Sunday, 29 July 2018

Five Things I Did In July

It seems like ten minutes ago that I was writing my June roundup, yet here I am writing my July one so I guess July happened in that ten minutes? Here in the UK the weather has been glorious all month aside from a few thunderstorms in the past couple of days; I know it's sometimes a little too hot and people hate it, but personally I'm absolutely living for it. The sunshine makes such a difference to my mood and attitude and although I'm a little sad for my struggling garden, I'd love it to stick around for August too. Anyway, here's what I got up to in July:

I went to my third Blog At The Beach event. Blog At The Beach is a bi-annual blogger event run by Ice Lolly and they really know how to throw a good event. This time coincided with the England World Cup quarter-final, which they showed on a big screen and it really added to the holiday atmosphere. I got to see some of my favourite blogging pals (Ashton, Rachel and Vix to name a few), meet some new faces and drink cider in the sunshine.

I got a new car. Sadly, at the beginning of the month, my car died (well, it spectacularly failed it's MOT and I was informed I could pay a lot to have it fixed, but it would probably fall apart in the next year). I was very sad about it because my little old lady Honda Jazz was my first car and I was really rather attached to it. However, I soon cheered up because I got a new car and I absolutely love it. It has a digital speedometer and excellent air conditioning. (And that previous sentence sums up the kind of things I get excited about...)

I co-founded HEY Bloggers. There'd been a few of us local bloggers meeting up regularly for coffee and outfit snaps and this month we started a local blogging network for Hull and East Yorkshire. We're currently planning our first event and have heaps of exciting things in the pipeline. Much excite. Oh and shameless plug, if you fancy following us we're @hey_bloggers on Instagram and Twitter. ALSO if you're local (or even if you're not but are willing to travel) come along to our event, the ticket link is on the Hey Bloggers Twitter and Instagram.

I got into the World Cup. This isn't really anything revolutionary because I always get into the World Cup, but (don't hate me), I usually back Portugal. There's a very boring story behind why (and shock, it's not because I fancy Ronaldo) but I've basically supported both Portugal and England since I was about 10. This time though, Portugal were knocked out so early and England did so well that I actually got really invested in England. I honestly don't know how people deal with following football every week, there are too many emotions.

I explored a new city. Despite having heard amazing things and it only being a short train journey away, I'd never been to Sheffield until this month. I explored it with Rachel, who is a Sheffield veteran so was able to take us to some excellent spots. We pretty much just went from coffee to lunch to cocktails and that's my kinda day. If anyone would like to join me in starting a petition to open something similar to The Winter Gardens in Hull, please let me know.

What did you get up to in July?

Amy x

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Beating The Post-Wedding Slump

Your wedding day; the one day you've been waiting for, planning for months and getting excited about, it's over within a few hours, just like that. After the wedding and honeymoon are over, life goes back to normal with an alarming crash down to earth. You spend months building up to that one day and then life goes back to normal. Despite having quite a sensible head on my shoulders and always maintaining that getting married was about the actual marriage and not the wedding, I still felt a sense of well that's it now, nothing else to look forward to. 

Yes, I am being extremely over-dramatic; poor me getting married and going on honeymoon to just come back to normal life eh? But most people I've spoken to about it said they felt a similar way and as I'd like to put the same effort into my marriage as I did into planning the wedding, I'm making an effort to drag myself out of that post-wedding slump so I thought I'd write a post about it so you can all laugh at me being over dramatic. Also, even if you're not in a post-wedding slump, these are all things that would generally pep up a relationship anyway (pep up?! I'm rolling with it).

Regular date nights | It's very easy to fall into the habit of nights in on the sofa, half watching something on TV, half glued to your phones and every now and then discussing something you need to like when you'll get the food shop done or whose birthday you need to remember this month. Not really quality time is it? Nick despises the term 'date night', but as soon as we got back from honeymoon I decided that we needed to put a day or night aside each month to actually go out and do something together. If, like us, you work shifts, it's not easy to always set that time aside especially seeing as you'd generally associate going out with the weekend. But what's stopping you going out on a weeknight instead? For our first date night (sorry Nick) as a married couple, we did just that and were lucky enough to be treated to a night out at St Stephen's shopping centre in Hull, which included a meal at Prezzo and then some bowling. I've eaten at St Stephen's a few times as there's quite a lot of choice of restaurants, but I've never really explored what else they have to offer, which includes a cinema, a trampoline park and Funstation, where, filled with good food, wine and espresso, we headed for our bowling. Bowling isn't something we'd usually do together, but it was actually a real laugh and made me realise that we should do new things together more often rather than sticking to our routine. Trampolining next Nick?

Book a holiday | Irregardless of whether you ask for wedding gifts or not, you get them (THANKS GUYS <3) and with some of the money that we received we decided to book a holiday. It doesn't have to be a holiday, it could be a spa day, a UK break or anything you'd enjoy; it's just nice to have something to look forward to when all you can seem to do is look back and think about what a nice time you had and wonder whether you'll ever have as nice a time again. If by this point you wish to hit me for being so ridiculous then please (metaphorically) do. And if you're wondering where we're going on holiday, that would be New York and I am horribly excited about it.

Plan your future | Although you've probably already got heaps of memories together, your wedding day is just the beginning of a whole marriage of memories to come. Talk to each other about what you imagine doing together in the next few years, where you might end up living, when you want children and, in our case, whether you want to do another house up or not... Planning your future together is very exciting and makes you realise that there are even happier days to come than your wedding day.

