Wednesday, 14 June 2017

26 things ...

Hi guys,

So I am now 27 thanks to 6/6/17. Taking inspiration from many people who do similar things, I wanted to share with you 26 things I have learned, done, saw, places I have traveled to in my year of being 26.

1. Hong Kong - Currently, as you are reading this I am on my last day of Hong Kong. I will be popping a post on shortly with the delights of my holiday but visiting Hong Kong with my grandparents is something I have wanted to do for a long time.

2. Kos - we visited Kos in September last year. We have been to Greece previously but we went to Kos on this trip and I think I appreciated the older parts of it more now. We hired a car and drove around the whole island which was incredible!

3. Rome - This has been on my list of places to go for a LONG LONG time and we finally got there. Chris was persuaded to visit and he loved it. It is definitely somewhere I can see us going back to.

4. The Granary, Brigham

We booked a weekend trip with the family as it has been a LONG time since we went away altogether. Chris and I booked it as a Christmas present for everyone and we had an amazing time. We haven't had a family holiday like that since our good old caravan days and it was great to bring Chris and my sister's fiance along too.

5. Bannatynes Spa Day

My friend and I have been wanting to do a spa day for quite some time so we booked a day at Bannatyne's. We had a super amazing time and it has definitely made us want to some more very soon.

6. Moved house

We moved house in July to a bigger place and we love it. It is so quiet, our neighbours are lovely and the house is beautiful. We have so far redecorated quite a bit of it and we also had an amazing housewarming party to celebrate.

new kitchen
 hawaiian housewarming
master bedroom makeover
living room
guest bedroom

7. Northumberland/Scotland weekend

Our friend Charlotte bought us a night stay at the Borders for Christmas so we made a big weekend out of it and had an amazing time. On our trips, we tend to go South or leave the country so it made a fab change having this lovely scenic tour of northumberland and scotland.

8. Money Matters

I am an absolute shopaholic and while I do still buy things quite a lot, I have made sure to buy things only that I love or actually need. We have also been actively saving a lot of money so we have a rainy day fund.

We are hoping to buy a second house to rent out in the next 18 months to two years so we have been actively putting away money for this as well. We are feeling pretty good at the moment and I will share some tips about how I actively save soon.

9. Bishop Auckland Food Festival

We visit Bishop Auckland Food Festival every year and I am so glad we managed to make the visit again this year. It wasn't as big or spread out this year but we still managed to make a full day of it and I hope it's something we will continue to do in the future. We go with Chris' mam and dad so it is nice that we share this tradition with them.

10. My career

Although sometimes it is easy to moan about work being busy and stressful, I am feeling very good about my achievements at work. I have studied some external courses too which I feel has really helped me at work. I have also been actively reading management books to give me ideas and tips to use. I definitely recommend reading about your chosen career as I feel it gives you the opportunity to look at your role in a different way.

11. Instagram

26 was the year I decided to fully embrace Instagram. I signed up and away I was. While I don't have a massive amount of followers, I feel like they're all genuine and it is definitely a little community on there. I have quite a high level of engagement too. My favourite thing is that it is a photo diary for me too. I quite often just have a flick back through the photos to see what I have been upto recently!

12. Pinterest

Still getting to grips with Pinterest I have to admit, but I signed up this year to try and get my blog to the next level but also I just adore pinterest. My only drawback is that hours are lost pinning pictures of home offices and shelf dressing!

13. Facebook

This year I started to spread word about my blog on Facebook. While I can't say it is the best platform for promoting my blog, it has meant that I have shared it with my close friends and family. 

14. Consistent blogging

I have definitely improved on my consistency with blogging. I plan out my photographs and posts well in advance and try to schedule as many as possible so it doesn't leave me with last minute rushing to write and huge gaps in posting when I am busy with work. 

15. Confidence vs self doubt

I feel like I have come a long way recently with stopping to second guess myself all of the time. I love my job, I love blogging but I also do a lot of other things too. I used to question how good and effective I was at my job, I always question my blog and compare myself to others and I have had just about enough of all of that!

