This year has been pretty rough, but instead of wanging on about it* I’m going to share my top ten awesome things that have seen me through my annus horribilis.
(*I’m not ready to write about it yet. Might never be. We’ll see.)
In no particular order….
I read a brilliant book that recommended a diet of Australian soap operas for those times when you need to give your brain a rest and look at nice pretty things. Beauty YouTube is my version of that. As a grown-ass woman I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about make-up and I soon discovered I was very wrong indeed. A whole new vocabulary has been learned this year (fallout, pigment, snatched) and I have been incredibly sexually confused by the super-talented boys in full face, to the point where I don’t really know what box I tick anymore. Stubble and lipstick is INTOXICATING. I have also spent a considerable amount of money I don’t really have on products I don’t really need but I am BLINDING AWAY THE PAIN WITH HIGHLIGHT.
Manny MUA (see above sexual confusion, I completely adore this boy)
Nikkie Tutorials (gorgeous glam girl, sparkles inside and out)
Make Up by Jaack (hilariously sassy & repping Wales. Cowin lush, he is)
Podcasts entertain me on my journey to work, make me laugh, teach me stuff and this year they have also been soothing me to sleep. I posted something earlier this year but have since acquired some new favourites. Podcasts are the absolute best format for greedy types like me, there’s always loads of new series to binge on.
She’s All Fat (I love these girls so much, they feel like my besties and I wish they were. A no-question support on Patreon)
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations (Oprah’s voice is so soothing, this is my podcast of choice for bedtime and for mid-sleep semi-conscious self-help book purchases. Looking at you One Click)
And a cheeky bonus….36 Questions (a podcast AND a musical. Spoiling us)
Before 2017 I didn’t own a single power tool and have been known to get dizzy up a stepladder. I once painted a ceiling but got bored and didn’t finish it. My history with DIY is checkered but this year, I got so fed up with two bloody random green walls that have been annoying me since we moved in to our house. Action simply had to be taken and I redecorated my downstairs loo and hallway. In the process I discovered how calming painting can be, even when you accidentally spray paint your feet chrome. I also made a new friend in Homebase (82 year old June on checkouts) who helped me choose my favourite shade of grey and who listened patiently as I joyfully updated my progress on three consecutive days. I’m still no Handy Andy but I now own a cordless drill and the shelves I put up are holding strong. Proud of myself.
Dry eyes are miserable and these deliciously hydrating drops have changed my life. Blinking is now a pleasure.
Budget Meal Plans
This year I discovered The Savvy Shoppers Cookbook on Instagram and was so impressed with her budget recipes, meal plans and shopping lists. Buy the book, you’ll definitely save money on your weekly shop and have fun creating new family favourite meals. There is something for every occasion, including snacks and desserts. Our top ones so far are the Earl Grey Malt Loaf, Roasted Onion and Parmesan Soup and Smoky Sausage Pasta *kisses fingers like a chef* Saving money tastes great.
Specifically an oatmeal hooded fleece dressing gown from Simply Be. Makes me look and feel like a sheep on a cloud. Now sadly no longer available but all of their loungewear is LUSH and lots is now in the sale. Go forth and be cosy.
Gorgeous Amy Jones (@jimsyjampots) shared a brilliant piece on her newsletter about how wireless headphones helped her to mute the world. She made it sound so magical I ordered some straight away and haven’t looked back since. It has honestly been game changing for me. I can’t find the link to the original piece but here is the link to subscribe so you don’t miss any gems in future.
This mini Tocca hand cream in Cleopatra from Anthropologie smells like heaven and isn’t too gloopy. Subtle birthday hint for MORE PLEASE.
I’ve used our glorious NHS quite a bit this year and I cannot praise the treatment, support and advice enough. In particular my GP who has been outstanding. Got a little bit more to come with my surgery in January but hopefully the worst is over.
I promised I wasn’t wanging so I’ll keep it short and specifically to those friends who don’t take your withdrawing personally, who still keep checking in with you, who buy you silly and thoughtful gifts and who still love you when you’re being bonkers. Couldn’t have got through it without you.
Have a lovely New Year’s Eve friends, hope 2018 is also full of discovering new stuff we love. If you’re into my book thoughts, I’ve just posted an epic catch up post over on Cwtch Up Books. There’s loads of new literary discoveries to fall in love with over there.