Goodbye January, Hello February…

It feels a little surreal to be writing my  January update post so soon, but this has honestly been one of the quickest months of my life. It only seems like last weekend we were celebrating the New Year at Orchardleigh Estate with some of our closest friends.

So much has happened in such a short space of time, so here’s a little update…

Little life update: January 2017, white writing and a sunset at Lepe Beach

Starting my new job

After almost 18 months working in social media for a property company, I started the next chapter of my career and I am now an online marketing assistant at a digital agency. It was really sad to leave my colleagues at my old job and they bought me the most thoughtful leaving presents including the most gorgeous bunch of flowers and some bareMinerals lip sticks (one of my favourite brands in the whole world)!

I’m really enjoying learning new aspects of digital marketing and the team are lovely. I’m feeling so positive about the year ahead and January was the perfect time to start a new job, make new goals and plan for the future. Plus, my work-life balance has improved with working less hours and the fact I am still based in the centre of town means I can meet my amazing friend Sarah from Digital Motherhood on my lunch breaks (yay!).

Online learning

Last year I completed an online diploma in Social Media Marketing with Shaw Academy, and this month I started another in Digital Marketing. The beauty of it is, you can attend the webinars online in real time and you can also catch up with the videos on demand. There are two sessions a week and an assignment, before an online test at the end. I’ve learnt about so many different tools and terms relating to the online world and I really benefit from this style of learning, so can fully recommend them!

Top Tip: If you like their Facebook page, you can quite often get discounted (even free) courses (you just have to pay for the assignment in some cases) in something which interests you. For example you can do courses on everything from Nutrition to Beauty and Photography. Thanks for recommending Sarah!

heart on a beach near the shore

Spending time outdoors

My boyfriend Alex, bought me a step counter for Christmas and the accompanying Jawbone app is so addictive! It gives you little motivational notifications and I’ve enjoyed watching the steps increase. As well as hitting the gym and playing netball, we’ve been on a few lovely walks already this year.

Everyone who works a 9-5 job will know that during the week in winter, we rarely see daylight, unless we venture out into the miserable grey weather on our lunch hour. To combat this negativity, I’ve been making the most of each weekend and heading out on a walk. My most recent mini adventure was to Portland Bill Lighthouse, and I’ve also enjoyed family walks down the beach and along the river.

Giving up crisps

Yep. It’s official, for the second time in my 24 years on this planet, I’ve actually survived the whole of January without eating a packet of crisps. I’ve had a few ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ moments when I’ve come face to face with Monster Munch, Doritos and Hula Hoops at the supermarket, but I’ve not given in. Whether this is the placebo effect or not, I genuinely feel more alert because of it.

Alex has challenged me to give up ketchup for February (this is a huge deal. I took a bottle of Heinz on holiday once, just in case they didn’t have any in the hotel). I am seriously considering this, given that February is the shortest month (hehehe) and it wouldn’t hurt to avoid the sugar – watch this space!

Sunset, Lepe Beach, fields and lookout

Being more open-minded when it comes to watching TV/films

Whenever Alex asks what I’d like to watch on TV, he will tell you that 9/10 times my response is ‘anything as long as it’s funny’. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to depress myself/give myself nightmares with scary/sad films when I just want to chill out. Although if you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I’ve been broadening my horizons and watching space films. If you get me started, I’ll keep you up all night with questions and theories about the universe, the unknown and beyond is just so fascinating!

We’ve also just finished Walking the Americas with Levison Wood. Levison is a modern day explorer who has also gone on exciting, yet dangerous exhibitions along The Nile and in The Himalayas. I definitely recommend!

So what’s in store for February?

I love making plans and already have some super fun things lined up! This weekend, I am heading to London to see my best friend from university for a girly Saturday exploring, no doubt shopping and most definitely to drink some cocktails. On Sunday I’m meeting my netball girls to go and watch the England netball team play Australia (this will be amazing!).

