2019 Goals

Yes, I’m still behind the times. Mid January might seem late to some to set 2019 Goals but I have to work two jobs at Christmas so I get behind on everything, be nice to me please!

You’ll have seen in my last post that I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I find them oppressive.

However, I do want to build a habit of goal setting and being more ambitious. I also think that today, on Blue Monday, is a pretty good day to get myself motivated to combat the winter blues and start the year in a positive way.

I work well when given a deadline

I’m not saying I’m the kind of person that hands assignments in two weeks before they’re due. I’m more of a “perfecting at the last minute” kinda gal but I do find it helpful to keep me organised.

The last couple of years I’ve felt like I’ve been coasting along. Not going nowhere, just enjoying the ride.

Time is moving on

I’m over 30 now and there’s some seriously big things I want out of life so I need to knuckle down now and get organised!

There’s four main areas that I want to separate my goals into. This will allow them to be more specific but I’ll also feel less pressure somehow!

2019 Goals List

You can use this as a guide, or you can just sit back and laugh at my ridiculous ideas. Are you the kind of person who will have a 2019 Goals Planner or a 2019 Goals Bullet Journal? Or are you a disorganised random like me?

2019 Goals | Blog

Honestly Holly will turn 1 this year and I want to ramp it up! This first 9 months have been a very slow learning curve for me. So here’s what I want to achieve with my blog this year.

  • Create a welcome email for new subscribers
  • Hit 10k views overall (currently on just under 3k)
  • Make my first affiliate sale
  • Develop my own photography & editing style
  • Bag my first brand collaboration
Stock photo, person holding camera and planner

You’ll see only one of these is super specific. I work a 9 to 6 job Monday to Friday, I live in a pub which I end up working in when it’s super busy. My family and friends all live quite far away. I have a gym membership. I can’t force myself to spend all my time outside of work on my blog, as much as I’d love to!

2019 Goals | Home

Once upon a time, I was A Party Girl. I worked in a nightclub. Then when I got a real job, I still spent three nights a week partying. Now, I consider myself retired from the party scene. I love a good cocktail bar but nightclubs just aren’t my scene.

My home is definitely my new nightclub. I love being at home. I love the peace and comfort. I love having my girlfriend near; even if she’s working she’s only a couple of floors away. One of my favourite things in the whole world is to snuggle with the puppy on the sofa and watch Netflix.

BUT there’s a LOT left to do on our flat. The carpets are in process but the rest… Boy it’s overwhelming. So I’ve limited my 2019 house goals as much as possible so I don’t lose the plot over garden furniture.

  • Paint bedroom
  • Replace crumbly wardrobe with hanging rail & chest of drawers
  • New curtains in all rooms
  • Set up spare room
  • Build (or buy) garden furniture
hanging rail

I also want to invest a lot in towels. Not just for us, but Guest Towels too because I think that would make me a proper grown up.

2019 Goals | Friends and Family

Last year was a lot for me. Between going away, moving house and generally dying of anxiety every third week, I felt like I didn’t see enough of my friends and family. Having to try and plan activities around work, and M’s schedule so I still get to spend time with her, makes it really tough. Especially when most of my friends live the other side of London and my family are two hours away!

This year, I want to focus on being a better daughter, sister, auntie and friend:

5 sausage girls strolling the champs elysee
  • See family minimum once a month. Especially the nephew because he’s the best
  • Have a catch up with my friends in Hastings at least every 3 months
  • Host dinner at mine for my Sausage Girls (long story)
  • Have a sleepover with all 3 of my best girls. Currently only ever managing to get 3 out of 4 of us in a room at once!
  • Take my mum for afternoon tea

We all chat in WhatsApp groups day and night. I love having a never-ending stream of conversations with friends and family and I’m so grateful for technology. But nothing beats a night in with Chinese food, gin and laughing till you cry!

an auntie and her piglet

2019 Goals | Life & General

Some of the other things that have been floating about the swamp that is the depths of my brain…. just… can’t be put into a category. I can’t pin down half of it anyone. I need a pensieve like Dumbledore.

  • Go to the gym at least once a week
  • Eat less meat
  • Have one proper date with M once a month
  • Be more philanthropic
  • Watch more documentaries
  • Read more non-fiction books
selfie in the gym
5 years ago, when I was a gym genius

I’m getting on a bit and I’m no super model. I need to take better care of my body so I can live a long life. Taking care of the planet is also important, so my babies and their babies can have happy healthy lives too!

Do you set goals?

This is my first year ever actually setting myself serious goals. I always have vague ideas in my head and then, obviously, they never come to anything.

If you have any tips or tricks on how to keep on track, I’d be very much up for getting some advice!

Pinterest image 2019 Goals
Pinterest image 2019 Goals
Pinterest image 2019 goals
Pinterest image 2019 goals
Pinterest image 2019 goals

New Year’s Resolutions | Honest Rants

New Years Resolution
©Unsplash

Now that I’ve finally managed to do my 2018 Roundup about 6 weeks after everybody else, I figured I’d carry on with the theme bandwagoning and go ahead with a post on New Year’s Resolutions .

New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Lose 8 stone by February.
  2. Go Vegan in one week
  3. Go to the gym 14 times a week
  4. Go on 27 holidays by September
  5. Save £85k to buy our first house in October
  6. Become BFFs with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively by June
New Years Resolutions
©the_modern_life_mrs

LOL JK I’m great thanks

I CAN’T STAND NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. I’m not knocking anyone who has them. I know a few people who make them and stick to them. Kudos to those motivated little beans.

For me, I find NYR intimidating and unrealistic. I feel like in doing those super specific s.m.a.r.t goals, I’m setting myself up for failure.

New Year, New Me

PISS OFF. I am pretty bloody wonderful thanks. I don’t need a new me. I’ve been this me for 31 years and there’s a lot of people out there who would vouch for how bloody wonderful I am. Anyone else can get in the bin.

There is absolutely no sodding way that I need to be a new me.

However, there is always room for improvement

I don’t know why we as a society get quite so excited-in-the-pants about the New Year but we do and I love a bandwagon. I think marking the passage of time is scary but also a positive thing. I definitely think reflection is good too.

Taking stock and realising what you’ve achieved, what you’ve conquered, what nearly-but-didn’t-break you; it’s almost painfully cathartic.

I wasn’t born perfect and I won’t die perfect. I can, however, try and be more this year coming.

New Years Resolutions
©https://unsplash.com/@hoxmark

There’s a few areas I want to expand and improve this year

I’m not setting myself many specific goals. There won’t be tight deadlines, un-achievable ideas or repercussions if I don’t meet my mission statement.

One of the things I’ve learnt in recent years is to be kinder to myself. I am worthy of loving myself and need to stop being such a harsh critic.

I will do a serious post on my 2019 Goals, as this post is entirely in jest.

