This time last year I wrote a post introducing #30things to explain how I wanted to make the most of 2015, the year I turned 30!
It wasn’t ever meant to be a bucket list of 30 individual things that I wanted to have / do / see / experience, but I think it did end up somewhere around that number.
I tied #30things into a kind of New Years resolution and I asked my fellow readers to join me in my aim to stick with my intentions for the 12 months that followed… That didn’t last very long!
I learned a lot in 2015. Not just about resolutions but about other people’s view on their life achievements and a whole lot more about myself and the way I live my life. An invaluable lesson.
So before I talk about what the next 12 months might hold for me I’m going to take a few moments to look back and remember just how significant 2015 has really been.
1. Sister time. On Karen‘s birthday in January we spent the day walking the dogs before lunching in the pub. Something that I probably took for granted on the day itself has turned out to be one of the highlights of my year. I don’t spend as much time as I wish I could with Karen and I love it when we get chance to head off on our own for a few hours!
2. Yelp! I joined Yelp after seeing an outreach in a local blogging group on Facebook, I got so into it that I soon became an Elite Yelper which meant that Naomi and I were invited to their events all over Manchester every month! I saw many new bars and restaurants that I probably never would’ve otherwise known about and for that I’m really grateful! We always had a great time, met new people and more often than not, got drunk for free! Thanks Yelp!
3. A new job. I’ve said before that I don’t really talk about work on here and I don’t plan to change that but what I will say is when you really want something, don’t give up. Your time will come. Mine did. What’s more is Naomi got a new job too. #successwins
4. Friends. This is a funny one actually. I have had some wicked times with friends this year doing all sorts of fun stuff. I aimed to make more time for friends and I did just that. I also learned a lot about friendship itself, particularly after note number 3! I learned that friendship is not only what you put into it but also what they do… Or don’t as the case can sometimes be. Overall those who have wanted to feature in my #30things have done, they know who they are. From lunch dates to dogs walks and dance offs to prosecco filled meals at home and weekends away. I feel blessed to have some quality friends in my life!
5. Family. My family are awesome. Period. And 2015 brought another addition. Baby Teddy. I feel lucky to have such a wonderful family around me and one that continues to grow too. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on family life this year and it’s something I’ll continue to do in 2016. From impromptu visits to the Midlands to a first time visit to The Garden Kitchen and weekends away in between, 2015 has been a great year for our family.
6. Cheltenham Gold Cup! I’d always dreamed of going to Cheltenham on Hold Cup day and this year I went with my mum. It wasn’t just awesome becaus I was there, it was awesome because it was with my mum. Just me and mum. One of the best days of 2015 without a doubt, time away like this never happens so it’s definitely one for the memory bank.
7. Great John Street Hotel is one of the most prestigious hotels in Manchester. Part of the Eclectic Hotels group it’s boutique accommodation was where my cousin married the summer of 2011 and somewhere I’ve longed to stay ever since. This year I’ve been lucky enough to stay here twice with Naomi. A valentines surprise and a Christmas romantic getaway. Two perfect evenings with my lovely one.
8. The Lion King. I love the theatre and this year we saw Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard at The Palace Theatre which was fantastic but for me The Lion King was truly amazing. A childhood love revived. Brilliant.
9. Not everything about 2015 has been a positive. I’ve been struggling with this knee problem for over a year now and I’m only just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.. April this year brought me my first experience of an MRI scan as well as my first ever specialist referral at the hospital.. I hope 2016 brings a fix for my knee but until then I’ll remember this year for these firsts.
10. I went to America. That in itself is one for anyone’s bucket list.
11. I drove a mustang GT convertible over 2000 miles around Florida. This is something I was so scared about before hand but something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
12. Going to Orlando is (almost) any child’s dream holiday butNaomi & I weren’t going to make it part of our trip fearing we’d be too old… Well I can honestly say I’m SO pleased we mapped it into the road trip. My only wish is that I could’ve had my nephews there too to see their faces light up in such a magical part of the world.
