36 Words of wisdom, wonderings and randomness.

Happy birthday to someone I have known my whole life – frenemy, fashion eclectic (and by eclectic I mean ‘swings between too glam to give a damn’ or ‘how many days have you not washed your hair and worn those leggings for gurl?) and THE best card DJ you would ever have the pleasure of riding with.

Me!

I’ve written down 36 thoughts below, one for each year. There’s nothing more profound than that I’m afraid, but I hope you are enjoyed and amused by at least a few of them!

1. Bridget Jones had it right on the money – whether my dress size says I’m a 10 or a 14, I will always be just a little bit fat.

2. A walk goes a long way to clear your head.

3. Diets do not work. At my lower moments I have hoped and prayed they would, but they don’t. If you go on a diet you have to come off one sometime. To prove it, last year I tried one of the latest weight loss fads, Boom Bod, click the hyperlink to see what happened.

4. Get me on karaoke to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and I will crush it.

5. Victoria Beckham didn’t start her uber popular fashion brand until she was 34 after a whole other career, so there’s still a chance I could become some kind of mogul yet.

6. I happily fall asleep listening to something ‘murder-ey’ – Snapped: Killer Couples or Deadly Women are my faves.

7. 9 months is pretty much the maximum I can have a hair style/colour before I must change it immediately…then pining for my old look immediately.

8. In this life you’re one of two things: good at selfies, or not good at selfies.

9. I have the same eyebrow lady as Scary Spice (I wonder if she has a pre-appointment pink lemonade like I do?).

10. Some flaws are easier to embrace than others – it turns out what I thought were freckle clusters that came out in the sun are actually a skin condition called Melasma, but I think it’s cute so I don’t actively seek to cover it up.

11. Travel the world, but don’t forget what’s right on your doorstep – get to know the culture and beauty of your own country.

12. Only follow people on Instagram that make you happy or positively inspire you.

13. You can go to Benidorm an experience cool rooftop bars, instagrammable spots and fabulous steak. Trust me I’ve been there and done it!

14. Kusadasi is beautiful and very affordable part of Turkey to visit, but boy do most of the locals seem to despise British holidaymakers…

15. An Aperol Spritz becomes an extra lil’ something when you sub the soda water for fresh orange juice. Aperol Mimosa – you’re welcome.

16. Sunsets are one nature’s most beautiful occurrences, but so are sunrises. Plus, you don’t have to share them with as many people.

17. Why is it called hot chocolate if it’s frozen…is THAT the Serendipity??

18. If you’re in New York City and want to visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, the address is 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village. It’s a small road just off Bleacker Street, and NYC cabbies have nooooo idea where it is when you ask them to take you there.

19. Strategically placed glitter can cover up sunburn a treat…but can literally take days to remove from your body. Even even when you think it’s all gone…bam, there’s a fleck on your right boob.

20. Not everybody will have the same beliefs or make the life choices as you; one size doesn’t fit all in this life and nor should it have to. You don’t have to understand why others do what they do, but you do have to accept it.

21. I am not Boiler Man.

22. For anyone who questions my driving ability – earlier this year I transported 16 cups of hot coffee from Costa along a very busy road and did not spill a drop (here’s a photo of my friend Rachel who was here to witness this crowning moment).

23. The first time I slept in a tent (well, yurt) as an adult, I woke up surrounded by heavy snow.

24. Meeting Santa is blooming brilliant, even if you don’t have kids.

25. I make a really nice paella.

26. I recently found out that I use the same Smashbox colour correcting primer as a well-known former football manager.

27. There’s a cult phenomenon in Hull called a ‘Shit on the grass’. It’s a shot available in the Old Town called the Manchester Arms, and if you’re ever in the city (or a local that has never partaken) you should stop by and check it out!

28. I once met Chubby Brown (unfortunately on purpose, but not by choice) and he said “testicles” to me.

29. I have also read Chubby Brown’s first autobiography (on purpose) which I quite enjoyed.

30. There’s ALWAYS something good about the place you live (well, I’d say a solid 95% of the time in exceptional circumstances. Find it and be proud! I love that the city I’m from is quirky and filled with street art galleries, comedy and music. Also, don’t let anybody talk smack about your home town unless they have the genuine insight to back it up.