I just wanted to remind you that you’re great just as you are

You don’t need to conform to the usual. You are right where you need to be, on the path to where you’re going. You are everything.

Unless you’re going around spreading chlamydia, killing cats or generally being a wanker, you probably don’t need to overhaul your life.

If you want to change or introduce a few things, that’s fine, you do you boo.

Your resolution could be to eat things that make you happy at least once a week. Maybe you could decide to stop walking and start using a scooter instead. How about making a bird feeder in a bid to support the environment rather than trying to ban all animal products from your life?

Consider doing random acts of kindness. Send a friend a card in the post just to say hi. Help your neighbour clean their windows or mow the lawn. If you live in London, even just bloody smiling at your neighbour would be a miracle.

Meanness aside – do you have any resolutions? Are you one of those people who can absolutely stick to them? I will send you a certificate if so.

2018 Roundup

A bit late for a 2018 Roundup, isn’t it Holly?

Hey, I know it’s 2019 already and I’m late to the party but here we are. I spent Christmas week working / trying to see family and didn’t have the time or energy to be putting posts together.

On reflection, 2018 was a pretty great year. Like everyone says, it had its trials and tribulations, but we had so much more to be grateful for than sad for.

I don’t want this post to be a boast-post, it’s entirely self-serving. I want to provide myself a space where, on those dark days, I can come and remind myself how blessed I am.

January

2018 Roundup January

I mostly made this post from going through the pictures in my phone (thanks Google pics for being so organised). Turns out, I didn’t do much in January, but I did grow this rather beautiful plant. I have no idea what she is and she didn’t rise again but I loved coming home every day and seeing how much she changed and bloomed!

2018 Roundup January

February

2018 Roundup Creme Egg Camp

London always has a pop-up something. Bar, shop, zoo, you name it, it’ll pop up. My friend Katie messaged me about a pop-up Creme Egg event in Shoreditch and obviously I said yes. We went on an egg hunt, got treats and had an adventure. We also took some of my worst double-chin pictures ever. Nice.

2018 Roundup Creme Egg Brownies

This inspired me to do some baking, which comes as a shock to us all. I’m a rubbish baker and also lazy so I bought a packet of brownie mix and felt all Nigella by adding half creme eggs into it. Was one of two forays into baking this year.

2018 Roundup Home Decor

I also managed to finally get the knick knacks and pretty bits sorted for the living room – shiny things make me happy!

March

Miller & Carter Lakeside 2018 Roundup

March apparently kept me busy! We had the Christmas party (LOL) for the team at the pub. We all headed to Miller & Carter steak restaurant in Lakeside and ate more lettuce wedges than I thought possible (if you know about the wedge, you know).

Kinkao Thai Restaurant Isle of Dogs 2018 Roundup

I also made it out for Thai food with some friends from work and had some hectic looking cocktails in a restaurant with the most ornately carved tables I’ve ever seen!

2018 Roundup Selfie

I launched my blog! After a couple months planning and years writing on and off, I took the plunge and launched my own blog! I chose Lyrical Host as my host provider and couldn’t have been happier with my choice!

2018 Roundup - Royal Victoria Dock - Millennium Mills

I also launched my Instagram and discovered that I love taking pictures of scenery but they really don’t perform that well.

April

2018 Roundup Cape Town Robben Island

We took an amazing trip to Cape Town! My other half grew up there and we’ve both been yearning to go the whole time I’ve known her.

2018 Roundup Cape Town Airport Selfie

We saw the sights, visited friends and family, ate our way through the city and generally loved and laughed every minute.

2018 Roundup Cape Town V&A Waterfront
2018 Roundup Cape Town
2018 Roundup Knysna Elephant Park

We also took a weekend trip to Knysna with some friends, staying at an amazing Air BnB. The entire trip was a plot by me to be able to go to the nearest Elephant Sanctuary to Cape Town. Even if it did involve making 6 people take a fiver hour drive, I was getting up close and personal with the nellies whilst I was in Africa or there would be hell to pay.

May

2018 Roundup Organic Shop Hair Care Range

I got gifted my first product to review! It was a new, affordable, organic haircare range. I loved the ethos and the scents but my super sensitive scalp (painful dermatitis) didn’t react well.

2018 Roundup Eurovision Party Fruit Kebabs

My friends hosted their annual Eurovision party. We ate and drank our way through the rainbow and marvelled at just how many bad songs can be made.

2018 Roundup Birthday Cake

May is also the month Maddie has her birthday. I made my second attempt at baking and produced an edible cake that looked like five year olds had decorated it.

2018 Roundup Upminster Cocktail Bar

We went out for cocktails with friends then came home and played with lightup balloons whilst very drunk.

2018 Roundup Drunk Lightup Balloons

June

Whilst we were in Cape Town, M got a call offering her a new pub. It took a lot of discussions, pro and con lists, logistics and tough decisions but we decided to make the move into East London. I had no idea how much I would love it here. It was worth the move just for the view!

2018 Roundup Thames View of Canary Wharf
2018 Roundup Outdoor Yoga

It was a tough month for me. M was away a lot on training, which meant I was home alone in a pub where I didn’t really know anyone for 5 days a week. We hadn’t started decorating and it didn’t feel like home. Without her here, I didn’t feel much like painting etc so I tried to keep myself occupied as best as I could.

2018 Roundup 30th Birthday

On the weekend she would actually be home, I’d actually made plans to go to Hastings for the weekend. One of my best friends turned 30 and I spent some much needed time with my family.

2018 Roundup Auntie Nephew Time

July

3028 Roundup Soft Serve Society Shoreditch Ice Cream

Luckily we survived June and started to settle into East London Life in July. I spent time doing insta-typical things like going to Soft Serve Society in Shoreditch because it was about 80 million degrees outside all of the time and a flat about a 500 year old pub, surprisingly, doesn’t have air conditioning.

2018 Roundup Canary Wharf

My mum came to visit for the weekend. We strolled along the river to Canary Wharf and discovered the London Museum of Docklands which has an absolutely fascinating insight to the history of East London.

2018 Roundup Courtney Act

July is Pride month in London. We decided to skip the parade – too many people, too hot and I’m prone to sunburn. Instead we got tickets to an after party at an insane member’s club in Soho, featuring very expensive wine, lots of glitter and performances from Courtney Act!

2018 Roundup Pride London

August

The pub hosted the first wedding of M’s tenure and I realised just how lucky we were to live here. My love for the pub started to grow more each day.

2018 Roundup Wedding
The night before the wedding, setting up decorations
2018 Roundup Hastings Seafront

I took another trip to Hastings to try and escape the heat of the city and have some family time.

2018 Roundup Brunch Big Easy Canary Wharf

M and I indulged in a boozy brunch at the Big Easy in Canary Wharf – an absolute bargain under £30! We then drank our way around the Wharf, managing to even catch happy hour at Rum & Sugar before making it home to bed before 9pm ha!