13. Sky Dive Key West. Need I say more?
14. After my car decided to pack up earlier this year I fought tirelessly with my head and heart trying to decide which car to buy next. I’ve always said I’d have a BMW 1 Series before I was 30 and this was my now or never… I’ve not looked back. Heart wins every time.
15. I ACTUALLY TURNED 30!!
16. Brompton Lakes – I got so busy around August and September that the blog took a bit of a side line. Brompton Lakes was probably the most awesome family weekend I’ve ever had. Everyone had so much fun, the sun was shining for the whole weekend and we possibly broke the world record for how many people you can fit in a hot tub!!
17. 11 of us went to Sitges in Spain for my birthday… what a fantastic holiday! So good we are booking to go back next year!!!
18. A few days later we took a short trip to see the sites of Barcelona. I loved the city but unfortunately I was a bit poorly so couldn’t take advantage of the short time we had here. We did manage a City tour on an open top bus though which was great, and I got to take advantage of my sister’s gift as follows…..
19. Another impressive gift I received for my 30th birthday was a Segway Experience from my lovely sister. It wasn’t just any Segway Experience though… it was a city tour of Barcelona!! Myself, Naomi and 4 of our friends had such a laugh doing this, it was the first time on a Segway for all of us… unfortunately Frankie didn’t like it and stopped after a few minutes but everyone else had a blast and we still laugh today at Rod bumping into a bin and Naomi’s spectacular dismount!!
20. Going to Florida wouldn’t have been complete without a tour of the Everglades in airboat right? Then a drive down the most famous road in Florida State.. US 1 to Key West, over the 7 mile bridge with a visit to one of the most talked about State Parks, Bahia Honda….
21. We visited The Kennedy Space Center – Home to NASA…. another point that needs no introduction.
22. Being able to stay on Americas Number 1 Beach was breath taking. he sand is so fine and white that feels like flour under your feet!
23. If I had a bucket list, having my own personalised registration plate would have been on it. Naomi made this dream come true for my 30th birthday present – it has to be up there as one of the BEST PRESENTS EVER!
24. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done this year was give something back. I called my mum one day and suggested that we decorate my sisters house whilst she was away on holiday… What started with a few ideas of ‘freshening up’ soon became a team of family and friends acting out a chapter of DIY SOS… See more of what we did here.
25. The Escape Rooms in Manchester was great experience. Again a new business here in the great city of Manchester, where I got locked in a room with some fellow bloggers for a little while! Read more about that here.
26. Just incase we hadn’t been away enough this year we decided a trip to Dublin to visit our Irish friend (well, one of them) was well overdue. What started out as a quiet weekend ended in 10 English people descending on Dublin in a fun filled boozy weekend full of laughs!! This is the second time I’ve been to Dublin and still not seen much other the pubs but hey, that’s Irish for ya right?
27. Schnauzer Walks North West is a facebook group that Naomi & I joined soon after we got Dora, it’s a community of Schnauzer owners who regularly meet for dog walks and this year we attended our first ever ‘Schnauzer meet’ at Lytham St Annes. It was so much fun – over 300 Schnauzers all in 1 place! Dora was in her element.
28. We’ve been so lucky throughout this year to be able to get a few weekend breaks in as well as everything else. We had out first experience of The Sun £9.50 holidays.. something I’m not sure we’ll be rushing back into without at least upgrading to a caravan that has heating lol. We have also been on a weekend in Lytham St Annes and a hot tub break in The Lake District as well as visiting Naomi’s family for a big birthday party in Newark (even if I did have to drive through one of the worst storms of the year… it was worth it!)
29. Being a lover of football there is no football experience quite like actually being at the game, so thanks to Naomi we ended our Christmas festivities at The Etihad Stadium watching Manchester City beat Sunderland in a 4-1 cracker on Boxing Day.
30. WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!! I thought I’d save the best till last…. after all, this year has been perfect, but that’s because we did it TOGETHER.
So that’s it… #30things… 2015, you’ve been challenging yet truly memorable. Thank you.