30 things to do in my 30th year


Now I totally stole this from my BFF but I thought it was such a good idea! It can be little things you've always wanted to do but never got round to or it can be something big that you finally want to tick off your list. Connor and I both turn 30 in the same year so we decided to put our heads together and come up with a joint list with some things we can also do together. I've cheated on a few things as I have already booked them so I know I'm going to definitely tick them off but they've been on my bucket list for years.

1. Learn how to cook 52 new recipes.
This is my New Years resolution and I'm already three new recipes down so it is going well so far!

2. See the sun rise over the Grand Canyon.
We head out to Vegas in April and have booked an overnight trip at the Grand Canyon, where our lodge is only a ten minute walk away. You can bet I'll be waking everyone up at 4.30am to see the sun rise!

3.  Try Guinness in Ireland
We're heading over to Dublin to celebrate Connor's birthday in the summer. I've had Guinness in Belfast and Derry and much preferred it to drinking it here in England. But I've heard it's even better in Dublin!

4. Go to the cinema at least twice a month
We both have unlimited Cineworld cards but have neglected them recently as we've become a bit lazy. We only need to go twice a month to make them worthwhile. We both really enjoy the cinema but have just fallen out of the habit recently.

5. See the seals in Norfolk
For the last two years I've wanted to head up to Horsey to see the seal pups at Christmas time. But time always runs away with me and we never quite make it. But this year I want to tick it off the list!

6.  Go see a Shakespeare at The Globe theatre
I've been wanting to see a play the the Globe for years. They do £10 ticket deals so I've decided that this is the year I'm finally going to do it.

7. Cook a three course meal for each other
I want to challenge myself in the kitchen this year and my boyfriend rather enjoys cooking too  so I'd love to go all out on two evenings and create a three course meal.

8. Go for a picnic in Epping Forest
We live 10-15 away from Epping Forest, an absolutely huge forest straddling the border between Essex and London. I remember spending a lot of time riding bikes here and wandering as a kid but I very rarely make it back as an adult. I'd love to take more advantage of it as its right on my doorstep.

9. Have a gin cocktail evening
Last year I was lucky enough to be gifted a Sipsmith Sipping Society membership. Every few months I got two exclusive flavoured bottles of gin with information on what to use them in. I haven't used them yet as I wanted to have the right ingredients to enjoy the cocktails. This year I want to finally taste them!

10. Visit a new country together
We're actually heading over to Malaysia in a few weeks to visit friends. We haven't made it to south-east Asia yet so very excited to tick it off our list!

11. Visit more of Essex
We're both Essex born and bred but we have hardly seen anything of the country. Being so close to London we always tend to head into town if we fancy a little adventure, but this year I want to explore someone closer to home.

12. Spent the day at the seaside
I have such a special spot for the British seaside and don't get down to the coast enough. I'd like to do it more this year!

13.  Do a UK road trip
We're always heading off on a plan and kinda forget what is on our doorstep. We have a wedding in the Cotswolds in June so looking forward to a little road trip in England.

14. Climb Monument
Monument is dedicated to the Great Fire of London and it's a landmark I've walked past more times than I can count. But I've never ventured to the top of it. This year I finally want to!

15. Have a trip away just us two
We spend a lot of time visiting friends or going away with friends that we very rarely just have a trip away with us two. It'll be nice just to have a few days enjoying each other's company!

16.  Go camping
We have a massive soft spot for camping and often try to go to Epping Forest. I'd love to get a couple of camping trips squeezed in this year.

17. Host a wine and cheese evening
Need I say more?

18. Read five books
I'd love to read more on my commute but more often than not sleep often takes priority. But this year I really want to start getting into the habit of picking up a book.

19. Have a drink at the top of the Shard
We've yet to make it to the top of the Shard as I really don't want to pay £25 for the privilege. But I would be more than willing to pay for an overpriced drink at the top. Go figure!

20.  Stay in a fancy hotel
Because we enjoy visiting lots of places, we always tend to stay in budget hotels or Airbnb's. I don't mind that at all as how often do you spend in a hotel room anyway? But I'd love to stay somewhere a little fancy this year. Luckily we have a pretty swish hotel planned for when we're in Langkawi.

21. Go to a football match
I love going to football matches and have grown up a West Ham fan. Although my boyfriend is a Man Utd fan, Manchester is a bit far to go for a match. So we're keen to see some football matches a bit closer to home.

22. Try a cuisine we've never tried before
We both love stuffing our faces and really enjoy trying food from all over the world. There's still quite a lot of cuisines we haven't tried yet.

23. Experience a sunset from somewhere new
Nothing quite makes you feel in awe of the world around us than watching the sun go down somewhere beautiful right?

24. Go on a bottomless boozy brunch together
We've been on numerous bottomless brushes but never just one with the two of us.

25. Visit a vineyard
I've never been to a vineyard before and it's been on my list forever. We're lucky to have a few within about a 90 minute drive from us. So I'd love to go for a weekend away and visit one.

