Well… 2019 has been a year, hasn’t it A year full of happenings for me personally and, to be honest, a pretty grim year for the world in general. When I sat down and really thought about it, however, there has been a lot of awesome in 2019!
This will be a very wordy post, and I’ll try and break it up with photos where I can (no guarantee), and don’t forget to tell me all about what you’ve got planned for 2020!!
Let’s get to it!
It ended up that 2019 has actually been a pretty busy year: new family member, new flat, new job, three weddings, turning thirty, and one less tooth. Phew!
Of course, the stand out event of 2019 was the birth of my nephew, who is one of my favourite humans – ever – and get’s more delightful by the day!
The boy and I moved in together in February/March, which was both exciting and a nightmare (moving is the ninth circle of hell) and I have loved every second of living here – it’s not always simple, but it is always wonderful.
I started a new job in August, a week before the big 3-0, and it’s still absolutely fantastic. I love going into work, though the commute isn’t the greatest – says me and the rest of London – but that is most likely because I used to be able to walk to work!
We were invited to three weddings this year, all so different and so suited to the couples, and last – but by no means least – was the not so fond farewell to my wisdom tooth. It’s slowly healing itself, but it’s made November/December a little more grim than I’d have liked (and at time of finishing this post up, wisdom tooth #2 is scheduled for assessment and possible removal! Hi 2020!)
I’ve definitely grown as a hooman this year – with a healthy dose of kicking and screaming. The boy and I have different ideas of organised. As in he is and I’m… less so; I call it an organised mess. That being said, in this year of growth I have become tidier. I’m still a work-in-progress, but to me the difference is noticeable, so much so I’ve shocked myself.
This may be a simple thing, but the simple things are the best, are they not, and the impact it’s had has been amazing, not just because it keeps the boy happy, and a happy boy brings me great joy, but it also brings me joy, and anything that brings joy has to be a good thing.
Despite efforts, I’ve not read as much, or as widely, as I’d hoped this year and, if I’m truly honest, I’ve probably not finished even half of the books I’ve started. Not that this bothers me in any way. I am not ashamed of a DNF (Did Not Finish, for those not in the know). Life is too short to force yourself to finish books that you’re just not enjoying.
As I get a fair number of books second hand, they simply get fed back into that cycle. Many of my books are Kindle books – usually snapped up when they’re on offer – so I have no worries over DNF’s. I’ve passed books on to friends I think will love them more, and shared a huge number with my Dad (who has filled the space I made on my bookshelf all by himself… We are book people, it’s a glorious problem!)
However, the book year hasn’t been all bad. For my birthday, the boy got me, not one, not two, but the first THREE illustrated Harry Potter books, and these three lovelys have since been joined by number four and the illustrated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Honestly, the man is golden.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to mention this book, as I read it in the boy’s old flat, forgetting that we didn’t move in to our new place till the last day of February, but I waffled about it in April’s Last Month Today, so I must have read it (and then finished it and blogged) far later than I remembered. That book is The Last, by Hanna Jameson. This is the stand-out book of 2019 for me because, much like Fearne Cotton’s recipe books, I’ve been recommending it to everyone – even so far as to buy my Dad a physical copy so he’d read it (I don’t know if he has yet…) If you haven’t picked this book up yet, I urge you to give it a go, it’s fantastic!
First up, it has to be said that Huta’s YA is, absolutely, the track of 2019 for me. For everything else, I’ll let Spotify tell you:
It’s been wonderful creating a home in the flat, despite the push and pull between my love of things and the boy’s general apathy towards them.
There will always be things I want to move, change, make, add to, but this flat is amazing!
It’s been both a thin craft year, but also, in the latter quarter of the year, featured a huge rejuvenation.
Top crafts for this year include;
- The Marvel/DC blanket
- The placemat tester (it was so good that there will be more)
- The advent calendar (simple but effective)
- And the belly basket upcycle
I’m really looking forward to creating some fun and fantastic things in 2020.