One low of the year (there’s plenty but I don’t want to drag myself down) – I got horribly burnt from a hot water bottle. I was making one for M as her shoulders often ache from lugging barrels about. The one we have a stupid U shape and a bubble of air popped out and the water went all over my belly. Cue a trip to A&E, a lot of cling film and a lot of moaning from me and I’ve learnt my lesson. Luckily it healed but you can still see it on my belly now, 5 months later!

September

September was pretty calm. Not much happened for most of it but one weekend provided enough memories for the whole month.

2018 Roundup Swallows Oast Wedding Venur

One of my oldest school friends and two of my favourite people ever got married! I’ve literally been waiting for them to tie the knot since we were 18 and I couldn’t be happier. They truly are wonderful people who fill my heart with happy.

2018 Roundup Maddie Holly Selfie

M and I also took a pretty decent selfie with great lighting courtesy of a fire pit.

2018 Roundup Arcades Brighton Pier

As we were down south already and had booked time off, the following day we took ourselves off to Brighton for the day where we battled on basketball hoops and air-hockey games. M made me go on an awful rollercoaster that gave me bruises and I’m storing it as ammo for anything I want in the future.

2018 Roundup Choccywoccydoodah Cakes

To say M is a chocolate lover would be a huge understatement so naturally I had to take her to Choccywoccydoodah whilst were in Brighton. We stupidly had a big lunch so couldn’t manage a lot but we did share milkshakes and a chocolate dipping pot which was enough indulgence to last me a month!

I also got to meet my friend’s baby for the first time and she is absolutely adorable. So calm, so cuddly and an absolutely smoosh face. My friend breezed through her pregnancy, glowing like JLo. She and her fiance are already absolutely smashing parenthood and raising a kid in the best loving home she could ever want for. I can’t wait to watch her grow up!

October

2018 Roundup Interior Living Room

In October we really got our interiors vibe going and got new carpets (not shown here lol), (only in some rooms sadly), a new sofa and generally pulling the grey vibe together. There’s still a lot to do but it’s definitely feeling like home now!

2018 Roundup Coffee Canary Wharf

My mum came to visit for the weekend (sense a theme?) as she’s my actual best friend and we can’t survive too long without each other. We walked to Canary Wharf again and stopped for a coffee before heading to Mudchute Farm where I found the most beautiful pair of Tamworth pigs and I vow to visit them more often!

2018 Roundup Mudchute Farm Tamworth pig
Look at this ginger beauty!

The biggest thing that probably happened in my (our) year was actually extremely small….

2018 Roundup MIniature Dachshund Puppy Chorizo Hogram.
Chorizo Hogram

WE GOT A PUPPY!

2018 Roundup Chorizo Hogram

Chorizo, our miniature dachschund, joined us! He’s the tiniest bundle of joy wrapped in the smoothest of shiny brown coats. Given that he wasn’t allowed out / I didn’t want to ever leave him, I spent all my time that wasn’t at work absolutely loving having a fur baby and being amazed.

2018 Roundup Chorizo Hogram

I’ve never had a dog before and I didn’t know how much I’d be obsessed with him. He loses his mind with excitement every time I come back from work and he’s really made our house a home. And yes, he has an Instagram and it would make him happy if you would follow him.

November

This is my birthday month! I always have a lot of mixed feelings about this. Naturally I love being spoilt and spending time with people I love. I’m a princess like that. But it also stirs up a lot from the past. Plus, no one wants to admit they’re inching closer to death. LOL Hi I’m such a happy bean, aren’t I?

2018 Roundup 30th Birthday Bailey's Cake

I was totally spoilt on all fronts. My team at work got me this awesome Bailey’s cake. My contractors had me a cake made in the form of a sausage dog. I turned 31 and that week I was full of gratitude and emotion.

We may not be the best at romance year round but M always makes me feel like a queen on my birthday!

2018 Roundup Bath

Aside from the presents and the puppy (which she claims was for me but was totally all her idea and her goal), we also went to Bath for the weekend!

We took the puppy with us so were a bit limited in what we could do but we found plenty of food and drink, lots of sunshine and walks and lots of love!

December

This is one seriously hectic month for us all. Balance that, work, the pub, friends and family stretched hundreds of miles apart, it all becomes a BIT TOO MUCH.

2018 Roundup Christmas Tree Decorations

The month started in a glorious way, with the annual trip to the Southbank festival with my group of friends colloquially known as The Sausage Girls.

2018 Roundup Southbank Food Martjet
2018 Roundup Southbank Winter Festival
Go Hard or Go Home
2018 Roundup Udderbelly festival
2018 Roundup Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar

M gave be the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar for my birthday so I had a great time every day discovering new products from some pretty awesome brands!

2018 Roundup Marks and Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar
Rizo helping me test all the beauty products. Not that he needs them, he’s already beautiful enough!
2018 Roundup Oiler Bar

I had two work Christmas parties. One was cocktails on a boat converted into a bar with the girls in my team.

2018 Roundup Christmas Party Look

The other was a mass event on the Southbank which I didn’t really love to be honest. My shoes broke on the way, my last minute Waterloo purchase replacement pair ruined my feet and caused me pain. I still looked fly though.

I got to spend some decent time doing long walks with the puppy in our neighbourhood which is something I love!

2018 Roundup London Canary Wharf Sunrise
2018 Roundup Daxie Walks Tower Bridge
2018 Roundup Auntie Nephew Time

I got to spend time in Hastings with my best buddy nephew and sing songs about sausage rolls.

2018 Roundup Mirror Selfie

I also managed to pick up this bargain from New Look in the sales and I’m very chuffed with myself. Excuse the bin bag in the background, it has curtains in it, not rubbish, promise.

All in all, it’s been a good year

This has been the longest post in the history of the world and if you actually made it this far, email me through the site and I will make you a certificate. Maybe I’ll do this monthly from now on!

What were the highlights of your 2018? Happy New Year!

2018 Roundup
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
30 things I learnt in 30 years

30 things I learnt in 30 years

In 2018, I turned 31 and I think it took me an entire year to understand the rite of passage that is turning 30.

I’m not one for milestones and extravagant celebrations. My 21st birthday was spent in the student union bar very drunk with a toilet seat round my head (a joke present from my uni chums).

Over the last year, I’ve been reflecting on what the 30 years previous have taught me. What I’ve learnt, who I’ve become and where I’ve been. I’m an old soul in a young body and I love to share.

