22 Before 23: The NEARLY THERE Update


Oh my god, with just under two months to go before I turn 23 (er, what?!), I thought it was about time to check up on my 22 Before 23 list. Amazingly, I have actually completed a number of items and have started a fair few more where I'm on track to finish them on time. Others, I definitely won't complete in time now, while some I don't even want to complete now.

THE COMPLETED ONES

Start My Own Business: while this goal is not at all how I originally envisioned it being, I am super happy to say I have completed this goal. At first, I wanted to make tshirts, jewellery, accessories, that kind of thing and sell them on Etsy. After procrastinating for months, I soon realised this was not for me at all. No worries though: in August I met Nicola who introduced me to Arbonne, and just like that, a better business than I ever imagined was born. To read more about Arbonne, click here or the link in my sidebar. 

Complete My Team Leader Training At Work: another goal that I've completed but has changed completely. In October I officially qualified as a Team Leader for Superdrug which was a triumphant day for me. However, by December, I knew I was definitely leaving Wakefield and ended up interviewing for a job as a journalist which I got in the end. So, my training is completely irrelevant now but still glad I've got it. I do miss Superdrug, oddly enough.

Move Out: I have most definitely managed to move out and I am now living in a lovely 3-bedroom house with my boyfriend. I am beyond pleased with this development in my life. I just can't wait to finish renovating my house now!

Get My Hair Cut and Coloured: I went from my weird blonde colour to a nice, natural brown. I also had a short fringe put in. I need to get better at maintaining this as it grows out so quickly and makes it look like there's been no change, but I still say mission accomplished on this one.

Get 100+ Blog Followers: so, so, so delighted to have hit this. I'm even past 200 now on BlogLovin! Thank you everyone :)

Be Organised For Christmas: apart from a watch that never arrived for my sister, I actually ordered everyone's Christmas presents before Christmas this year and they actually received them. Way better than 2012's fiasco where I did all my Christmas shopping on or after Christmas Eve...

Successfully Execute a Two-Month Spending Ban: I blogged about this here.

Give Up Coke For 40 Days and 40 Nights: I decided on this one because I failed to give up coke for lent. Basically, I used to drink way too much coke. It gives me spots, it's bad for every part of your body and well, there's no need to have it in my life. So around July I gave it up for a while and my body and face thanked me for it. While I do drink it now, it's not even a weekly thing, nevermind a daily thing anymore!

Roller Derby: just last week I managed to hit this goal! I was around 17 when I first discovered the existence of roller derby and I vowed to do it as soon I as turned 18 (minimum age to participate.) However, my 18th birthday came and went, so did my 19th, my 20th, 21st and 22nd. When I realised Wiltshire Roller Derby were recruiting last week, I absolutely jumped at the chance. Now I can't wait to go to my next practice on Thursday!

Learn a New Language: making a start on this one should not have taken as long as it did, however, it took me so long to decide what language to actually learn! I narrowed it down to French (because I already know a little bit) and Spanish (makes watching Breaking Bad etc easier, one of most popular global languages) and eventually decided on Spanish. About a fortnight ago, I finally took notice of a note I'd written myself on Evernote about an app called Duolingo and downloaded it. I never thought a language learning app would be effective, but here I am, with a few Spanish sentences under my belt in a short amount of time. 

Remember It's Not The End of The World If These Goals Change: this is so true! A number of things on this list don't appeal to me in the slightest anymore and considering this is just a fun exercise, I don't have to complete them for the sake of it.

THE NON-IMPORTANT ONES

Learn To Sew: honestly, I don't have the time or patience for this. I can stitch my disco pants together when I split them and that's all the modern girl needs ;)

Bake One Cake a Month: turns I out I much prefer eating cake to making it...

Get My Eyebrows Threaded: what in God's name did I find wrong with waxing them when I wrote this list?!

THE STILL-IN-PROGRESS ONES

Read Two Books a Month: obviously I can't complete this one until my birthday has actually come, but I am well on track to succeed, hooray. Reading is my boyfriend.

Own Everything On My High-End Arbonne Wishlist: since discovering Arbonne I've found other brands relatively boring so I made a tactical change to this goal to make it more likely to achieve. Definitely well on my way for this - just don't release anything new Arbonne before my birthday!

