Well hello! It’s been such a long time since I’ve written a blog post like this.
I wrote this catch up in 2018 and I’ve just re-read it and, wow, life used to be busy!
Blogging used to be a series of daily life updates, random thoughts and whatever I’d been doing that week but things have changed so much over the years. Social media is there for the daily updates so these posts don’t happen so often any more.
Another reason I haven’t written anything like this is because life has been smaller and slower for the past two years and I feel like I haven’t really done anything.
Of course, I have, but it’s hard to notice any changes or exciting news when it happens so slowly.
For the past couple of months I’ve mostly been working on the behind-the-scenes stuff no one really notices with blogs! I’ve been updating old posts, analysing stats and figuring out ways to make things better.
I’ve figured out a great little hack to get more views to old blog posts so if any bloggers out there want to know more, let me know and I’ll share this. (It’s very boring if you’re not a blogger!)
But now things are changing. I’m sneaking back out of the woodwork and I’ve got so much planned! Life is getting busy again and I love it.
I think the first biggy is that Sam and I are getting married next month!
We’re actually in the phase where it’s not far away and it all feels a bit stressful.
We keep swaying between feeling SO excited to share this day with our closest friends and family and the thought of having all the people we love the most in one space is just amazing. But then we sway the other way and start thinking it all feels like a very stressful and expensive party and we’ve bitten off a little more than we can chew.
But it’s going to be incredible.
It’s a tipi wedding on the outskirts of Delamere Forest. It’s next to a lake and surrounded by trees and it’s just the most beautiful setting. We’ve got the food and the band and the twinkly lights and it’s going to be magical.
Look how big my babies are!
George is now 7, Joseph is 5 and Alba is 2.
I hear a lot of parents feeling sad about their kids growing up but I’m actually loving it. I feel like I’m very ready for them to move onto the next phase – whatever phase it is that they’re currently at.
I’m loving having these chatty, intelligent, inquisitive little boys who question everything and just want to get out there and try every new experience they can. And I’m loving Alba growing out of the baby stage and becoming a little girl. I loved the baby stage but we were all ready to leave it behind – along with the prams and carriers and nap times and nappies!
If you follow along on Instagram you will have seen I’ve been doing a lot of gardening recently.
I’m still learning pretty much everything through gardening YouTube videos…and also through trial and error! I’m one of those people who likes to mistake their own mistakes before believing there’s a better way! I mostly watch Huw Richards and I just try to follow his guides and advice as closely as I can.
I’ve got raspberries, strawberries, potatoes, leeks, onions, peas, carrots, broccoli, spinach, pumpkins, courgettes and lettuce growing out here. And my greenhouse is packed with peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn and aubergines. I’ve also got loads of flowers that are almost ready to be planted out too!
I absolutely love gardening – and I’m as surprised as everyone else about this new hobby! I was always the first person to think gardening was boring and I’d rather be out and about. But here I am, 34 years old and I’m SO into it!
I just love the way it forces you to be present and in the moment and I forget about everything else. And then seeing everything change from day to day is so exciting!
Wow, yes, I’m an old lady.
It’s also really nice to have a hobby I can do with 10 minutes here and 30 minutes there. It isn’t easy to find time for hobbies when you’ve got young kids but this really works!
Woooo new trips booked!
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have a few holidays locked into the diary!
I have a press trip at the end of May to Spain. It looks incredible and it’s just really exciting to get back to press trips and travelling for work again.
I’l admit that I had a time when I went off press trips completely and I didn’t accept any. They just felt so stressful and unnatural. Maybe I took too many and had too many solo back-to-back press trips that just burnt me out completely.
June is going to be quieter due to the wedding. Sam and I have got 5 days after the wedding to enjoy child-free but we haven’t booked anything yet. It sounds a bit boring but I actually really want to go to our caravan in Abersoch. We’ve never been to Abersoch without the kids and the village has so many restaurants and lovely places for drinks and we never get to experience this side of it! (Taking 3 young children for lobster and champagne isn’t nearly as fun as you’d expect!)
We also have a boat in Abersoch and, while it’s fun taking the kids on the boat, it’ll be way more fun without them!
So if the weather is nice we’ll go to Abersoch. And if it isn’t then we’ll book a last minute flight somewhere sunny and warm. I’m thinking maybe Lisbon!
I’ve also got a girl’s trip to Valencia and another girl’s trip to Ibiza! My friend Jen has a hen-do in Ibiza and she’s extending her stay so I’m going to head out and meet her for a chilled few days.
I can’t believe I’m talking about this already but we also have a 3-week holiday to Tenerife over Christmas and New Year so that’s going to be amazing! Check out my post about why Tenerife is perfect for a winter break.
The last time we were in Tenerife was just as Spain went into lockdown in 2020 so we’re hoping it’ll be a little less stressful this time!
Health and wellbeing
Getting fit and healthy has been a huge part of my life over the past 8-9 months.
I’ve exercised all of my life and always made an effort to stay healthy but while the kids were young I pretty much stopped all together. I don’t mean this in a bad way. When you’ve got three young children you can’t do everything.
But during lockdown I bought a Peloton bike and it’s been an absolute game changer! I’ve honestly never felt so fit and so strong.
I think people have assumed this health kick was for the wedding but it’s really just that the kids are all at a phase where I have more time and energy for myself.
When they were younger I put loads of pressure on myself to exercise. I joined gyms and barely ever went and then felt bad about wasting all that money.
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to just chill out. It gets easier as the kids get older. No one expects you to have a baby and skip straight back into the gym.
It was when Alba reached two and she started sleeping better (although still not perfect!) and George became really independent and everything just got so much easier.
I try to exercise for about 30-40 minutes, 5 times a week. I like to do a combination of strength and cardio classes via the Peloton app and I’m really loving it.
And for the first time ever I feel like I’m exercising because it makes me feel good, not to make me look good.
After a 30 minute workout I feel energised and fresh and my mind feels clear. I sleep well and drink loads of water and it just makes me feel amazing. And it’s this feeling that encourages me to get my workout clothes and do it every day. It’s not the feeling of ‘I need to lose weight’ or ‘I ate a whole cake yesterday and should burn it off’.
Exercising + time in my garden + a really nice amount of work and life is feeling pretty good right now.
Work and blogging
Most of my work recently has revolved around freelance writing. I’m writing about travel and staycations for travel brands and I really love it.
There’s something really cosy about shutting myself away in my office and writing about past adventures. It’s cosy and predictable and safe and a lovely way to earn a living as I sit there with endless cups of tea!
But I’m also ready to start other projects too.
My work was really varied pre-pandemic. It would involve writing, photography, film, journalism work, brand work, press trips, PR and social media work too.
I’ve got a blog post here about ‘A week in the life of a travel blogger‘ and you’ll see what I mean!
As everything returns to normal I’m looking forward to getting a bit more variety back into my days.
I’m doing some filming with ITV this evening and in a few weeks I’m heading down to Cardiff to do more.
And since writing a review about this anti-aging device I’ve been inundated with requests to review similar devices. Who knows, maybe this is the start of a new beauty niche!
So there’s a little update from me. If you’ve got any questions about anything you’re always welcome to slide into my DMs for a chat!