspiration and general nice-ness.

xoxo