26. Binge watch a TV show over a weekend
It's very rare that we have a whole weekend indoors with just ourselves. We either have people round or we have jobs to do. I want to spend one weekend binge watching something in our PJs with pizza!

27. Cook more vegetarian dishes
We love meat but we - or rather I -  want to try and cut down the amount of meat we eat. I would say I would love to help in environment but really I think it's because it will be cheaper. and I find once you take meat out of the equation that it really tests your cooking skills.

28.  See more live music
Back in our youth (ha!) we were obsessed with going to gigs. Throughout out late teens and early twenties we used to spend all our money on gigs and went all over London. When we first starting saving for a house around 3-4 years ago we stopped and have kinda fell out of the habit. This year we want to find that passion again! We've got Catfish and the Bottleman and Gerry Cinnamon booked so far.

29. Explore the different neighbourhoods of London
In my opinion, the best parts of London aren't the sights, although they're pretty special, it's the neighbourhoods that make up the capital. Each one is so different and we'd like to make more of an effort to visit them.

30. Send a postcard from every place I visit overseas
I read this on a travel blog recently and thought it was such a good idea. A fun way to have a souvenir from every place you visit.

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Thoughts on 2018


So that's it. Nearly another year over and I'm sure I'll speak for everyone when I say, didn't it just fly?! 2018 has been a funny old year. Politically it has been utter mayhem. It's made me feel frustrated, helpless, ashamed and angry. It's been heartbreaking to watch my country descend into something I don't quite understand or recognise. I'm more than a little terrified to see what it is going to be like in March. But as the U.K goes up in flames, what has it been like for me personally?

This year I've been given a lifeline and been able to work every other Friday from home. It's no lie to say that it has completely transformed my life. I have a three hour round trip commute everyday and it was starting to get me down. Even just working from home twice a month has meant that I have gotten my work/life balance back. I'm able to do more things with friends from home on Friday nights. I can spend more time getting ready for the weekend as I no longer have to rush home. I switch off around 6pm and am already in my house! I can have friends round for dinner and have time to cook a proper meal rather than getting a takeaway.

I've spent more time than ever in my house. 2018 marks a full year in which we have been paying a mortgage and living together. I've really cut down on going out and if I do, it's very much a local affair rather than trekking into London. We've hosted a whirlwind of BBQs, cheese and wine nights, World Cup parties and impromptu weekend drinks. Its become the home that I've always wanted to live in. It feels full of life and laughter, I love the fact that it's become a place where people feel at home. I secretly love coming home to full house. In fact it makes me feel a bit emotional thinking about all the happy memories we've already created over the past 12 months. I can't wait to create some more.

I've been on some incredible trips away with friends and feel like I've really cemented my friendships this year. A friend once said that friendships are like ATMs. You can keep drawing money out but at some point you have to replenish otherwise you're not going to get anything else out. Wise words! I've tried really hard to try and be a good friend this year. Sometimes I have fallen short and flaked out. But it's so true, the more you put into your friendships, the more you get out of them. They really do go both ways. They should never just be a one-way street. I feel so lucky to have such a great, tight knit group of friends. Especially here at home, where I've been friends with them for 12 years. I'm so excited to see our friendships go from strength to strength. Now they're all buying houses, it means we can pass the entertaining baton around! They just get me, I can totally be my awkward, opinionated, slightly hot-headed self and they just get it. I don't have to try to be someone I'm not.

It's not been a monumental year for achievements (unless you count not having our house reposessed) but it's has been a content year. Nothing extraordinary has happened but I have ended it feeling like it's been a good one. There's a lot to be said about being content with your lot. To not always think about if the grass is greener on the other side. I'm saying goodbye to my twenties in two weeks and I'm happy with how the last year of my 20s has ended. And I'm looking forward to the next decade.
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Restaurant review: Dominique Ansel, Victoria, London


Now I know Christmas is over and maybe I'm a bit behind the times with posting festive content, but Dominique Ansel still does afternoon tea all year round. With Sarah's birthday outing colliding with Elodie's flying visit earlier this month, we decided there wasn't a better way to kickstart December then stuffing our faces with cake. Located just as short walk from Victoria Station, Dominique Ansel is famous for the creation of the Cronut but that isn't all it has to offer. It's a great place to catch up over a fancy cake with the only problem choosing which one to get!





The afternoon tea is located in a gorgeous undercover garden terrace, available from Thursday to Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Like all traditional afternoon teas you'll be given a savoury selection, sweet selection, scones with cream and jam with as much tea as you can drink. But this is where the tradition ended. Instead of sandwiches, we were given cute savoury Christmas trees which were filled with delicious fillings, including salmon, egg salad, turkey and mushroom. Next up was the best tier, the sweet treats! The mince pie snowman was my favourite, in fact I had two! The stars were filled with a delicious cream and jam concoction for the scones.

Service was a little slow but I think that's because of the busy festive season. But they did let us have the table a lot longer than they originally said. We always gossip too much so it was an nice touch to not feel rushed. Priced at £42, it's one of the more expensive afternoon teas in London but it is worth it for something a little different. It was a great way to kickstart Christmas!




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