31. Sometimes you’re weird because your are family are weird and they made you. You didn’t stand a chance.

32. Look up. Look around. Do it often.

33. The Dunelm Teddy Bear range is cosy AF, I’d recommend investing in some immediately if not sooner.

34. If we could all truly see the things that others thought were awesome about us for ourselves, the world could be…I don’t know how to finish this because we probably never will, but just imagine.

35. I’m the exact age I’m meant to be . It’s only myself that gives a shit what that number is, and only me that can stop myself feeling oldAF (if anyone has any tips to achieve this, please do comment below!).

36. I am so proud, thrilled and excited to be a co-founder and member of the HEY Bloggers community. I’m glad to say I count many of the people I have met on this journey so far as friends and all round lovely people. Thank you xx

let me know which number was your fave! Thanks for reading,

J xx


The art of not giving a fuck

I did think about putting a couple of ** in the title, but then thought “why? The whole point is NOT to give a crap right?

Throughout all of this, however, I’ve learned that unfortunately, you can’t always alter your mind perception (at least not fully, 100% of the time) and that you have to seek out another way to cope so that you can get up and leave the house every day.

And for me, the answer was given to me by the good folks who wrote Book of Mormon: turn it off.

Turn it off. Push the feelings of feeling like utter crap to one side, put my fingers in my ears singing “lalalalala I can’t hear you”, utter state of denial. This may not sound healthy, but it’s what I do.

Think of it as being a model or actress. In front of the camera, they become someone else, another character, and get the results they needed. So that’s sometimes what I feel I need to do. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, Stefanie Germanotta has Lady Gaga, and I have Princess J-Bar*.

* I don’t actually refer to myself as Princess J-Bar; I once joked to the Mr that this would be my rap name so refer to that when I’m trying to be funny.

Swimsuit, Next / Rose gold sunglasses, ASOS / Black sunglasses Dorothy Perkins / Biker jacket, ASOS / Dress, Dorothy Perkins

So now you know. You may not agree with it, and that’s fine, but you may also think “I could totally try that” and it may just be the thing that gets you out of the house and back in the game.

Whatever you think, cheers for reading my ramblings!

J xx


5 Things that have helped keep me sane in testing times

The past few weeks have been a wee quiet again from me on the blog posting and social media front, but for different reasons than before. I have plenty that I want to write, snap and post, unfortunately the universe has made other plans for me that just aren’t quite as positive.*

I’ve had some family illness that has been very difficult to deal with, in turn my own health (a little bit physical, a little bit mental) has been a bit fragile which disintegrated further. This meant that I wasn’t able to be the best person I could be at work, at home or anywhere for that matter, so I made the difficult decision to withdraw from everything for a few days to see if I could regain some semblance of control. I’ve never been massively open about any kind of health struggles I’ve suffered over the years; as much as its OK to talk about things in modern society, I simply don’t want to a solid 95% of the time.

Anyway…I’ve been trying really hard to have some quiet time to help become a bit stronger for myself and those around me, so I thought I would share some of the things I’ve been doing in the hope that it may help one or two people that happen to read this.

Ru Paul’ s Drag Race

A lot of people can’t believe that I have never ever watched this show before now!

I know a lot of people that love it, but the main reason I first watched it was because it came up as a recommendation on my Netflix profile (and since I mainly watch crime/murder stuff, I have no idea why) on a Bank Holiday Sunday home alone and thought, why not?

I started at the very beginning and am now at the end of season 2, I’ve managed to avoid too many spoilers so blissfully watching as everyone else has, and will keep plodding on until I’m fully caught up.

Fresh flowers

A simple but good ‘un, I’m not quite at Elton John capacity but I’m buying them for as many places as I can, and house plants too! I’m becoming slightly disillusion with the blogger fave, peonies (sorry) as they’re dying far too quickly, but I’m loving coral-pink carnations and brightly coloured roses for my lounge and kitchen window sills.

Long walks on… well, to anywhere

This top tip has been in my back pocket for years now – I started doing this as uni; I would do a 2 mile walk (it doesn’t sound like a lot, but at the time I didn’t really do any other exercise) to the shops and back first thing to blow off the cobwebs and set me up for the day. These days I also try to incorporate some social time time with the gals (we have a regular Sunday walking club, and we stop for Costa half way round) and quality time with the Mr where we can just chat about our days or other random stuff like decorating ideas for the house.