So, for Lent I decided to give up self doubt as part of The Prince's Trust campaign with Loreal. While I am not now this super confident human being, I actively seek to dampen the self doubt when it creeps up!!

16. Beauty Subscriptions

I have wanted to try beauty subscription boxes for a long time so I decided to subscribe to Birchbox and Glossybox for a couple of months and absolutely loved them! Now, I have since cancelled my subscriptions to both because I was absolutely inundated with different products to try and my drawers were spilling out. However, I have tried some new brands through them and these will be my go to boxes once I have got through some of the products I have at the moment!

17. Minimalism

I have definitely tried to embrace a bit of minimalism in my life. I am a shocking shopaholic and literally find excuses to nip the shop and just tend to buy anything that takes my fancy. Don't get me wrong, I don't spend more than I have and my bills etc. get paid well on time with noo problems. I just like to buy things.

However, I had a bit of a shocking moment when I realised I didn't have any room to store some Christmas presents yet my hubby and I live alone (with our two fur babies) in a FOUR bed house. It is quite a big house for two people, yet we were absolutely drowning in stuff so we had a big clear out and I put myself on a no spend spree. This lasted quite a few months and while I still buy stuff quite often, I only buy really what I need and try not to have any excess. I now shop my stash rather than go out and spend money on stuff I don't need. 

18. Being a "yes" woman

Have you ever seen the film, Yes Man? Well, I haven't quite gone to that extreme but I am trying to say yes to more experiences and events that my anxiety might have held me back with previously. I often say yes to stuff and then spend the run down to the event with extreme anxiety thinking of things to say to get out of it!

I also feel like I now have "too much" to blog about which is an amazing feeling!

Onwards and upwards!!

19. Healthy eating

So, this is something I have made a conscious effort with and I have done a lot of switching so far but I am joining slimming world this week to push myself even further. The problem with me is trying to plan ahead which I have started to do quite a lot now!

20. Drinking Water

I am so proud of myself on this one. I was a coke addict (coca cola, that is!!) and would drink Diet Coke all day with a couple of cups of tea so I cut out Coca Cola completely. I can't drink water out of a tap, I don't know why, I just can't. So I have been drinking sugar free flavoured water or I add fruits to normal water. While I have had coke since (on hols), I am still sticking to my water drinking and I feel amazing for it. 

21. Exercise

So finding the time to fit in exercise for me is a bit ridiculous. However, I have made sure that every day, even if I can only squeeze in fifteen minutes, it is well worth having my little run on the treadmill to get the energy flowing and the stress flows out of me. I absolutely adore the feeling after I have worked out on there.

I am going to be ramping it up with some swimming sessions and zumba classes too soon. I think it is definitely worth putting the time in for this!

22. Me time

This is something I am going to keep going. I always thought I had my me time when I blogged, but it turns out I needed some actual "me time" which involves completely shutting off from the world and chilling out. Whether it is laid reading a book, having some pamper time or getting out for a walk with my dogs, the things I love I have been doing more off and I feel so much better for it!

23. TV, Movies & Books

For all my blog is called Gatsby & Glamour, I haven't finished a good book in ages or talked about any of my latest watches in movies or TV. However, I made a list of all of the above that I wanted to get through and I am making some progress. I have a little pile of books by my bed and I have a lot of movies that I have been catching up on and I am feeling great for it. 

24. Trying new things

Similar to the "yes woman" point, I have been trying to get more experiences under my belt and try new thing. Here are three things I have tried previously that I haven't tried before. The Escape rooms was a particular high point and I will be trying this again. 


25. Tourist in my own town

I sometimes spend that much time researching what to do on my travels and making lists of places I want to go in the UK, I forget about getting out and about in my own time. Here are two of the places that I went to as a "tourist" in my own town.

26. Goal setting

This is the biggest thing for me in that I have been setting regular goals for all parts of my life and achieving them which has been amazing. I have lots more planned to achieve to do with money, health and my career so watch this space when we get to 28!!


Rachael xox


  1. Really enjoyed reading this, hope you had a great birthday! xo

  2. Fab idea for a post and yeah for having too much to blog about - always a good feeling x