Tuesday, 31 May 2016

34 Things...

As my 34th (yes, really. I know, I look about 15) birthday approaches, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what I’ve done since my 33rd birthday and to be honest, not much has changed.  Yes, I am now minus a boyfriend (good riddance btw) but apart from that, not a lot has changed.   I’ve decided this will be a year of change. Probably nothing too major (not planning a whirlwind romance followed by a wedding and babies, but who knows) but lots of little things that I’d like to do or achieve before I’m slap bang in the middle of my 30s (yikes!).

1.       Blog. Blog. Blog.  I’ve already spoke how this is my return to blogging after a year off. I really want to make a flipping good go of is this time.  I want to put at least two blog posts up at week, more if possible.
2.       Exercise. Not too lose weight (although a few pounds shed wouldn’t be the worst thing!) but just to get my fitness up, and get those endorphins going!
3.       Meet new people.  I love my friends to death, and wouldn’t change them for anything.  But I’d love meet some fellow bloggers and get to know them more.
4.       Find a new job.  I know in the current climate I’m lucky to have a job. But after over eight years doing the same thing, I’d like a change.
5.       Change my hair.  I’ll probably chicken out of anything too dramatic, but after having long mid-brown hair with varying ombres and highlights forever, I think it’s time to change it up a bit.
6.       Keep my wardrobe organised. I have actually got a lot better at this, but I could still have less of a ‘floordrobe’.

7.       Go abroad.  I’ve not visited another country since 2009 (well, apart from Scotland!!) so I think a holiday in the sun is LONG overdue.
8.       Update passport. So I can complete #7
9.       Rehydrate. I go through phases of drinking enough water, but some days I barely drink a glass.
10.   Use a diary/planner. I buy them, use them for about a month then they get lost in the depths of my handbag never to be seen again.
11.   Control my finances. I got into a bit of a mess with money a while back (don’t do it kids!) and while I’m back on track now, I still could rein my spending in a lot more.
12.   Go on a date.  After ending a long-term relationship recently, I don’t want another relationship any time soon. But the odd date here and there won’t harm I’m sure.
13.   Spend more time with my friends. We all have super busy lives. Some have families. Others live far away. I wish we could see each other more and I’m going to make it happen.
14.   Watch more TV. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime but don’t use them enough. Leave me suggestions of things to watch!
15.   Remember people’s birthdays! I’m fine with friends and family I see often, not so much with others who live further away. #10 would help with this…!
16.   Always have stamps.  This will help with #15.
17.   Learn how to use Excel. I keep looking at office/admin type jobs. Having never used Excel, this may be a problem. Online course here I come!

18.   Finish more books. I buy/download them. But get half way though and move onto something else. This needs to stop.
19.   Try new foods. I’m the words fussiest eater. Well, after my Mam. I need to branch out and try new things.
20.   See more shows. London’s a bit of trek but so many shows are touring nowadays so there’s no excuse not to see as many as possible.
21.   See more of the UK. As much as I want to go abroad, we have some fantastic cities, seaside resorts and countryside villages here and I’d like to see as much of it as possible.
22.   Spend more time outdoors. And no, the high-street doesn’t count!
23.   Go Ape. We did this for my 30th and despite being terrified, I loved it! I said back than I’d do it again and I think it may be time to arrange it.
24.   Stop caring about what others think. Self-explanatory
25.   Bake more. I make a good chocolate cake, but I should really branch out a bit more and make some of the amazing things I’ve pinned on Pinterest.
26.   Take more photos. I used to take so many photos, particularly on nights out. Now my friends and I get together less, I really should start documenting these rare occasions more.
27.   Be more organised. I’m not messy, just untidy. I really need to clear out my clutter and invest in some better storage.

28.   Find the perfect pair of jeans. Do they even exist?
29.   Find the perfect red lipstick. Ditto.
30.   Cook more. So I can make all the food I try at #19
31.   Learn to swim. Yes, I’m 33 years old and cannot swim. I’m a terrible person, I know.
32.   Make every day more fun. Even the really crap ones. There should always be something in your day to make you smile. Even just a little one.
33.   Discover a new music.  Nothing will change my love for Take That (fan since ’92 here!) but I want to branch out and listen to new things too.
34.   And lastly, just have fun! Being newly single has given me a new outlook on life and a chance at a fresh start, and I don’t intend to waste it!