If anybody local to me ever fancies a walk and chat (coffee doesn’t have to be involved but I would recommend) holler at me.

Dom & Ink Free To Be Me

To be honest it’s Dominic himself that’s the selling point – he’s the loveliest guy who fights so hard for all people to be accepted, and aims to show people the power of how awesome they are through the power of his words and amazing illustrations. If you head to his Instagram stories, he has some fabulous inspirational wallpapers as well as his regular ‘Digital Hugs with Dom’.

The HEY Bloggers community

All of these things have been super helpful, but I have saved the best for last. Helping to establish HEY has been one of the best things I ever did. It’s not only a great community to be part of if you live in Hull and East Yorkshire as a blogger or creative but it’s also a place I have found friends, encouragement, passion a inspiration. If any of you are reading this – I hope you realise how important you have been, are and will continue to be.

If you’ve stuck this post out until the end, thank you for reading.

J xx

*if you want to stop reading this post here, I completely understand. If you’re going through hard times yourself, or you’re working hard to avoid scenarios that may make you feel bad then please do put down your device and do something that makes you feel good xx


Five things that bloggers no longer do

Today marks five years since I decided to start (and stick to writing) my blog. Five years of making friends, challenging myself to be creative with style and discovering lots of different things. Five whole years!!

To make this milestone there’s no giveaway (sorry) no cute photo shoot with a cake or balloons (not that I didn’t want to, I just wasn’t organised enough) and no imparting of wisdom of how to do anything amazing in the blogging world (how I wish I had this wisdom to use). Nope. Instead, I’ve written five differences I’ve noticed since I first streaked claim on a little patch of the internet. I wonder who else remembers and has noticed some of these… (I’ve also peppered a few more throwback blog post pics throughout, enjoy)

1. Bloggers no longer….simply write about an outfit – why they like it, how they styled it , what it’s like to wear etc

My first ever blog post was literally me sharing 2 very ad-hoc photos of what I’d worn the weekend before. It certainly wouldn’t cut the mustard now!

Even with a lot of fashion bloggers and featuring styled outfits, the content of the post is usually something that feels a bit profound, imparting wisdom or an opinion on a key topic. The fashion is just kind of there to break up that chat a bit. That’s probably ended up being so due to the rise of the micro influencers in Instagram (not to mention Instagram Stories and IGTV) and YouTubers, which are much easier outlets to share this kinda stuff on, but I sometimes worry that I don’t have the opinions or the wisdom to keep up with this developing trend.

2. Bloggers no longer…title their posts with something profound or cute

I’ll give you examples using some of my previous post titles – Mono-magic, Peachy, Hot weather cold shoulder, summertime sadness, snug as a fashionista in a blanket cape.

As a marketeer, I’m a huge advocate of something quirky and maybe verging on a bit click-baity, so I still think there’s a place to do something along these lines. However, if you’re calling a spade a spade then people will come and read because they have a more explicit idea of what to expect.

3. Bloggers no longer…have whimsical blog names

I include myself in this one! My blog was called ‘Curious Alice Loves…’ for the first three years, I changed its for a few reasons but the main was because PR messages kept coming to me starting “Hey Alice, how are you?” (That’s very sloppy on the PR’s part for not ready the bio, or e-mail address correctly). I know quite a few people who gave their blog a more quirky name when they first started but then evolved/re-branded down the line to being ‘just them’ (does anyone remember Sarah Ashcroft’s That Pommie Girl?. I admire those who have kept hold of their original name and have a kind of ‘gal behind the blog’ approach as that’s the identity they’ve built, like the fabulous Dorkface.

4. Bloggers no longer…write “PR friendly” in their bio

Never understood this one, never did it myself. I mean, what blogger isn’t?!?

5. Bloggers no longer…engage with each other’s posts in the comments section

This one is the key – everyone used to leave comments directly on a blog post, but I honestly can’t recall the last time I had any of mine. I don’t know whether this just means that people are reading things quickly and can’t be bothered to log in to leave one, whether they’re just looking at pictures or whether they don’t feel they have anything of value to say, but I do find this a real shame. Let’s all make sure we encourage and engage with each other, the hustle is hard!

