Friday, 31 March 2017

30 Before 30 Third Quarter Update

As if I'm into my final quarter of my last year in my twenties, I literally haven't a clue where this year is disappearing to.  That said I've been trying my best to make it a good one. 

In my previous updates I had managed to cross off a few things from my list of 30 before 30.
#2. Cross something off my bucket list.
#4. Visit a lavender farm.
#8. Watch a film in an outdoor space.
#10. Start some form of exercise.
#17. Experience Christmas at Kew.
#20. Do something spontaneous.  
#23. Try a food I've never tried before.
#27. Acquire a taste for coffee.

Since the last update I've been rather busy.  The latest things to be crossed off the list are:

#13. Spend more time on myself.
I've definitely been doing this by taking the time to do the things that I want, spending time reading, relaxing baths and generally just taking care of myself.

#18. Spend at least one day by the coast.

A couple of days have been spent by the coast, so far I've visited Southend and Saltburn.

#19. Pay a visit to London's Sky Garden.

#21. Grow something beautiful.

#24. Go and see a ballet performance.

I couldn't take any photos during the performance but back in February I went to see Swan Lake, and WOW, what a beautiful performance it was.  being able to see the orchestra play was pretty amazing too.  I'm definitely going to look out for ballet shows in the future, I'd really like to go and see The Nutcracker nearer to Christmas. 

#28. Watch the Harry Potter films.
Finally, I've done it, all except for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them but I'm not counting that.

So, as I enter the final quarter I'm aware that I still have a huge chunk of my list yet to cross off and I'm intrigued as to what lays ahead but I am ready and waiting for it and determined to cross everything off.

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Introducing A New Little Friend

Firstly I want to thank everyone for the support and comments on my last blog post.  It's been a tough ride but things are going well and right now I'm feeling pretty good about life.  Things are sent to try us in many of life's challenges and curve balls and what I've been through has definitely made me a far stronger person.  It's not always been pretty but right now I'm feeling great.
A couple of weeks ago I welcomed a new little friend into my life. 

Say hello to Holly.

She is a Siberian Hamster and is absolutely adorable, I have fallen in love. 

She has already had me in stitches over her funny little ways from demonstrating her climbing skills and doing the monkey bars across the top of her cage then casually just falling to the ground to running for endless minutes in her wheel. 

She really is such a character, plus she loves a cuddle which is fine by me.

I'm sure there will be plenty of hamster spam on the blog over the next couple of years, that is if she stays still for two seconds for me to take a photo.

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Life Lessons

I've been spending a lot of time recently reflecting on life and the things I have learnt.  Life is not a fairy tale and things will not always go the way you plan them. 

I was sure that by this point in my life I would be a
home owner and married with my own family.  In reality I'm living in someone else's flat.  I'm married and going through a divorce after discovering my husband of less than 2 years was having an affair and I am childless after a year and a half of trying to conceive with said ex-husband.  Learning to live without someone that I have spent the past ten years growing with has been a real struggle, someone I thought I could trust and depend on, someone I loved with everything I had has literally thrown it back in my face and taken me for a fool.  It's not at all how I had things planned out, but it is not all bad.

I have the most loving and supportive family who have been my rocks through everything.  Through thick and thin I know they will always be there for me no matter what.

I have made some of the best friendships with the greatest of girls and I couldn't be happier that they are all a part of my life.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they all remain a big part of the rest of my life too.

I discovered my love for the British countryside and know that it is where my heart belongs.  I may not be living in the countryside right now, but I will, that I am sure of. 

I have also been lucky to travel to some pretty incredible places and experienced some great things, creating  memories that I will treasure for a lifetime and am currently planning more travels to enjoy soon.   

I genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason.  So in terms of everything bad I have been through, as strange as it may seem, I am grateful for it to a degree because it has shaped me to the person that I am today and I am very proud of that strong independent woman.  And if I were to go back and do it all again, would I change things? Of course I would, but in the grand scheme of things, not all that much.  The changes I would make are only small.  I would definitely travel more, that is probably the biggest thing I would change. 

Ultimately life is all about give and take but it's important to be selfish, I mean it's your life and why shouldn't you do the things that you want to do, the things that make you happy?!  We are all guilty of wanting to please others but in reality what is the point of this if we are not pleasing ourselves.

I have turned down a fair few opportunities of some fantastic holidays and experiences in the past because I was 'saving' And what do I have to show for it now?  Nothing.  One thing I have learnt is that you will always find the money if you need to.  I'm not talking about going out and spending thousands of pounds on a round the world cruise, but I've turned down these opportunities and missed out on making memories with loved ones, in exchange for new clothes and toot that I really didn't need, all because I was supposed to be saving but didn't.

That said, this learning curve has caused me to throw caution to the wind now.  I'm determined to make the most of life because do you know what, as cliché as it sounds, we only live once and I want to make sure I have a heap of memories to show for it.

~ Gem x 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Stratford's ArcelorMittal Orbit

Since hearing they were going to be opening a slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Olympic Park Stratford, the adrenalin junkie within me has been waiting to try it out.  I was lucky enough to open a ticket for the slide at Christmas and so the wait came to an end last weekend when I headed to Stratford to check it out.  

Already having my ticket, I was directed to the lift to take me to the viewing platform.  I love London so seeing the view from a different angle was great.

You can't take any belongings onto the slide with you so I had to go back down to the ground to use the lockers onsite.  The lockers are a really good size and cost £1 which is returned to you when you fetch your belongings at the end, so if you are going to visit make sure you have a pound coin on you. 

Back into the lift and up to the slide I was feeling so excited to try it out.  You are given some rather fetching safety gear to wear, elbow pads and a very attractive helmet, which personally seemed a bit health and safety gone mad to me.  However, on going down the slide I completely get it.  Wow that thing was fast! 

You know when you queue for a ride for about an hour and then you finally get on it for it to be over within seconds, well I had prepared myself for this to be the case.  Although there was no queue which was a bonus, the allotted time slots definitely help to prevent this from happening.  Once on the slide, I turned a fair few corners where I expected to find myself at the bottom, only it just kept on going (not that I am complaining).  It was bloody brilliant.  I loved every second and would definitely do it again. 

If it is something you have been meaning to do yourself or if you have a visit planned to London and are looking for something a little different to do while you are there then I would recommend heading to Stratford to try it out.  Do try and book your tickets before you go though as it does get booked up pretty quickly. 

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March 2017 Bucket List

This month I'm planning to:

* Survive the month without chocolate -
This is going to be my toughest challenge yet, I practically survive on chocolate but it is for a good cause, raising money for The British Heart Foundation.  You can sponsor me here on my JustGiving page. 

* Embrace The Spring Clean
As we will hopefully begin to see Spring rearing it's pretty head, I' hoping to clean to my hearts content and freshen things up a little.

* Get organised for my holiday -
Next month sees me heading to Tenerife for a week of sunshine.

* Finish my current read -
I have started reading JoJo Moyes ~ Me Before You, I'd love to get this finished this month so that I can start a new book on holiday, I'd really like to try and read more this year if I can.

What have you got planned for the month ahead?

~ Gem x