My goals for 2018

Redo our bathroom
To put it bluntly, we have run out of money for our house. We ran out of money about three weeks into this two year project! Thankfully we managed to completely revamp and finish our kitchen and living room. So our goal for the upcoming year is to rip out our bathroom and start from scratch. I hate it. The shower is so weak, the bath never looks clean, it has a weird wooden dropped ceiling  and we lack any type of floor. We're giving us until the summer/early autumn to save - and pay off the house credit card -  and then hopefully the refit will be completed by Christmas! We've got someone coming round to give us a cost this week so we know exactly how much we need to save.

Get my savings mojo back
I saved for a house and then in rebellion, turned into the worst person ever when it came to keeping money in my bank account. 2019 sees my friendship group all turn 30 as we have had a plan for the past five years to go to Las Vegas. This will obviously not be cheap! Connor and I also want to visit our friends who have moved to Malaysia to teach. We missed them this year but hopefully they're staying for a second year. Then why not try and tag Singapore onto the end of the trip as it's only an hour plane journey away? I would also like to continue our anniversary tradition and go away for a few days to celebrate. 2019 has the potential to be an epic year for travel - as long as 2018 Sophie gets her savings mojo back.

Get a hold on my finances again
My finances are atrocious. Considering 2017 was suppose to be the year that I became sensible, they seem to have gotten worse. My credit card bill makes me slightly nervous and I run out of money about one week into my wage packet. I need to get my finances in gear if I'm going to have a cracking 30th birthday year. I'm going to start selling much more on eBay, start bringing my lunch into work every day religiously  and only buy things I truly love.

Start using my cookbooks
I have a ridiculous number of cookbooks. Over 130 to be exact. Sickening I know. I love to flick through them, turn the pages over of things I want to make and make a mental list that I'll try it out at the weekend. Then I never do... Now I'm living in my own house and in charge of my weekly shop, I want to try out new recipes and become much more adventurous. I get in pretty late each nights at around 7.45 so I want to prefect those quick, simple yet delicious recipes so I don't just eat Spag Bol and Fajitas every single night. 

Read 15 books
I managed to read eight books in 2017 which to some isn't much at all but it was a great improvement to the three in 2016. This year I want to hit 15 books. I've got a beach holiday coming up which I'm hoping will provide the perfect opportunity to relax with my nose in a book. I'm also hoping to get back in the habit of reading during my commute, I kinda fell off the wagon in December thanks to feeling slightly hungover most mornings...

Stay in more
Finally 2018 will be the year of hermit Sophie. I really want to enjoy our house this year and I can't if  I'm never at home. We entertained friends and family from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day and although at time I wanted to pull my hair out, I absolutely loved it. I've always wanted a house that people feel at home in and pop in without a second thought. I'd like to organise a few more soirées instead of going to the pub on a Saturday night.

2017 goals: how did I get on?

That's it. We're now in 2018. As I do every year, I set myself some goals for 2017. Here's how I got on...

1. Read more books
I set myself a goal of reading ten books in order to get back into regular reading. I didn't hit this but I did manage to read eight books which I didn't think was too bad going. I've got a blog post coming up articulating my thoughts on the books I managed to read.

2. See the world
I knew that I wouldn't be able to venture outside Europe this year due to buying a house but I had some amazing trips. I know I harp on about this all the time, but we really are so much to have a diverse, vibrant and bloody great continent on our doorstep. I managed to take a trip over to Ireland to see family, visited the South of France on a girls trip to see Elodie, take an incredible two week trip touring Poland, show Paris to my mum and travel to Cardiff for Gem's wedding. Not bad for a year I was supposed to 'take it easy'.

3. Look after myself from the inside out
This didn't really get started. I started off with good intentions and now? I feel like I'm two steps away from a burn out. December was ridiculously busy and I'm suffering now. I've mentioned that I'm looking to take a step back and with this,  I'm hoping I can start putting self-care at the top of my list. It's a work in progress right?

4. Pay of my credit card.
LOL. This did not happen in the slightest. If anything, it's gotten worse. But it is still manageable and I've got every intention to start reducing it as soon as possible. I'm hoping to stay in more this year, so the money I usually use to go out will hopefully be used to pay it off. I'm off to New York in March and want to have cleared a big chunk off it by then. Just in case I see anything I like!

Thoughts on 2017

Hello? Yes I'm still alive! I fell off the radar a little this month thanks to a broken camera, moving house and a broken MacBook. But my camera is in the repair shop, I was lucky enough to get a shiny new MacBook for Christmas and now I'm all moved in. December has been one hell of a month and I'm slightly glad to see the back of it and finally get settled into a routine.

I'm still scratching my head at the fact we're nearing the end of 2017. As years go, 2017 was a lot better than 2016 which I was very glad to see the back of. As most people say, I'm not quite sure how we got here. It's been a funny old year and one that's been a bit of a rollercoaster. A lot of things have been going on behind the scenes but it's been full of not only lots of tears but also lots of laughs. I feel like I've hardly stopped and life has been an unbelievable whirlwind. Life is whizzing past and I feel like I can't find the handbreak to make it slow down.

Since March, the whole year has been all about getting our house ready. It's been a long hard slog and at times I wanted to ask if I could please give it back. But it all came to head on December 1st as we finally moved in. It's beginning to thankfully resemble a home now rather than a building site. It still has a very long way to go but I feel like there is now a light at the end of a tunnel. I don't think I quite realised just how hard it would be or how sad I would be at moving out from my parents house. I came home once and cried to Connor about how I didn't want to live with him anymore after I had been back to collect some things. I just felt so overwhelmed at the situation and homesick for the home I'd spent 28 years of my life now. But now those feelings are subsiding, it still feels sad but I get so excited to come home after a day at work and do mundane things such as food shopping and re-arranging the cushions on the sofa. I'm looking forward to things quieting down and really enjoy the house as I feel like we've hardly had time to enjoy it thanks to the festive period.

As I enter the last year of my 20s, I feel so content and at peace with my life. I don't think I've ever been happier if I'm honest. Sure it would be nice to have more disposable income, to travel the world more, to lose a bit of weight and live in a house that doesn't see you covered in dust after an hour. But I'm lucky enjoy to do a job that I love, have seen places that other people only dream about,  able to eat three meals a day when some struggle to put food on the table and get on the property ladder by the age of 30. We had around 16 friends round on Christmas Eve and as I looked around, after about 1/2 bottle of gin, I felt so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives. People who have stuck around for the past 12 years through thick and thin. Life is really about who you spend it with, not what you spend it with.

I also like to thank each and every one of you who read this little ramble on the internet. I feel like I've neglected this space this year and I haven't giving it the attention it deserves. I've often thought about pulling the plug but somehow I keep getting drawn back. It's the friendships I've made, the cheerleaders who I've never met and the community that keeps on giving that make me come back for me. Thank you. Thank you very much.  I feel like I've got some of my fire back so expect much more as we roll into next year.

I'm excited to enter 2018. We have some amazing holidays to look forward too, three weddings to enjoy, the honour of being Maid of Honour for my sister-in-law, the fun of living a two-minute walk from our best friends and a two-bedroom terraced house (that still blows my mind) to enjoy.

I'm ready for you 2018. Show me what you got.

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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