What do you do to keep your relationship fresh? (Keep it clean folks)

Amy x

We were kindly treated to a meal and two rounds of bowling by St Stephens Hull, but all opinions and love of pizza are my own.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Why Your Late Twenties Are Better Than Your Earlies

At the age of twenty-seven years, seven months and twenty-two days old, I have come to accept that I am no longer in the mid-twenties age bracket and probably haven't been, in fact, for the past seven months and twenty-two days. I am officially in my late twenties and thirty doesn't seem all that far away, particularly if time continues to hurtle past at the alarming speed it has done so far this year. Getting older is still seen as something we should dread and I'll admit I'm the first to wince when I tell anyone my age, as if it's a bad thing. But actually, my only experiences of getting older have been good ones; I'm much happier now than I ever was in my early twenties and I'm only excited for the future, despite the fact that future Amy will be even older. Here's why my late twenties is my favourite stage of life so far:

I'm more sure of myself. When I think about the Amy of five years ago, I don't think of an adult. I found my early twenties a very odd transitioning stage where I didn't feel like a child anymore, but I was still nervous and unsure of myself around adults because I didn't feel like one of those either. When I first entered a full-time working environment I was shy, awkward and actually not very good at holding any sort of conversation with people I didn't know. I'm definitely still awkward and shy, but I'm sure of myself and confident both in my work and in making conversation with adults because newsflash, I am one. 

I have more direction. I think it's rare that anyone knows what they want to do with their life at such an early age and it's very disorienting to leave university and essentially have to get on with it, all the while fending off questions about what you're going to do next. I didn't have a clue what to do with my life, where I wanted to end up or have a five year plan. For me, things sort of fell into place and I've ended up settling where I didn't think I would, with a job that I didn't think I wanted (disclaimer: I now want it very much). Because I'm more settled, I have more of an idea about where I want my life to go in the next few years, how I want to progress in my career and how I'm going to go about achieving those things.

I'm over pretending to be anything I'm not. As a girl in her early twenties I was considered a bit weird if I didn't want to go out with my friends and get horrendously drunk somewhere we couldn't even hear each other speak. Now I'm a bit older, it's generally more accepted and I feel I can be honest when I don't want to do something rather than either making up a lame excuse or just going along with the crowd and doing it anyway. If someone can't accept me as I am, they're not a friend worth having.

I don't care about what other people think (as much). I can't pretend I don't completely care what people think, I'm actually very much a people pleaser. However, I certainly care much much less, particularly when it comes to my appearance and what people think of the way I dress. My confidence has grown so much in the past few years, which has helped me care much less about other people's opinions of me.

I'm excited for the future. It's not that I wasn't excited for the future when I was younger, it's that I had no idea what it would hold and no idea whether I'd be happy about it or not. Now, I'm not about to tell you I've become a psychic, but I'm excited for things to come that I'm guessing may happen and even if the shit hits the fan I know I have people around me who'll keep my spirits up and I'm happy that I have those people in my life.

What's been your favourite stage in life so far?

Amy x

Photos: Emma

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Which House Plant Is For You?

Over the past few years, I've acquired a rather large collection of house plants and I do love to share pictures of said house plants on Instagram/my blog/anywhere I possibly can really. One of the most frequent comments I get on any plant picture I post is 'I can never keep house plants alive', which inspired me to write this previous post and brought me onto the more specific topic I'm going to talk about now...which house plant is for you? There's no point in buying a house plant that needs watering every single day if you're going to forget and there's no point in buying one that thrives on sunlight if you live in a dark flat so this post is for any budding plant ladies out there who maybe aren't quite sure where to start out in the house plant world.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Honeymoon Diaries | Venice

The last leg of our Italian honeymoon was Venice. Following our time in Pisa and in Florence, we imagined this part of the trip would be a bit more chilled out and in the most part it was. We still did a lot of walking and exploring, but also spent a fair amount of time in our air bnb drinking wine!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

I Think I Have Fashion Block

Top - Primark | Trousers - Primark (both current) | Sandals - Asos (here)

If you're a blogger or a writer of any kind, I'm sure you're familiar with writer's block. I had a case of it earlier in the week; after attending Blog At The Beach at the weekend I was super motivated to get my blog on, but turns out I had nothing to say. Now I do have something to say though and it's about a different kind of block altogether - fashion block (doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it?).

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Honeymoon Diaries | Florence

Following on from Pisa (travel diary here) we hopped on the train to Florence, which took about an hour. We had three nights in Florence and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Here's a little (LOL as if it's going to be little and not a million words long) round up of everything we got up to:

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Saving The World A Cuppa At A Time

I've always thought I'm quite good at doing my bit for the environment; I recycle everything I can, I turn lights and switches off when I'm not using them and I carry a reusable shopping bag with me. The thing is, they're actually all quite standard things now aren't they? And that got me thinking that we should always be seeking out new things we could be doing and slowly introducing them into our daily lives. With that in mind, here are some of the little things I've started implementing into mine recently:

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Wedding : Where To Spend And Where To Save

It's no secret that weddings are expensive; word on the street is that the average UK wedding costs £24,000, which is more than a lot of us earn in a year. Seeing as that is the average, I'm assuming a lot of people can feasibly pay that, however for those that can't I thought I'd do a post on where we saved the big bucks as well as the areas that we did spend money on to make our day really special. This isn't necessarily a wedding on a budget post because you could definitely do it for cheaper than we did, but we tried to make it as cheap as possible while still making it our own, having it how we wanted and also making sure our guests had a nice time! Obviously, every single point in this post is subjective to what you want to do with your day, but this is what worked for us. I don't want to come across as strongly opinionated because I know from experience that it's really frustrating to read opinions on weddings when you're getting married so you do you and all that, but this is how we did us!
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