Oh, and my birthday's on Saturday if you were wondering! xx

Sunday, 29 May 2016

A few days in Liverpool

Earlier this month, me and my Mam had our first-ever Mother-Daughter trip away. After a difficult couple of months for both of us, we felt it was about time we went away together. After lots of deliberation we decided on Liverpool and found a great deal with a local coach company; return travel and 2 nights in a hotel for £99 each. Bargain! The weeks zoomed by and before we knew it we were sat at the bus station waiting to go. It was the first time I’d travelled by coach in a long time, as most trips in recent years have involved travelling by train, and I was a bit worried it’d take forever. But after a few more pick-ups en route we were soon heading down the motorway and, even with a stop at a service station for a food/loo break we were still there by around 2pm, just in time for check in.   After a quick freshen up in our room, we were ready to explore the city.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Our first stop was the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, just down the road from our hotel. This was once place Mam was insistent on visiting.   The present Cathedral was built in 1962 and is the largest Catholic Cathedral in England.  I’m not religious at all, but I was completely blown away by this place. I mean, it looks pretty impressive from the outside, but inside… just wow. It’s just incredible.  It’s impossible to not be in awe. The huge stained glass windows let in LOADS of natural light, and the colours mean the whole place looks different from different angles, depending where you are stood. The photos I took do not do it justice.  It’s hard to believe the place is over 50 years old; if you’d told me it was built within the last 10 years I’d totally believe you.

Attempt at a Panoranic shot!

Slightly tipsy here!

Next up was a trip to the theatre. While planning our trip, we realised The Bodyguard was on while we were there. Having missed out when it was here in the North East, it was only right we booked to see it while we were away. If you get chance to see this show…. DO IT!! It was amazing! Alexandra Burke’s voice is out of this world! The show had us gripped from start to finish, and I was dancing in my seat all the way through! I was relieved at the encore when everyone got up and was singing and dancing, and if I’m honest I could have happily watched the show all over again! When the show was over, we waited outside the stage door and had our photos taken with the cast; including The Bodyguard himself (who was Irish and VERY cute!) and also Alexandra Burke, who was on voice rest so wasn’t actually able to chat to any of us! She was allowed to sign autographs and have photos, but could only mouth “thank you” when I told her how amazing I thought she was. 

Alexandra Burke.... total babe!

Final room at the Beatles Story

Day two started with a trip to the Beatles Story… which as the name suggests, tells the story of The Beatles (doh!) from their school days right through to the formation of the band, Beatlemania and their careers post-Beatles. As you enter, you’re given some headphones and what looks like a mobile phone which features John Lennon’s sister narrating the story as you walk around.  A great idea, except mine didn’t work, and I had to go back to the desk 3 or 4 times to get some help. In the end, the poor girl one the desk gave me a stick to reset my machine if it happened again! Luckily it worked, and we could finally work our way round the museum. 

The highlights of our shopping!!
After a pit stop for a cuppa (you HAVE to try Hotel Chocolat’s Salted Caramel hot chocolate…. Oh my days, it’s amazing!!) it was time to do some shopping.  One of the main things I wanted to buy was a Jo Malone perfume. I’d wanted one for AGES but was never sure what to go for; I always found the rows of identical bottles quite intimidating and would leave empty handed.  The lovely guy in the shop helped me choose my fragrance and was extremely patient as I was deliberating between them all. In the end I went for Mimosa & Cardamom and it’s all I’ve wore ever since. I decided to treat my Mam to one too, and she ended up copying me and getting the same one!  I also added to my Mac eyeshadow collection, and bought a few bits and pieces from Wallis.  I’m really into Wallis at the moment and think it’s quite underrated. They have some great basics and always seems to have a 25% offer on.  Definitely worth a look! 

Mmmm cocktails!

That evening, I got to try out some of my new makeup, and wore my new top, and we went out for some cocktails.  If you’re ever in Liverpool, I’d highly recommend the Smugglers Cove on the Albert Docks.  They seem to have the perfect balance between a super-strong cocktail, and the ones that just taste like juice; quite a hard task if you ask me.  They tasted good, but definitely had a good old kick, and I certainly felt the effects as we walked back to our hotel!

Our last day didn’t really give us time to do much; our coach was leaving at 2pm so there was only really time for one last walk around the shops before grabbing some lunch and then get back to the hotel ready for our journey home. We’d definitely packed a lot into our short break and were absolutely shattered the next day.  But we had a brilliant time and are already looking forward to another trip to what is one of my favourite cities!

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