Food has been… a challenge this year, more of which you’ll read about down below in PLANS. That being said, it’s not been all bad.
There have been some standout recipe books for me. I have said this before on the blog, but I am super, super impressed with Fearne Cotton’s recipe books and a few dishes have become firm favourites. They’re easy, hearty and healthy. I’ve made a few tweaks here and there – don’t we all – but I really rate her books and I recommend them to anyone who stands still long enough, when we’re on the topic of food.
Another winner as been the vast family of Leon cookbooks. Much like Fearn’s, they’re full of healthy, hearty recipes – and some sneaky fun ones – and all have worked amazingly. I highly, highly recommend.
One utterly glorious thing about moving back to the UK has been eBay, Depop and charity shops. I have always loved getting things second hand – pre-owned has never bothered me – and you can find some pretty awesome items if you know what you’re doing. Some are absolute shockers, but that’s ok.
I’ve also delved into the delights of clothes swaps, which really are great fun, and you’re giving back!
I’ve not really solidified my style this year (apart from it being everything and fabulous) but I think that, with 2020’s sewing plans, this might become (a little) more possible… well, I can but try!
Ok, so now we’ve got through all of that, what about 2020? I’m splitting this into Plans and Goals; Plans being the things I actually want to do/work towards, and Goals being things I’d like to do, but I’m not going to beat myself up over.
My plans are three-fold this year.
First up, I’m planning to do lots, and I mean lots, of sewing this year. I do, of course, have sewing sustainably in mind. I want to be able to sew things that mix and match, things that I love to wear and know that, should it fall apart, I can make another one. I also want to be as mindful as possible of my fabric purchasing; I already have pieces in my stash that came from instagram de-stashes or ebay and hope to continue in this vein.
All this enthusiasm being said, I have to address reality. 2019 hasn’t been great in the way I feel about my weight. The last time I felt the most “me” was around Easter and then the stress, and the weight, piled on. The best I can say is that it has plateaued – aided in no small way by the new job and a general air of happiness and contentment – but plateaued needs to be worked upon.
So, in the new year, I’m going to try and get on top of how I feel about myself: #2020yearofme. It’s going to be sporadic, and boring, but I’m slowly coming to realise that self-care includes the things you really don’t want to do but that are often the best for you – a little like medicine that tastes good for you probably isn’t quite as effective as the nasty stuff!
Finally, I am aiming to be more focused on, and post more regularly, on the blog. The last few weeks have been fantastic in terms of getting my blog mo-jo back, and I am raring to go – I’ll be hitting the ground running in 2020!!
So let’s break my plans down into goals for the 2020:
- Sorting out the wardrobe. With the new sewing plans will come, naturally, a wardrobe overhaul. I need to make myself let go of things I’m just not wearing – however much I love them – and pass them on to the next person who will love them as much as I have. I’m hoping that, as I curate a wardrobe quite literally tailored to me, that I will will wear more of it, more frequently.
- Storage. Yes, storage, which we actually have a decent amount of in our flat, but I need to utilise it better and probably, much as I hate to say it, streamline some of my possessions – within reason. Can you hear the boy cheering, because I can, and no, this does not mean that the baking cupboard is going to be emptied, which brings me seamlessly onto my next point.
- One new bake a month. Yes, one brand spanking new, never baked by me before recipe tested. Yes, boyfriend, I will use every tin, mould and cookie cutter I own!
- Following on from that, I plan on cooking one new savoury meal a month – and to use the slow cooker more, the boy has shown me the light!
- I want to be more sustainable in as many ways as possible (yes, this is also an excuse to sew all the things). Produce bags and reusable face masks are high on the list.
- I’m going to read more. On the boy’s suggestion, we’re going to actively aim for one technology-free night a week and use that for reading, talking, or whatever else we fancy – no internet allowed. He has some mighty-fine ideas, you know!
- My final goal is to write more. I have a series of short stories lined up – some being re-writes of stories I completed years and years ago – and I just need to be brave enough to throw them out into the world for people to read.
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