So, for this post and any others you’ve read over the years, thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it.

J xx


LIFESTYLE / 5 Things for 2019, update #1

As this update is coming about 6 weeks later than I had planned, I should probably address the fact that it’s also my first blog post in about 2 months. The reason? Simply, I had a major content block – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to create/write about, I didn’t want to half arse by putting posts out I wasn’t into (as I’ve done in the last during these lulls) so thought it was better to just not bother. I’m now feeling more ready, prepared and excited to get back on it, so I’m starting by sharing my first update on my goals for 2019

1. Shop in my own closet 75% of the time

So far, so good. I’ve found this one a bit easier than I thought I would. Whenever I’ve been getting dressed in the morning or planning to go somewhere I’ve made sure I have a good hard look through my wardrobe…and my ironing basket (because we all know that’s where most of the clothes live) aaaaaaaannnnnd what I’ve come to fondly refer to as my ‘bed-drobe’ (double bed in the spare room, surely the perks of being a home owner) to see what I realistically had to wear. Once I got over the whole “it’s ok to be seen re-wearing outfits in current society” and “I don’t go out lots and lots, so I really don’t need to buy something new every time” I realised I have perfectly nice clothes and I just need to put them on.

I will say that over the last few weeks whilst being in my funk I have ‘tried’ to do some clothes and beauty shopping but it’s been a bit of a fail and most of the stuff has ended up going back.

The biggest test for me was the launch of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded palette – with the last few drops I’ve literally grabbed them as soon as they’ve gone on sale, but I’m holding strong on this as I just don’t need it…well, at the moment.

2. Get a home bar

Almost done can you believe! There’s a bar option within our actual house (a full blog post coming about this as soon as I can) and we have a physical bar top in one of our outhouses but haven’t stocked or styled it yet. So it’s definitely going, but not quite there.

3. Un-join the gym and get outside

I can definitely put a big fat tick against this one too, ya girl is on a roll here!

I’ve been going for long walks at least once per week and shorter walks another once or twice, and it’s been great for so many reasons. My physical and mental health have both improved from getting fresh air, and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up with friends and be a bit more sociable. I would NEVER have been that sociable in a gym scenario, even if I’ve gone to a class with someone.

So far I’m feeling that this was the best goal I set for myself for the year.

4. Get out of the house more

Yes, weeeeelllllll… I can’t say for definite that I’m fully on with this, however I’ve made steps from where I was before so things are happening but perhaps slower than I would have liked then to. What can I say; the temptation of a Saturday afternoon nap sometimes has more of a pull for me! Haha. I have been doing at least a little something each weekend towards this overall goal – going out for walks with friends and adding in a coffee stop has been one, making an effort to go and see family, popping to look round the shops, go see a film or out for lunch have been others. I’ll be honest and say some of those times I’ve found it quite hard to get going as I just haven’t wanted to move from the couch, but once momentum is going I’ve felt better for it which is making things a bit easier each time.

5. Drinks out, drinks in

I think this one is OK? My only aim was to not drink aimlessly and think about things a bit more, which I think I’ve been achieving.

I’ve only had 3 real points where I’ve had alcohol so far this year – 1 for Valentines day which was unexpected, another on a nice day in March when I suggested to the Mr that we head out for some laid back day drinks (bloody love chilled afternoons like that) and we shared a bottle of prosecco and mojitos. That’s the sort of thing I wanted to avoid doing on the regular however I’m not being hard on myself for it as Im not likely to be doing it all the time and it went a long way to having quality time and relaxation which is important to me.

The final time was on holiday; again another key test as everybody else was very much in ‘I’m on holiday, let’s drink from lunchtime’ mode, but I simply just had two or 3 when I felt like it, only had something I really wanted and mixed plenty of water breaks in for good measure.

So, what else has been happening in my life since we last spoke?