So here’s my 30 things I learnt in 30 (plus one) years…

  1. My mum is my champ. She’s my best friend, biggest fan and more support than I deserve to have
  2. I actually like myself. I have my flaws but I’m proud of my good nature and smart brain.
  3. It’s okay to have idols that aren’t just Beyonce or the person currently topping the charts. Looking up to people like Oprah, Maya Angelou, a teacher you had in school or someone who runs a local charity will benefit your life so much more.
  4. Empathy can change the world. Trying to understand someone’s motives, even in their negative actions, will aid you in forgiveness and help evolve your compassionate nature.
  5. Love will come when you have learnt to love yourself. “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gone love somebody else?” – Ru Paul, whom is both King and Queen of the drag world.
  6. Beauty isn’t measured in numbers on scales or on tags in clothes. Beauty is in a smile, in a kiss, in the kind gesture to another person.
  7. Spending time by yourself is lonely, healing, cathartic, peaceful and mesmerising all in one. If you ever get the chance to live alone, even for a few weeks, take it. It will change your life.
  8. Nature is amazing. Feeling grass beneath your feet is so grounding. The way that everything from a mosquito to a rhino has a place in the world is indescribable. Watch anything by David Attenborough and you’ll understand.
  9. Take care of yourself first. If you’re run down, stressed out and wired, you’ll be of no use to the other people in your life. A bath, a book, a stretch – anything you do for yourself will have a positive ripple outwards.
  10. I don’t “fit in”. I’ll never be the trendiest, the funniest, the “coolest”. I’m different and I’m just fine with that (see point 2).
  11. Educate yourself. If you feel passionately about something, learn as much as you can about it. Even if you don’t agree with something, get your facts in line and things will start to make sense.
  12. Hate won’t help. Negativity breeds negativity. If you spend your time focusing your energy into something negative, it will keep breeding the bad feelings. Direct your passion into a positive and watch your life change.
  13. Netflix is one of the greatest inventions of our time. Whatever you need, it has it. Whether life is getting you down in March and you need to escape into the warm fuzzy of a Christmas film or you want to learn about what happens in the confines of a commune, it has it.
  14. You can never take too many photos. Life is flying by a hundred times faster than I wish it was, and I need to document more to share with the generations that come after me.
  15. Eat the frog. Putting off what you dread only prolongs the pain. Do the thing you least want to do first thing in the morning (or as soon as it crops up) and feel that blissful relief faster.
  16. Drink more water. The benefits are almost endless. From better poop to better skin, the goodness works from within.
  17. A capsule wardrobe is so much better. A few pieces that can be made into a few outfits you feel good in will serve you, your bank account and the environment.
  18. Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. This might be the third post I’ve written this in but it rings true through the years for me. The people in your life who deserve you will love and support you, no matter what you do or what choices you make. Those who aren’t on your side aren’t meant to be in your life.
  19. If you deserve it, the universe will serve it. I’m not religious but I would say I’m spiritual. I don’t think I believe that there’s a higher power out there with a plan for me. I do, however, believe that what you put out into the world will come back to you.
  20. Exercise helps. Physically, mentally, in and out. Yoga, ballet, weightlifting, rock climbing… none of it will make your life worse.
  21. Manners don’t cost you any time or money but will earn you so much in respect and gratitude.
  22. Don’t give up on love. You deserve to be loved. Not everyone will have the big romance the movies portray but you will be loved. By friends, by family, by whomever. Just let that love in.
  23. Keep trying new things until you find what makes you happy. Don’t assume because one hobby makes your best friend’s world complete that it’ll do the same for you. Knitting for some, colouring for others, cleaning for the next person. We’re all different.
  24. Always have a first aid kit in your house and know the basics. Chopping limes to go in gin can be disastrous if you’re as clumsy as me!
  25. Everyone should work as a waitress or bar tender in their life, even once. You’ll learn so much about how the way you treat people impacts you and those you come into contact with.
  26. Having plants at home is hard. All the mindfulness books or posts on hygge will tell you that growing plants will heal your soul and bring life to your home and new energy with it but, in my experience, you’ll forget to water it but still be annoyed when you actually manage to kill a cactus.
  27. Smile more! Smile at yourself in the mirror, at the postman in the street, at a cat walking round your neighbourhood, at babies on trains. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, fake it till you make it.
  28. Fuck the patriarchy. The men in your life may not be oppressive misogynists but the systems we live by our set up to keep the white man in the best place. Keep fighting the system, for your sisters, daughters, and granddaughters.
  29. Loving a pet will change your soul. I live with my girlfriend who is great but we work different shift patterns and I can find myself alone a lot of the time I’m at home. Having someone who loses their mind with happiness just because you came into the room after using the bathroom is just the best feeling.
  30. Social media is an angel and devil all in one. It can be great to connect you with like-minded people. It can offer you inspiration to workout or write. It can give you support in times of need. But it can also make you feel inferior, compare yourself to others or make you feel less than worthy. Be careful how you use it.

What have you learnt in your time on our little planet? I’m always looking for new words of wisdom and life hacks!

30 things I learnt in 30 years
As promised, here’s my eleganza lewk for my 21st birthday!
30 things I learnt in 30 years
30 things I learnt in 30 years
30 things I learnt in 30 years
30 things I learnt in 30 years
anti-depressants in winter

Top 15 Advent Calendars on Amazon Prime

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…nearly!

Amid all the Black Friday madness, I’ve found myself constantly searching for Advent Calendars on Amazon Prime. 

I feel like this year has flown past and Christmas is thrusting itself in our faces faster than you can say “yule log”. This is a time for giving and a time for presents for a lot of people. Gift guides are everywhere and everyone is worrying about The Day, December 25th. 

I’m here to remind you that there are 24 days that come before that. We all deserve a little treat and advent calendars are the best way to treat yo’self this festive period. 

Whether you’re buying for yourself (I mean, why shouldn’t you?) or you feel like giving a love one a little spoiling every day, Amazon Prime is full of goodies waiting to bring you Christmas cheer each morning in December. 

Top 3 Under £30

First up is the Kinder Egg Surprise Calendar. For all you chocolate lovers out there, this will bring you daily joy along with a little mental challenge to keep your brain on its toes in the chilly winter!

If chocolate isn’t your thing and, like me, you have the engineering skills of a turtle, maybe a different kind of surprise every day is more your thing. The SIX calendar will give you a different item of jewellery each morning, keeping you glam through December and satiating the magpie need to absorb all the shiny things. 

Top 3 Under £20

The dark nights and cold weather can be hard work; there’s nothing better than a little self care and pampering to keep your spirits up in the cold! Bomb Cosmetics has surprised us this year with their offering featuring samples of some of their best sellers!

We have a few of our own traditions in my family for Christmas and After Eights are one of them! They seem to just appear in my mum’s cupboards around early December and keep in stock till the new year. If you fancy something a little indulgent and refreshing every day that also makes a great aesthetic addition to your mantelpiece, the After Eight Big Ben advent calendar needs to be yours!

We all seem to associate Christmas with beautiful smells and soft lighting so what better than a Yankee Candle Advent Calendar? Yankee are renowned for being shiny scent masters and this does not disappoint! From spiced white cocoa to sparkling cinnamon, you’re guaranteed to have your home looking, feeling and smelling festive throughout December! 