Next weekend is my brother’s birthday, so we are planning on visiting him for a day and evening of celebrations. Then later in the month we are seeing Sue Perkins (from Mel and Sue!) with my family.

Finally, I’m hoping to keep my ‘summer bodies are made in winter’ commitment going with a few games of badminton, netball and the gym.

I really enjoyed writing my January update and taking a look back on the past month. So I’m really looking forward to making it a regular thing this year! Thanks so much for reading…

What are your January highlights? Do you have anything fun in store for February? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.

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83 Things to Do on a Rainy Day

All week we look forward to the weekend and sometimes it can be a complete wash out thanks to the typical British weather! So I’ve put together a list of 83 things to do on a rainy day to give you a little inspiration… :).

Rain drops on a window, things to do on a rainy day

Of course, I’m writing this post on a grey and miserable Sunday in January, but it turns out this was actually a lot of fun, so already I’m winning…

  1. Catch up with your favourite YouTubers
  2. Record a video yourself
  3. Bake a cake – mmmmm!
  4. Declutter your wardrobe
  5. Donate some things to charity
  6. Try out a new makeup look
  7. Get organised for the week ahead
  8. Paint your nails, perhaps even some nail art
  9. Write a letter to a friend or family member
  10. Upcycle some furniture
  11. Print off your photos and pop them in an album
  12. Make a birthday card for your friend
  13. A spot of online shopping
  14. Skype a friend in another country
  15. Get ahead with your blog (if you’re a blogger of course – if not, why not start a blog?)
  16. Binge watch a boxset (like you need an excuse?)
  17. Book a day out or finally investigate that holiday you’ve been planning!
  18. Dig out your old video games
  19. Write a bucket list and research your next adventure
  20. Go out for a pub lunch
  21. Head to the cinema
  22. Go bowling
  23. Play some board games
  24. Check out a nearby waterpark (if you’re gonna get wet, it may as well be while you’re having fun)!
  25. Book a badminton or squash court with your friends
  26. Rearrange your bedroom furniture
  27. Give yourself a pamper, from head to toe. Think face masks, exfoliation and all the moisturising possible
  28. Practise a new hair style
  29. Go to a snooker hall
  30. Go for a drive, you don’t have to get out the car, but sometimes it’s nice just to listen to some music and drive along the coast or through the forest
  31. Start an online course (there’s so many deals and free ones out there! If you love learning new things, this is an exciting thing to do!)
  32. Make some music playlists, I’m thinking Disney, 00s and a chill out mix
  33. Clear your purse of all its receipts (boring but strangely therapeutic)
  34. Try some yoga
  35. Start a scrap book of your adventures
  36. Paint some pottery
  37. Bring your LinkedIn profile up to date (your future self will thank you!)
  38. Go to the driving range – you’ll be under cover and it’s surprisingly fun to hit some balls!
  39. Go and visit a pet store, just think of the cutie little bunny rabbits
  40. Invite some friends over to hang out
  41. Cook a new recipe for your family
  42. Do a puzzle
  43. Read a book or buy a magazine to catch up on the latest celeb gossip
  44. Download a new game for your phone or tablet
  45. In fact, download the Cooking Fever app (you’ll thank me later)
  46. Register all your loyalty cards cramming your purse and discover just how many treats you can buy with your points
  47. Plan a party for another weekend
  48. Visit a spa
  49. Go and get your hair/nails/eyebrows done
  50. Drive to a nearby town/city to go shopping somewhere different to your usual shopping centre
  51. Spend your 2ps in the arcade
  52. Grab your trainers and go to laser quest
  53. Clean your makeup brushes
  54. Start watching Friends from the beginning
  55. Find your old dance mat
  56. Challenge someone to a race on Mario Kart
  57. Make some deliciously healthy meals for the week ahead
  58. Do a social media cleanse (remove people who bring negativity to your feed, and unfollow those hundreds of club promoters who send you daily notifications)
  59. Practise a musical instrument (if you have one!)
  60. Burn some calories at a trampoline park
  61. Do some arts and crafts
  62. Colour a few pages in your colouring book
  63. Try some brain puzzles or Sudoku
  64. Search the internet for some new YouTubers to fall in love with
  65. Create an indoor herb garden
  66. Go to an aquarium
  67. Give indoor rock climbing a go
  68. Make a collage with your concert/show tickets (this would look super cool on your bedroom/office wall)
  69. Go to the Sporcle website and try a few quizzes
  70. Join in with a game of bingo (it’s actually so much fun)
  71. Watch a documentary on Channel 4 – they’re the best/quirkiest
  72. Write a poem or a story
  73. Look on Groupon or Table Pouncer for a seriously tasty afternoon tea deal/voucher
  74. Do a workout DVD
  75. Sell some things on eBay or Gum Tree
  76. Relax in the bath with a bubble bar or bomb
  77. Do a crossword
  78. Go out and buy a new board game
  79. Wrap up warm and go ice skating at an indoor rink
  80. Dip your toes in culture and visit a museum
  81. Round up your pals and go go-karting
  82. If you know the rain is coming in advance, you could book into an adult’s playzone (they really do exist!)
  83. Investigate some exciting plans for when the sun actually does shine. Read all about our visit to Portland Bill Lighthouse, when we made the most of the blue skies and dry weather.