I’ve been holiday

Last week I got back from a family holiday to Lanzarote. It was a week long break (booked by my in-laws to end at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, extra 4 days off for me) that turned out to be very relaxing and exactly what was called for. I had a great mix of sightseeing, sunbathing, swimming, eating and sleeping (the Mr would probably argue I did too much of the latter!) but I don’t think I’ll be doing any dedicated blog posts about the trip as I haven’t found a content angle that I feel would well. Instead, here are a few pics:

Not gonna lie, I’m petty darn pleased with this update overall! I’m doing well, I’m being realistic and I still have 7 and a bit more months to make a solid difference.

For general day to day updates and more holiday spam, make sure you check in on my social media channels in between blog posts.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Buying a house – what to ask/ do during the viewing process

Quick note: this is not my furniture or how my lounge looks. Not that it matters, just wanted to point it out.

So, you’ve done you research (see the first post of this mini-series to find out more about that side of things) you’ve seen some places you like and you’re ready to go out and see them in person. But…what are you supposed to do when you’re there besides look?

Buying property is a huge commitment, so you want to make sure you get it right, and that’s where I can help. I’ve viewed so many houses over my adult life, more than half of them within the last couple of years so my experiences are pretty current as well as long standing. Learning from my family, friends and a few industry professionals I believe I’ve honed my line of questioning, so now I’m sharing what I’ve learned below.

This post will take a little while to read, but if you’re thinking of buying a property soon it’s totally worth it!

Before you view

When you call (if this is not an online agency) to book a viewing, ask:

– For an idea of the seller’s situation (i.e. Have they found a new house, are they in a hurry to sell, is the house vacant) and clearly communicate yours to them.

If you’re a first time buyer with a decision/agreement in principle or have sold your house and are in strong position to move make sure this is known, as the agent will communicate this to the seller which lets them know you’re a reliable and serious viewer.

– Who is showing you the house and their name

It’s good to have a name so you can start off by building a good rapport (this can be useful as if you end up in any kind of bidding war, the fact that they warm to you *may* help sway things in your favour). It will also give you an idea of whether it’s the homeowner or a representative of the agent showing you around; if it’s the latter you will need to ask the next question.

– If they can answer all questions you may have about the property themselves

If it’s not people who live in the property showing you round (they may have passed away, or simply have asked the agents to help because they’re at work) then it’s likely that whoever is present at the viewing will just be letting you in the house to look around and won’t have a great deal of knowledge to answer questions on the spot. If they’re a good agency they will have prepared some of the key points but other things they will probably have to ask and get back to you about. If you know this in advance, you may be able to have the agency get some of the information from the seller before your viewing which will save time later.

During the viewing

First things first – get your game faces on. Be prepared to be pleasant but try to keep a poker face – you don’t want to appear too keen if you love the house as this will leave you with no bargaining power if you make an offer later, however you don’t want to appear rude as this is somebody’s home and very important to them.

These are what I would deem are the core questions you should ask as you move throughout the home, just ask as part of a natural conversation. The person showing you around will be expecting you to ask a lot of questions so don’t hold back!

– How long have you lived here?

If it’s a long time, good sign. If it’s not, that’s not the worst, but it makes the following question more important.

– Why are you wanting to move?

If the agency have given any indication already this will help confirm this. Usually it’s a very legitimate reason e.g. To be closer to work, need a bigger/smaller house, and you can usually tell if they’re not being honest with you. If you don’t feel they are you’re definitely entitled to press a little, but don’t push too hard.

– What’s is the average cost of utilities/bills?

As well as your mortgage payments, this gives you an idea of how much your total outlay may be. I’ve quite often phrased this as “apart from the mortgage, how much does the house usually cost to run every month?”

– What council tax band is the house in?

I would follow this up with how much does that cost every month if they don’t tell you. If the house is occupied by 1 adult and you’re buying as a couple yours will cost 25% more per month than this, or 25% less if a couple is currently living there and you’ll be living alone. A lot of people also don’t know that you have the option to pay your council tax bill over 12 months (the traditional amount is 10) so there are opportunities to save a bit on the monthly outlay of this one.

– What is the broadband signal like in the house?

VERY important – one of the houses we previously owned was in a “blackspot” and the connection was terrible and patchy (yet we had to pay the same amount, ugh.) which then also affected our satellite TV as that also relied on this.

– What is mobile phone reception like in the house?