Top 3 Under £10 

If you’re looking for a calendar for the little human in your life and don’t want to add to their festive sugar intake then Play Doh have a great solution. They’re Doh-Vinci calendar has everything you need to create your own Christmas scene on the big day, with little tasks each day to keep your little human focused along the way!

World Master Chocolatiers Lindt have given us this simple but divine offering this year. For those of us who want something better than sub-par chocolate coins each morning but don’t want to break the bank, this comes in a pack of 2 so you can treat yourself and your loved one! ORrrr treat yourself twice!

Having added our first fur baby to our family this winter, I couldn’t do this list without including an option for the puppies at Christmas! Good Boy have a meaty calendar that’s bound to make daily treats that extra bit special this holiday. 

Why I take Anti-Depressants in Winter

Summer days turn into winter nights and Happy Holly turns into an old miser. So I take anti-depressants in winter.

anti-depressants in winter

I have suffered on and off with my mental health my whole life. I have seen 10 different doctors who have given me 10 different diagnoses. From Borderline Personality Disorder to “you just need to cheer up a bit”, I have been told so many conflicting things that I’ve given up asking doctors. Pretty much every year, I end up taking anti-depressants in winter.

I don’t ask them what’s wrong with me anymore – I now tell them. I go to whatever GP it is that day and tell them. “I feel blue. I haven’t been to the gym in weeks. My skin has turned to crap. I don’t want to socialise.This week I haven’t eaten more than two vegetables. No, I don’t want to harm myself. I’m not suicidal. I don’t want to go outside though.”

I think diagnosing mental health illnesses is one of the toughest jobs GPs have to do. With a 5 minute window to see each patient, and every single person’s symptoms so different, they almost never get it right. However, in the last 3 years I’ve seen a significant improvement in doctors’ responses. Especially young doctors. It seems like people under 40 just get it so much more.

My birthday is at the beginning of November.

Right after the clocks go back and it’s dark when we all get home from work, I start to withdraw from the world. I can’t remember a birthday where I haven’t had a bad period.

Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family are always amazing at making sure I have a great birthday. Not just presents or parties, but at making sure I know I’m loved and supported. I only have good people in my life.

It’s just that no matter how many people call me or text met o tell me they’re happy I made it another year, I can’t help but feel worthless and insignificant. Maybe not on my actual birthday but between bonfire night and Christmas, I generally have at least one meltdown. Lying in my bed, sobbing heaving tears until I’m almost physically sick.

anti-depressants in winter

I’m smart. I know I have a good life.

I may not be rich financially but I am in other ways. I have an amazing family, a wonderful girlfriend, and some of the greatest friends a girl could ever want. I have a nephew who thinks the sun shines out of me and now I have a puppy who thinks I’m one of the two best things on the planet.

When the black cloud creeps in, all that disappears

All the logic melts away with the tears. I turn off my phone and shut out anyone who might try to help me.

Usually after a few hours, the cloud runs out of rain and starts to dissipate. The tears start to dry. I go to the bathroom to get tissue and think how ridiculous I look, face puffy. Why have I been crying for 2 hours in my beautiful big bed? I have a roof over my head. I have more than some people could ever dream of. Get a grip, Holly.

I give myself some time to recover and either eat or sleep.These are my only comforts in winter. I just need to hide from the world andfeel nothing.

The next day will be brand new. I live life normally but every day, I take a little weight on in my soul until eventually the scales tip and I find myself in bed again. Each day / week / month / year is different.Sometimes it can be months between The Bed Day; sometimes it’s only days.

anti-depressants in winter

I have tried

Every natural remedy, yoga, walking, talking, everything. The only thing that works for me is the drugs. Having been on medication for my Asthma since I was a small child, I try to avoid talking more drugs. I have weaned myself off my asthma medication;luckily my symptoms have lessened as the years have gone by. I refuse to take any contraceptive pill anymore, no matter how bad my periods are.

This though, this is the one I have to give in to. According to the doctors, I can take up to 6 weeks for symptoms to alleviate once you start taking anti-depressants. I usually notice within a week. Not a huge difference – I’m not bounding out of bed singing musicals at the top of my voice. Just the little things. I actually go to the supermarket and buy myself a nice dinner. And actually manage to cook it. I might even enjoy it.

Within two weeks, I’ll be back in the gym. Within 3, I’ll b edoing 6am sessions and revelling in the beauty of the sunrise. By the time Christmas comes around, I’ll actually be excited for the office Christmas Party.

Though my depression is cyclical and linked in with events in my life, it is still clinical depression. What a lot of people don’t realise is that clinical depression is a physical illness, which manifests in the mind.

At its most simple,depression can be considered a chemical imbalance in the brain.

It is well documented, however, that the illnesses are most commonly triggered by a variety or combination of factors including genetics, environmental or social triggers,trauma, stress and so on.

There are arguments that depression is caused / worsened by low serotonin levels. There are also strong arguments for the reverse. The medical profession is still so early in the research stages & I’m no expert. So let’s just say depression and low levels of serotonin go hand in hand.

In the same scope of anti-biotics being able to treat a chest infection, serotonin can be very successful in treating the clinical aspect of depression. Depending on an individual’s symptoms, triggers and levels of imbalance, prescriptions of serotonin can be a great kick-start to getting back to “normal”.

For me, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) just work. They alter how my body absorbs serotonin and re-balance my chemicals. The wires start to slowly untangle and I find myself laughing more often. I don’t have to force myself into the shower. I enjoy the sunshine or want to stop and take in the beauty of the autumn leaves.

anti-depressants in winter

There’s a couple of brands that don’t agree with me.

 As with any drug, there are side effects and a couple of the types don’t work for me. Just like certain types of contraceptive pills don’t work for everyone. It’s been trial and error but I’ve found what works. I won’t say which ones trigger me and which ones work because everyone is different; your choice of drug should be an educated decision between you and your doctor, not from me!

Come springtime (usually before Easter), I consult my doctor and start weaning off the medication. I could continue to take it year round but I like to give my body a chance to do things nature’s way if I can. There’s been a few years where I haven’t come off them due to events in my life at that time. But if I can come off them and not slip down the dark slope again, then I do.

“Small Talks Save Lives”

I’ve been so impressed over the last couple of years with the traction of open conversations about mental health. From social media campaigns to celebrities admitting their struggles, to programmes being implemented in schools, the face of mental health is changing.

We all know people struggle and we’re starting to talk about it. The phrase “it’s okay not to be okay” is becoming commonplace and employers are understanding the importance of being supportive. It’s hard for people who haven’t had any mental health illnesses to be empathetic but if we keep talking, tweeting and writing about our individual issues, we will help. Someone might read my symptoms and realise their colleague is struggling. Another person might watch Professor Green’s stories and finally find the courage to go to their doctor and ask for help.