I hope this has given you some inspiration when it comes to fun things to do on a rainy day. If you have any ideas to add, please let me know in the comments and I can extend the list and give you credit :).

XO

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My Blog Featured in Aimee Raindrop Writes’ Blogger Series!

Hi Everyone! 🙂

I am so excited and extremely grateful to be writing this post…

A little while ago the lovely Aimee from Aimee Raindrop Writes asked me to be a part of her blogger interview series for 2016.

Obviously I said yes because it sounded like such a fun opportunity and I am delighted to have been featured on another blog – I know how hard everyone works to create amazing content, so I feel privileged!

What’s more, Aimee’s questions allowed me to take a step back and think about blogging for what it actually is, why I started it and what it means to me.

To read all my answers pop over to Aimee Raindrop Writes and if you like discovering new bloggers, make sure you check out Aimee’s full blogger interview series too – enjoy!

Finally, I owe a huge thank you to Aimee in general, because if you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that Aimee is super supportive! She comments on lots of my posts and likes loads of my tweets/Instagram pictures (in fact a notification popped up as I was writing this) – so thank you my lovely! xo

Aimee Raindrop Writes

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Frieda’s Afternoon Tea Bus

This post is a yummy one…

I recently spent the afternoon with two of my best friends in the world, on a Frieda’s Tearoom bus, travelling along the Bournemouth coastline while enjoying a delicious afternoon tea!

Frieda's Tea Bus

Everything from the decor to the service was just lovely and once we’d taken our seats upstairs on the bus, we didn’t know where to start with the heavenly spread laid out in front of us!

From macaroons to sandwiches, cakes and scones we were in for a treat and it took us a little while to decide where to start.

The girls were so thoughtful in planning ahead to definitely make sure that Frieda and the team know that I am vegetarian.

Of course, being on a moving bus means that we had to be extra careful with our orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate. Luckily we avoided spillages as our hot drinks were served in these coffee cups and there were cup holders in the tables – every tiny detail had been thought about 🙂

Afternoon Tea

Coffee Cup

We hopped on the bus at Bournemouth pier and the journey took us along the cliff top to Hengistbury Head.

Our driver was also a knowledgeable guide and told us things about the coastline we never even knew, despite growing up in the local area!

We were so lucky with the weather and our afternoon was blessed by some glorious Autumnal sunshine!

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Frieda's Tea BusFrieda's Tea Bus

We certainly polished off our plates, but who could really blame us?! The scones were my highlight, a classic for afternoon tea 🙂

Thanks so much again to the both of you, it was an unforgettable birthday present!

Have you spotted Frieda’s afternoon tea bus in Bournemouth? Do you have a tea bus where you live?

Let me know! I’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

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