Again, VERY important – the house we live in now is a bit of dodgy area for the EE network which led to us changing to O2. You can easily see on your own phone what the reception/connectivity is like, and ask the sellers what network they’re on or if there are any areas on their property that aren’t as good for signal.

– The age of windows/doors/ conservatory/flat roof – how long ago where they fitted?

I’ve come to notice that the ‘general’ age for big items like this to perform well before they require repair or replacement is about 10-15 years. This isn’t an exact science but double glazing usually has a 10yr guarantee against it which is a fair indication. If the weather is bad (wet, windy, snowy) when you view you’ll probably be able to see/feel any droughts or leaks. Some of these problems can be put right for a few hundred pounds, others can be a few thousand, butnif you know what you’re dealing with you can decide if you feel the house is worth it.

– Where is the boiler, how old is it and when was it last serviced? How regularly has been serviced whilst you’ve lived here?

An old boiler isn’t necessarily a bad thing (in my last house it was about 30yrs old) if you’re also told it’s been serviced at least once per year whilst the seller has lived there. If it’s fairly new and has been serviced every year, even better. If you wanted to go one further you could ask the make of the boiler (you may have a savvy relative or want to google the company afterwards) if the seller currently has a boiler cover and the cost to allow for this in your monthly bills.

– Do you have solar panels or loft/cavity wall insulation – when were they fitted and how effective are they now?

The second part of the question could probably only be answered if the sellers had these things installed whilst they lived in the property, if not they will probably only be able to comment on how effective they find them in general (i.e. Does the house get and stay warm)

– What can you tell me about the neighbours?

Much better than “are the neighbour’s nice?” In this day and age people may not know the neighbours more than to say hello to, but if there’s been any kind of acrimony or negativity you are giving them the opportunity to tell you (there’s potential legal recourse if they fail to disclose a serious problem, as it may affect whether you choose to buy the house or not). You’ll generally find most people will be quite vague “we don’t see them much but everyone seems nice” which is the answer you should hope for.

– What’s parking like down the street?

This is becoming such a hot button issue as many houses have at least 2 cars, sometimes more if older children live at home or visit often. Not everyone likes to park in garages or on drives as they’re lazy, but this obviously takes up valuable space and determines how easy the area is to drive and manoeuvre around. If the property has a shared Drive, ask what kind of arrangement are currently in place between the seller and neighbour for right of way etc.

Top tip: whatever answers you’re given, do a couple of drive-bys at different times/days in the week so you can see for yourself (evenings, weekends and early mornings are key times)

– What are local transport links like?

Also see if they can tell you the name/number of the local services so you can look the timetables up afterwards, how far away the nearest bus/tram stop or station are, and if they know how reliable these are.

– Is there anything else we haven’t asked that you feel would be useful to mention?

If you’ve asked all of the above and anything else that’s popped into your head as you’ve walked around, there probably isn’t, but it may trigger a memory of questions that other potential buyers have asked the seller.

– What is your favourite thing about living here, and what do you like the least about living here?

This one is a curve ball and generally not a regular thing most people would ask, however the hubby and I viewed so many properties this time around that we added it in to wring every last bit of honesty out of the seller. They won’t be expecting the question so won’t have had any time to pre-prepare an answer, meaning you’ll get a response that’s more honest or more telling. We found this very useful indeed.

After viewing

As you’re leaving a viewing, thank the seller for showing you their home and tell them at you will be in touch with your feedback shortly. This doesn’t indicate you love or hate it, but simply that you’ll let the agent know either way what you thought and how you’d like to move forward.

If the agent is getting information about the property from the sellers, be sure to chase this up after a couple of days if you haven’t heard anything.

A good agency will call or e-mail a day or two after your viewing to ask what you thought of the property, if you have any questions and if you would like them to book a second viewing or pass along an offer on your behalf. With these conversations I find it best to be honest and clear – if you didn’t like the house, say this and explain the reasons why if possible as this will help the agency manage things and stop them chasing you about it. If you’re genuinely in the fence, tell them this as well and they may be able to help with this, either by booking a follow up viewing for you to have another look and make up your mind or trying to find out why to see if they help you work through this.

And that is basically it in a nutshell – it’s a pretty large nutshell but it’s all here!