If you’re struggling, the help is there. You just have to ask for it.

If you urgently need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are available 24/7 and it’s completely free. You can call them from the UK on “116123” and the Samaritan you need will be waiting at the end of the phone.

If it’s non-emergency and you’re feeling like you need help,please make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. Remember, you won’t hit it off with every doctor you meet, the same as you won’t like every person you have to work with. So if the first one isn’t the right one, please do ask for a second. Or third. Or however many it takes to find The One. You have every right to do so and you deserve the doctor that will help you change your life.

MIND are a wonderful charity whose website is full of resources to help, along with details of your local MIND centre and the services they offer.

CALM is a mental health charity catering specifically to men. Men are more likely to commit suicide than women, yet much less likely to ever discuss their problems or ask for help. The Campaign Against Living Miserably is there to help you gents turn your worst hours into your finest.

Friends, family, co-workers, online – you never know where support can be found until you ask for it. You deserve to be happy.

Remember what Oprah says – “This too Shall Pass”.

2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly

Europe Travel Bucket List | 2019| Honestly Travels

Travel Bucket List

My travel planning series continues with the Europe Travel Bucket List. Depending on how the dreaded Brexit goes, I want to get in at least one European city break next year. If Brexit goes badly, this plan might go awry but lets plan for the best outcome. If I end up having to apply for a visa to go to Paris, I’m going to be p*ssed off and shall be sending the bill to Theresa May and her cronies. 

Politics aside, there’s so much of Europe that I haven’t even begun to explore. I’ve been lucky enough to see a few places in France, Spain, and to Rome in Italy but there’s so much more to see! We have the blessing of living in London and having 5 airports less than an hour away so travelling to Europe is pretty quick, easy and affordable.

So where  is on my 2019 Europe Travel Bucket List?

Croatia

europe Travel Bucket List

Croatia is up first. This is another one that’s been all over every Facebook and Instagram over the last few years, and rightly so. With Split & Dubrovnik offering rich history, rustic scenery and boasting some great hotels, Croatia has various options for a city break. I often search for images of Plitvice Lakes National Park and imagine how in awe I would be strolling through its lush greenery and steep waterfalls. Croatia also has the island break option down with places like Mljet and Solta making me reach for my swimming costume and oversize sunhat.

Romania

europe travel bucket list

Next up is Romania. I have the pleasure of working with some really lovely Romanian people. I’ll admit that before I got to know them, Romania had never been in my travel plans. Seeing pictures of where they grew up, and where they spend their family holidays when they go home always has me straight on Google. One of the gents I work with recently had an operation back home and went out to the monasteries in the mountains to recuperate. Whilst they may be a haven for Christians who need to recover from the pressures of life, you don’t have to be religious to be able to enjoy these retreats. They offer rest, relaxation and reflection – all surrounded by scenery straight out of the Sound of Music.

Germany

Like England, Germany has a rich history. The unmentionable aside, Germany ticks all my boxes: food, museums, architecture. If you’re looking for a weekend city break, Germany has so many options. Most cities are less than 2 hours’ flight from London and average about £100 – the price and time you’d spend getting a train to another city in the UK from London!

Berlin is the obvious choice, with the spectrum of architecture from the iconic TV Tower to the 800 year old St Nicholas Church transitioning from ultra historic to ultra modern. 

Frankfurt hits my list, purely for my love of sausages. The Sachsenhausen area has all us foodies covered, with the concentration camp offering a more sobering choice for the historians among us. 

Fussen isn’t quite a city but it has to make the list! Close to the Austrian border, the scenery is Sound of Music meets Frozen. A true princess a heart, I love a good castle and the areas surrounding Fussen offers a multitude of regal residences, including the Neuschwanstein Castle – supposedly the model for the design of the Disney Castle!

France

Being the closest to England, France makes the most sense for us Brits to travel to. You can fly, get a train, get a boat – some have even swum there! I visited Paris a couple of years ago with my girls, to celebrate us turning 30. I absolutely fell in love with the architecture and the food. More bread and cheese than you can shake a selfie stick at? Yes please!

The Loire Valley is on my list, and not just because we’re heading there next year with M’s family! 800 square kilometres of greenery, rivers, castles and wine lands – I was sold before they mentioned the Chateau we’ll be staying in!

Loire Valley

I’d love to travel to Normandy and visit Mont St-Michel. I vaguely remember going there as a kid but the memories are hazy and mostly of us moaning about how much walking we had to do. I want to explore the markets and play the race against the tide for the road again.

Nice is also high on the list. We all love a good beach from time to time and the Promenade des Anglais offers 7km of coastline to stroll, run or cycle through, as if one were in the Victorian aristocracy. Nice is also home to a variety of Jazz clubs offering food and music to make your soul happy. From cobbled market streets to the Three Cornices, Nice can satisfy the most eager or relaxed of travellers. 

Of course, the list doesn’t end there!

Unless we have a lottery windfall, there’s no chance we’ll even get to try all of the above but in the event we do hit the big numbers, there’s so much more I want to see! I want to eat brownies and cycle round Amsterdam, experience the truest form of tacky in Benidorm, consume pasta in Florence until I burst and see just how much cold I can handle in Iceland. 

Where have you travelled in Europe? What recommendations do you have?

2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Europe - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly

2019 Travel | Bucket List | Asia

Travel Bucket List

I think my travel bucket list grows every day. The last few years have bought me some amazing travels, which I’ll treasure for a long time. My girlfriend whisked me away to Rome for my birthday in 2016. In 2017, we managed to get to Barcelona for a weekend for her birthday, as well as taking a short break in the mountains in Turkey.

In April 2018, after a lot of planning and saving, we pulled an amazing trip out of the bag; two weeks in Cape Town! We did everything that one should do in Cape Town and so much more. M grew up there so I was lucky to have a super experienced tour guide. Whilst in SA, we took a weekend trip to Knysna where I got to spend a day at an elephant sanctuary.

So what does 2019 have in store?

Well, depending on how successful we are at saving, it could involve a lot. Over the next few years, we have big plans. Like serious grown up plans. Kids, buy a house, the works. So 2019 might be the last chance we get to be young and reckless.

The ultimate travel aim splits into three: Asia, Europe and the UK. 

Asia

Travel Bucket List

A few years ago, my friend was doing a short stint of travelling in Thailand. I flew over and met her at the end of her trip and we got in 10 days. We got in some serious R&R at a gorgeous hotel on the island of Koh Samui, and a few days of hectic tourist fun in Bangkok.

I absolutely fell in love with Thailand. I totally get the hype. The people are warm; their hospitality and welcome is outstanding. The food is phenomenal. One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten was 80p noodles from a beach bar. The scenery is indescribable. It’s the epitome of an exotic paradise. Plus, they have elephants. Do you sense a theme here?