THE PROBABLY NOT GONNA HAPPEN ONES

Pass My Driving Test: Too many nerves, too little money. It has however, become an essential skill since I moved down south, so if I haven't done this by my 24th birthday, I'm in trouble. 

Go To A Theme Park And Actually Go On The Rides: poor organisational skills on this one, gonna work on the boyfriend and the colleagues and try to make this happen!

Visit My Brother In University: another case of poor organisational skills, lack of money and lack of time. Must do this one day at least. 

Try And Go A Day Without Internet - Phone Included: shame on me, can't believe I have failed to manage this.

Try/Cook a Brand New Dish: I'm sure I've tried new things (I've been to Cosmos at least 3 times since my birthday and I always try something new there) but I think I'll feel more accomplished if I actually cook something.

Get a 3DS and Complete Luigi's Mansion: turns out moving house is very expensive and a 3DS is a luxury I can only dream of right now. *sobs*

Do you complete this kind of list? Let me know!

Instavixen: #100happydays Challenge So Far




So, earlier today, I posted all about the challenges I've been facing since I started my new life down south. However, I ended the post on a positive note, saying that I'm reading to focus on the good in my life and jump over the hurdles the universe has placed in my path. One of the ways I've decided to bring my focus round to the better parts of my life is by participating in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. I actually started doing this well before my house woes presented themselves and it has been lovely little part of my day that has reminded me it's not all doom and gloom. I recently reached day 50 and am now halfway through the challenge, so I thought I'd share the pictures I'd snapped so far.

Day One: getting the keys to my new house
Day Two: a pair of new boots after wearing the only pair of flats I'd brought down with me to death
Day Three: a gorgeous orchid housewarming present
Day Four: an amusing fixture outside my new house
Day Five: a fox doorstop
Day Six: my friend at work shares her goodies with me!
Day Seven:  a Bei Badgirl background on my phone along with an affirmations app
Day 8: it was Valentine's Day!
Day 9: naughty breakfasts
Day 10: Ella the cockapoo!
Day 11: my job as a journalist means I can work from home!
Day 12: playing Dragon Quest on my DS
Day 13: Subway near work
Day 14: glass of wine
Day 15: new bedding
Day 16: more housewarming gifts
Day 17: progress on the house
Day 18: my favourite fizzy drink
Day 19: tulips
Day 20: seeds to grow flowers of my own
Day 21: er yep, more flowers! (I like Spring)
Day 22: watching Charmed after restarting my Netflix subscription, it was the first thing I ever got obsessed with!
Day 23: cute little daffodils
Day 24: miniature ice creams in crazy flavours
Day 25: carrying cake around in my handbag...

Day 26: Courtney Love announced she was touring!!!
Day 27: pop tarts :)
Day 28: one of my favourite work lunches
Day 29: actually bought tickets for Courtney!!!
Day 30: went to Cosmos with James, his dad and his girlfriend and she didn't understand just how spicy wasabi is and shovelled it onto her plate, bless her :)
Day 31: saw a puffer fish at the pet shop! I thought it was so cute.
Day 32: went to see the new Liam Neeson film
Day 33: finally got Arbonne's Genius back in my life
Day 34: I have a massive collection of adorable socks
Day 35: I was really enjoying my job this day
Day 36: I started reading a childhood favourite
Day 37: I organised myself (a little obsessively) for my blog relaunch
Day 38: my favourite workwear items: my grey dress, a statement necklace and my lace blazer
Day 39: I thought Ella the cockapoo and her puppy, Lucy, looked so cute like this
Day 40: I was chilling in the sunshine with Chloe
Day 41: I ordered us a new fireplace!!!
Day 42: playing Zombies Ate My Friends on my Kindle
Day 43: we finally got Internet in the house (still a building site, but I declare it liveable now)
Day 44: we had our first Domino's Swindon
Day 45: our new cooker arrived
Day 46: I went to London and these were my in journey healthy treat
Day 47: I survived and covered my first event as a journalist
Day 48: Easter means delicious treats at work for lunch
Day 49: I FINALLY STARTED ROLLER DERBY AND IT WAS SO AMAZING
Day 50: I got lots of new pink workout wear to motivate me - this girl needs to strengthen up if she's gonna keep roller derby up!!!

