2018: A Year in Review

26th January 2019

New York City Skyline from Top of the Rock

Hello. I’m back! After a late start to the year and over a month since my last post I finally feel like I’m ready to write up a post for you all. 2018 was a bit of a strange year in regards to my blog as I lost motivation, direction and purpose. It was just last week when I received an email for my hosting renewal that I was close to packing it all in and calling time on my little blog. After looking back at the effort I’ve put in over the past four years, I just couldn’t throw it away that easily. So I’m back, slogging it out because despite having a lull here and there, I need some kind of creative outlet in my life and this is it. The past couple of days I’ve had urges to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and just write something so here it is! Today I’m looking back on 2018 and what came out of it because reflection is great for growth.  

I got engaged

The biggest thing to happen in 2018 was definitely my engagement! Taking place at the top of the tallest building in one of the most amazing cities in the world, Adam made me a very happy woman on our incredible holiday to New York last February. Since then we’ve been planning for our special day which will take place in May next year – so far we’ve booked the venue, the catering, the photographer and I’ve bought my dress! I’m looking forward to much more planning this year and I just want to enjoy the whole process – No bridezilla here! Let me know if you would like to see any wedding posts in the coming months.

I took a step back from social media

2018 saw me take a step back from social media which is quite a big deal especially when the blogging industry requires you to market yourself and your blog across these specific platforms! With Facebook in particular, it became a love hate (mostly hate) relationship that I feel sparked some kind of anxiety within me making me compare myself to others and make me feel pressured to share every detail of my life. I hate how people (myself included previously) have become so reliant on Facebook that it is their main means of communication, wishing happy birthdays and sharing news/announcements and not interacting with people in real life. The amount of things I’ve missed since not logging into Facebook on the daily is unbelievable.

Since coming away from Facebook I feel much more productive now I’m not needlessly scrolling, mostly through meaningless nonsense! I didn’t pressure myself to post for the sake of ‘being active online’ and I’m much more selective with what I post now. The only social media I use on a daily basis now is Instagram Stories where I’ve become obsessed with renovation and home accounts. Some of my favourites being House of Hardwood and Rose, Renovation Wreck and Design by Adele.

I become house proud thanks to Mrs Hinch

Off the back of watching Instagram Stories, I came across Mrs Hinch who runs a home and cleaning account. Whilst I don’t agree with the amount of bulk buying she does, she has inspired me to get my shit together and feel house proud. Her little tips and her fun personality has somehow made cleaning enjoyable and made me want to declutter my whole house!

I travelled a lot by train

Aside from an incredible holiday to New York City, my travel plans in 2018 seen my main means of transport was via train. Despite many rail disruptions over the year, we were lucky to narrowly miss any big changes to our travel plans but alternative travel was put in place which I couldn’t fault. Travelling by train is so enjoyable, passing through our wonderful countryside and not having to worry about directions, traffic or getting tired – it’s also nice to have a little drink if you want to as well! We travelled to loads of places including Whitby, Liverpool, Blackpool, Manchester, London, Newcastle and York. A great way to save money on train tickets is to set up an alert on TheTrainLine website where you will be notified when tickets for your journey are the cheapest to purchase, click here for more information.

I found a better way to manage my money

In 2018 I decided to try and make my money go further, try saving and spend money on things that are important to me like travelling instead of things I simply don’t need. Adam and I have set up a few bank accounts to help us manage our money much better, for example we have a bills account, a food account and a joint savings account as well as our own personal accounts. I get paid weekly so each week I’ve started to split my money up into different accounts and giving myself a small amount as ‘pocket money’ for the week. Another good idea is to make a list (say 3 months) of the things you have coming up such as birthdays, holidays, events – anything that you will need a little extra money for and distribute your money accordingly. By planning ahead and separating my accounts up I’m able to manage my money so much better than before.

My main goals for 2019 are to be happy, healthy and to continue to lower my phone usage in exchange for living in the moment! What are your goals for 2019?