I just know that M will love Asia. The vibe is so chill. The heat, the sand, the scenery, the food. It all lends itself to absorbing culture and relaxation. It’s so far removed from our lives. I want to climb a mountain with her, drink fresh coconut water on the beach with her, drink cocktails and party in the sand till dawn.

Travelling Asia

Asia in general is probably the most affordable area of the world where you can travel about, see everything and do everything without breaking the bank. Flights from the UK can get pricey but if you’re willing to have a layover and a bit of a wait, you can get return flights around £500 per person. Internal flights between islands and countries can range between £30 and £90. You can easily spend that on one dinner in London!

Accommodation can be sought from £1 per night to £1000 per night. Whatever your budget, there’s an option. I’m the first to admit, I’m a princess at heart. I won’t be sharing a bunk bed in a room full of 10 strangers, no matter how cheap it is. For the sake of keeping costs low, I will take the Thai equivalent of a Premiere Inn, which is likely to come in around £15 to £50 a night, depending on where you are. 

Food in Asia is crazy cheap. Like the most I spent on a meal in Koh Samui was £20 for about 5 courses including cocktails. You can get a decent lunch on the street almost anywhere for less than £1, as long as you can accept that the vendor won’t have London’s standards and health and safety certificates.

Where in Asia is on my 2019 Travel Bucket List?

Travel Bucket List

I’d love to see more of Thailand. Phuket looks stunning. There are several more ethical elephant sanctuaries that I’d like to visit. I could plan a whole two week trip around them! I’d like to do some island hopping. Koh Tao, Koh Panang, Ko Phi Phi, Koh Lanta. A night or two in each place would suffice but I’m fairly sure I could waste months just strolling around the beaches, sipping coconut water and reading in the shade. 

Travel Bucket List

Bali is next up, for so many reasons. I’ve been wanting to go to Bali since I was about 21 and the last 9 years, it’s really exploded as a must-see tourist destination. From cheeky monkeys to Indian Jones style temples, Bali may be tiny but it has so much to offer. I do worry though that it’s become over developed and inauthentic, as all the holiday companies scramble to cater to the average European tourist. I think I’d only spend 3 to 4 days in Bali. 

Travel Bucket List

Vietnam is another place that seems to be gaining popularity amongst travellers. If you’ve visited London in recent times, you’ll see that there’s a Vietnamese Pho restaurant on almost every street. Ha Long Bay looks like a scene straight of a shipwreck movie and a place where you can forget that real life exists. Ho Chi Minh City seems to be a tropical version of London and I’m always fascinated how other cities compare to my home’s Capital. 

Travel Bucket List

Last up in Asia for my 2019 Travel Bucket List is the Phillipines. From what I’ve read, and the travels of my friends, I think that the Phillipines ticks all my requirements. Food, scenery, things to do and people. Filipino hospitality is supposedly a big rival to the Thai. Their food is odd but I’m game for trying some lechon. Maybe not one for the vegans though. Like much of Asia, their islands offer scenery that England could never dream of competing with. It’s home to some of the best underwater scenery too, with a multitude of options for snorkelling and scuba diving. Count me in.

Have you been travelling through Asia? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Travel Bucket List
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly
2019 Travel Bucket List | Asia - Honestly Holly
10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff - Honestly Holly

How to Upset Bar Staff

10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff
(and guarantee you wait longer)

I have worked as bar staff for years, on and off. I thought when I became an estate agent, my days of serving a customer were over. Then I met M, and became a Pub Wife. So I still have to serve front of house, occasional evenings and weekends.

I’ve done it all. Pubs, restaurants, nightclub, coffee shop, rugby stadium, champagne reception at the Brits, you name it. I have so many fantastic memories of these times but those positive memories are all of the great people I worked with.

Not all but most bad memories are of customers. People so often forget that their servers are not just robots that produce food and drinks magically from thin air, we are people too!

When you’re out with friends and family having a good time, maybe having a few (too many) drinks, sometimes behaviour can slip. So in order to make sure you don’t ruin the day for someone else, here’s a list of things that we can’t stand, and that you can stop doing today to stop being a dick.

1 – Not knowing what you want when you get to the bar

The bar staff have rushed to get through the 4 previous orders because they can see you’re waiting, and stand in front of you. Don’t stand there looking like a deer in headlights because you came here to ask for something and you don’t know what it is. Most likely you’ll drink what you always drink. A customer asking for recommendations on brands or beers is always welcome though!

2 – Putting chewing gum / rubbish in an empty glass

You chose to have chewing gum. If you are not prepared for the disposal of your chosen gum when the time is right, that is your problem, Mr Customer. To put it into a glass makes you one of the worst types of human. The person who clears your glass away is now going to have to spend 10 minutes trying to wash it out (and probably get soaked in the process) or spear it out using a straw, so that it doesn’t go into the dishwasher and end up in someone else’s glass.

3 – Clicking / Whistling 

If you click at bar staff to get their attention, you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to wait a lot longer than you would have. Servers are humans, not animals. Clicking at them the way you would a cat or a horse is not going to entice them to you. It’s basically scientifically proven to induce amnesia, in fact, with a person simply forgetting which customer was next just from hearing the click.

4 – Being vulgar

This is mostly one for the straight men among you. Just because I work behind a bar, doesn’t mean I’m promiscuous. Even if I am promiscuous, it doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you. I might have put make up on this morning because I feel like it. I might smile at you because being friendly is part of my customer service ethic. That does not, however, invite you to make lewd comments about my body. It does not allow you to ask for my number, ask if I fancy a nightcap, ask for a “pint of you” or anything along a similar vein. 

Please, just let me do my job without the borderline sexual harassment. 

Annoy Bar Staff

5 – Forgetting your manners

Saying please or thank you won’t cost you any money but will guarantee to make a difference to the bar staff’s day. Being impolite will most likely bring negative karma to you too. Why would someone go out of their way to enhance their service to you, if you’re being rude? Please take your bad-mannered self out the door and away from me, thank you very much.

6 – Getting in the way

I’m not saying don’t stand at the bar and enjoy your drink. We welcome you to take a look at the artefacts in our site, to soak up the history and atmosphere. However, if I’m trying to walk through the pub holding 4 plates of hot food, that are probably making my arms ache and burning my skin off, dear lord Please don’t just look through me. Be kind, take a step to the side and don’t make me undertake acrobatics to get these fish & chips to table 14.

Keep Bar Staff Happy

7 – Interrupting a serve mid serve

The gentlemen I’m serving just asked me for 3 Kronenbourgs, 2 Kopperbergs, a vodka lime and soda, a vodka lemonade and blackcurrant, a mottle of Merlot with 3 glasses, 2 glasses of pinto blush, 3 fish and chips, 2 bags of chilli crisps and four portions of olives. If you interrupt with “can I just have a …” I am definitely going to forget all of the order. My customer will already have forgotten. He’ll have to ask his entire group again what they want. This will all lengthen the process, just leaving you longer to wait for your cube of ice.