WOW. Just writing all that out has completely erased any bad memories I have from the past 50 days and left me feeling completely elated. I actually have so much going on in my life right now, good stuff and I can't wait to share it all on this blog. From now on, I'll be doing weekly #100happydays updates or if you want to see them daily, you can follow me on Instagram.

Are you doing/have you done this challenge?

When Your Life Gets Turned Upside Down

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Hello? Anyone left out there? Oh! Hi! I'm Emily, if you'd forgotten. It wouldn't surprise me. I don't think I've ever left my poor blog alone for this long. The worst thing is, it hasn't exactly been by choice. Normally I take blog breaks because I've chosen to - I'm too busy enjoying real life, or I'm feeling a bit uninspired so I take a tactical step back. But this time, I didn't exactly choose it, and boy, have I missed it.

So what exactly happened? The short story is I took my world, I tipped it upside down, and gave it a good shaking.

While I was definitely in need of a drastic change or two, I was really unprepared for the flood gates I would open by making the decision to commit to my boyfriend and move in with him. For those of you haven't read any of my previous posts, moving in with my boyfriend would end the long distance part of our relationship, but also required me moving 200 miles down the country away from my family and friends. OK, big enough move without adding anything else to the mix. But of course, I didn't leave it there: instead of transferring to a different Superdrug store and continuing my retail management career, I went off on a complete tangent and tried my hand at my dream career of a journalist. OK, huuuuuuuge changes for me there but hey, it didn't stop there either.

You see, the house we bought is over 100 years old. 

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I moved from Yorkshire to the South of England under the impression that after getting our keys, we'd need to spend about a fortnight repainting walls and replacing carpets. Sweet, naive Emily. Because I was under this impression, on Sunday 19th January 2014, a night before I started my brand new job, I hopped on a train to Newbury with two weeks at most worth of clothing and essentials. "It'll be fine," I kept telling myself, "just like a holiday, we'll decorate the house and then I can nip back up to Wakefield one weekend and retrieve the rest of my belongings." In the meantime, I'd be living with my boyfriend's mum and his stepdad.

It was the 7th of February we got our keys and we've only just started living in our house. The few licks of paint and new carpets turned into a seemingly never-ending list of work to do. I won't go into detail, but words like "dry rot" and "more plastering" and "gas safety" have becomes very commonplace in my life. Although we're living there now, it's still far from finished.

In short, we have completly gutted the house and it will literally be like brand new when it's done. We stripped all the walls and most needed replastering. We are replacing all the carpets and even had to replace some floorboard joists in the dining room (that's the dry rot for you). We've got a brand new boiler fitted and a brand new fireplace on its way. We have a new bedroom ceiling. We're repainting everything - the walls, skirting boards.All interior doors are being replaced along with most radiators. The only rooms we aren't touching are the upstairs toilet, bathroom and kitchen - although I'm actually saving up to redo the upstairs toilet but shhh, don't tell James! The kitchen walls and floor too will need to be redone, but probably not this year!

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As it turns out, juggling living with your partner for the first time, a new job as a journalist, and unexpectedly becoming a house renovator, all the while being acutely aware that your beloved possessions are far, far away from you is pretty damn difficult. I challenge any of you to do this and stick to a decent blogging schedule. And the best part is: this is just the stuff I'm comfortable sharing on the Internet. There's a lot going on behind the scenes in my life that has been preventing me from blogging, among other things that are important to me.

Truth be told, I'm exhausted. I am afraid. I've been having  full on, sobbing, weeping, crying sessions nearly daily. I find myself wishing I'd never bothered coming here. Obviously saying that out loud puts strains on my relationship, and I could go on forever with this little "oh woe is me" tale.

Except I won't, because I've had enough. I didn't spend the past year of my life battling depression and anxiety, taking antidepressants and attending cognitive behavioural therapy sessions to end up right back where I started, oh no! I've learnt a lot in my journey to recovery and it's time to actually put what I learnt into practice. I'm strong enough to power through this. Deep down, I know how fantastic my life is right now. I'm going to have a beautiful house at the end of this, a strong relationship with the love of my life, I'm working my dream job and I've got so many lovely things to look forward to. It's with these thoughts in mind that I stop pretending to be helpless and start taking control of my life again. Starting with resurrecting this blog...