If you’re able to ask all of these questions during a viewing you’ll get a pretty complete picture of the property you’re interested in. It’s not an exhaustive list; every property is different and some may require a bit more fact finding than others, but it’ll put you more in control of the process and let the seller know this.

I’m planning one more post as part of this series that covers the last part of the process (the part people usually get the most stressed over) from offer to completion.

Happy house hunting!

J xx


BLOGMAS 2018/ Day 24: My Instagram best 9 (2018)

*Sings tunefully* It was Christmas Eve…..so perhaps we can gloss over the fact that I didn’t post yesterday. And on day 21, but nobody’s counting right? Awesome!

Have you ever logged in to the ‘best 9’ website/app over the past few years to see which have been your most popular Instagram posts?

It’s been a bit of a thing over the past few years, so I thought that this year it’d be a nice way to bookend the year by reviewing my most liked posts – when/ where they were and a bit of context behind each. Hope you enjoy!

Hull Marina, May 2018

This snap was taken at the end of a slightly stressful but very happy day – it was the day we finally completed on the sale of our house and picked up the keys (from some of the rudest estate agent staff I have EVER encountered). We weren’t able to fully move in until the day after, so we took ourselves out for a little cocktail to celebrate. We were living right on the marina and right across the street from this bar, so it was the perfect last hurrah. It took 8 long and stressful months to find, which has made me appreciate what we have so much more.

Duck and Waffle, London, August 2018

London baby – you haven’t really had breakfast until you’ve had it at the highest restaurant in the city! This activity formed part of the ‘do things in London we’ve never done before’ tour, it was a bit out of the way but a lovely way to start what ended up being a very enjoyable day indeed.

My front room, East Yorkshire, December 2018

This one was a late entry but one of my faves too I think – one of the photos I took as part of my Blogmas ‘unveiling the Christmas tree’ post. These Next PJ’s are the snuggest I’ve had in life so far, I need to get on with finding some none festive replacements for the next 11 months…

Zoo Cafe, Hull, March 2018

This is a totally ‘for the gram’ moment – my faves Rock on Ruby brought out a bridal collect right before my 8th wedding anniversary and I saw an opportunity. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, so did ROR.

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

When you post pictures of one of the most infamous places in Greece, people are gonna gonna double tap for ’em! As part of our summer holiday to Santorini we spent a whole afternoon strolling the whitewashed streets of Oia taking in the scenery, with the explicit aim of taking good pictures. Well, that was my aim anyway. I think I was probably frustrated that the people in the top left were in my shot, but that’s kind of the vibe everywhere you go in this town.

Hull City Hall, January 2018

Another Rock on Ruby creation has made it in! Sadly the tee is no longer with me due to an unfortunate washing incident…this was part of an outfit I wore when I went to watch Jason Manford’s comedy tour and I had a great night.

Santo Wines, Santorini, August 2018

I remember this being such a lovely evening – we were tasting wine, watching an amazing sunset and having Greek food, what’s not to like? Well, the only thing not to like were people getting up in our grill trying to get their lovely photos too – we booked in advance so got a lovely table right at the front, those that didn’t were keen to make it look as if they had. I took photos at incremental points of the sun going down for a comparison and so we could remember how beautiful it was – we arrived when the sun was still bright hot and didn’t leave until after dark.

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

This (and the only below) photo formed part of the quickest set of photos I’ve ever had to take – people are constantly walking around, wanting to stop at the same place as you to get their perfect shot and are waiting around behind ’til you’ve finished and they can jump in on your setup. The scenery was definitely beautiful and I definitely made time to stop and appreciate it, but not at this exact spot (half way down a stair case to the sea front next to a tonne of bars and restaurants).

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

this is one of my personal favourite photographs from the last year, so I’m glad Instagram liked it too! As I said above we had to hustle to get this pic, I think we probably had less than 2 minutes before people were wanting to walk in front of the shot, so that makes it all the more surprising that a couple of cracking shots came from this. Definitely helped that the scenery is so beautiful, but also props to the Mr for his camera skills.

If you’ve also done a post like this, please link it in my comments section so that I can have a nosey, if you haven’t got one planned then why not do it?

Thanks for joining me for another year of #blogmas I hope you e enjoyed it as much as me. More posts on the way soon!

J xx