8 – Sighing and moaning because you weren’t served next 

99% of the time, I’m right in who I serve next in the queue. Unlike a shop, bars don’t have an ordered queuing system. Everyone gathers at any point they like at a bar that can be anywhere up to 30 ft long. Having done my job all day and night for years, my peripheral vision and 7th sense is pretty good. Occasionally, I am wrong. I might go to the man to the left of you who arrived for seconds earlier. Maybe he was actually looking at me when I came to who was next and you were chatting to the person behind you, facing away from me. Either way, I’m just a person who isn’t perfect. I’m also a person who has to work another 9 hours on my feet. You’re the person getting to enjoy the beer I will pour for you in under two minutes. Just chill bro.

9 – Tell me how fun it must be to run a pub

As bar staff, our job is to create an environment for other people to have fun in. That does not mean our job is fun. Yes, sometimes we get to have a laugh with each other or listen to a cool new indie band or enjoy a massive glass of wine that a regular bought. The rest of the time, it’s 13 hour working days, climbing over people who won’t move, guessing that you actually wanted a vodka soda and not the lime soda you ordered, changing a barrel of cider and getting showered in sugary spray, shouting at the chefs and guessing which pie is vegan and which nuts are which. Fun is an adjective rarely used to describe our job.

10 – Try and convince us to have a lock in

It’s midnight. We’ve rung the bell for last orders 15 minutes prior. We’ve also rung the bell to announce closing time. Don’t now try and come and order more drinks. Please don’t try and ask for free drinks and a lock in. If I came to the bank you worked in at 6pm and asked you to stay open till 5pm and give me £100 cash for free, how would you respond? We’ve been open 12 hours. We were here for 3 hours before that. Please, just let us sweep up the garden, wipe down the tables, refill the fridges, stock the shelves, polish the cutlery, tidy and mop the bar and go home.

Have you ever worked in a bar or restaurant? Feel free to vent all your frustrations in the comments below! 

Keep Bar Staff Happy
10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff - Honestly Holly
10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff - Honestly Holly
10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff - Honestly Holly
10 Ways to Upset Bar Staff - Honestly Holly
23 Things About Me - Honestly Holly

23 Things About Me!

About Me!

About Me Honestly Holly

I realised recently that I’ve been writing and my readers don’t really have a clue who I am. I thought it was about time we got to know each other. I’m Holly and I’m 30. I live with my girlfriend and work in property. I’m also obsessed with the number 23, and even have it tattooed on me. That’s the basics, here’s the rest!

1

For someone with a pretty stable life, I’ve moved a lot in my 30 years! I was born in South West London and grew up in Hastings. I moved back to South West London for university. 10 years later I moved to Essex to live with the love of my life. Now we live in Wapping in East London!

2

My mum is my hero. She raised me and my brother on her own, alongside studying for her degree to become the amazing English teacher she is today. She’s a fantastic mother and friend to me. Mumma is kind, honest, accepting, funny and has the most beautiful smile!

About Me Mumma

3

I’m obsessed with pigs and sausage dogs. These are pretty much the only animals I’m not allergic to. Now we’re no longer renting, M and I intend to adopt a sausage dog by the end of the year.

4

I’m very honest. Too honest, sometimes. I always say what needs to be said. When friends come to me for advice, they come for what they need to hear, not what will make them feel better. I’m working hard on the way I say things.

5

I am a property manager for an estate agents and, when it’s busy, I love what I do. For me, the place you live is your home and the centre of your world. You start and end each day there. If something at home isn’t right, the effect can ripple and effect your whole day. My job satisfaction comes in knowing that my tenants are happy, safe and secure in their homes.

6

I have a Law Degree. As a child I always wanted to go to university to study law and become a lawyer. The latter part didn’t happen. I almost gave up on my degree, having lost complete faith in the system. I persevered and graduated – I have LLB (Hons) after my name!

7

Clueless and Legally Blonde are my top two favourite (non Disney) films. Clueless has such a great moral to it, and I get even more of the puns each time I watch it. Legally Blonde was when I fell in love with Reese Witherspoon. Her character epitomises modern day feminism and the story will live on to help women around the world for years to come.

8

I used to be a bar supervisor in a nightclub. It was amazing, working in a place where people come for the sole purpose of fun. It’s also exhausting! I couldn’t do it nowadays. I can’t function past midnight, let alone at 4am.

About Me Nightclub

9

I love to read and always have. As a kid I’d prefer being inside with a book to out in the playground. I read every night before bed now. Lying by a pool with a good book on holiday is paradise to me!

10

I’m in a relationship with a woman. Which wasn’t how I’d planned it. But this part of my life couldn’t have turned out any better. Tinder is a wonderful thing.

About Me Girlfriend

11

I love travelling but I hate flying. This faffing about driving round the runway for an hour before you take off is pure torture to me!

12

If I won the jackpot on the lottery, the first thing I’d do is hire a yacht, and take my close friends and family away for two weeks. Then I’d invest in property and renovate unloved buildings!

13

I recently moved into a flat above a pub. Once we’re settled and up & running, I’ll post about our pub. It’s really beautiful.

About Me Pub View

14

My happy place is at home with my family. Whether it’s in our flat with my girlfriend or on my mum’s sofa with my nephew climbing all over me, if I’m at home and there’s one of them near me, I’m happy.

15

I’m very easily frustrated with things I can’t do. I basically don’t like things I’m not good at. For example drawing or running. I’m rubbish at both of these things and both of them piss me off!

16

I am a feminist through and through. Male privilege is still going strong and don’t try and tell me otherwise.

17

I have always battled with my mental health. Since I was quite young, I’ve had periods of depression and anxiety. At the moment, I’m on an even keel. It’s a very quick spiral downwards but I have people in my life who know me and know my patterns. They catch me before I fall too far and help me get back on the path up again.

18

I very rarely manage to get through a meal without getting food down my front. I mean like it happens several times a day.

19

I still have my childhood teddy bears. They’ve moved every time I have. When life gets bad, or if I have to sleep alone, I still cuddle up with them in my bed. I’m not even a little bit ashamed.

20

My favourite meal in the world is my family’s spaghetti Bolognese, which has sweetcorn in it. My little brother was THE fussiest eater as a child.

21

I’m a pessimist at heart. No matter how much I try, I can’t ever fill the glass to even half full, let alone beyond.

22

I think Karamo from Queer Eye is the most genetically perfect human I’ve ever seen. I want him to be the sperm donor for our babies.

23

I will be a Spice Girls fan until the day I die. Viva Forever!

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23 Things About Me - Honestly Holly
23 Things About Me - Honestly Holly
23 Things About Me - Honestly Holly
23 Things About Me - Honestly Holly