Turning 31



Tomorrow is my 31st birthday. I really don’t feel like I’m grown up enough to be turning 31 but it’s happening.

I think I’m genuinely less concerned about turning 31 than I was about turning 21 10 years ago. (How is it 10 years ago?!) Turning 21 felt ancient, the end of an era and meant the end of university was in sight. Turning 31, on the other hand, feels good.

I think I’m definitely getting better at being in my own skin. I like myself more now, at 30 than I did at 20. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still days when I’m really not the biggest fan of myself but they’re certainly less frequent than they were. Partly I think because I feel more settled in my life now. I’m happily married, we own a house and I have a permanent contract at work. When things get rough now I think about all the stuff I have to be grateful for and it helps pull me back round to being more positive.

Being 30 was pretty bloody good (global politics and family bereavement aside) and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of my 30s have in store for me.

What’s In My Bag


One of my favourite things about reading other people’s blogs is the ability to be nosy and get an insight into their lives. I love reading about what other people have been up to, what they’re reading/wearing/eating/doing to their homes. One type of post my inner nosy parker really loves is a ‘what’s in my bag.’

So on that note, I thought I’d let you have a peek at the general paraphernalia (crap) that I carry around with me on a day-to-day basis.

1: Bag

I was lucky enough to be bought this beautiful Fossil bag for my 30th birthday by my very lovely in-laws. Since last February it’s been used almost daily for work, shopping trips and every thing else in between. It’s a great, roomy tote with enough inner pockets that you know you won’t lose your lip balm or phone within its depths.

2: Purse

This purse was a 30th birthday present to myself. I treated myself at the Bicester Shopping Village Michael Kors outlet so, whilst it is designer, the price tag wasn’t quite as offensive as it could have been. It’s currently full of coins, store cards, my debit and credit card and a book of stamps. The essentials.

3: Tablets

I’ve always got a packet of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol to hand just in case of headaches/period pains but I also always carry a range of antihistamines. Jonny has a severe sesame allergy so I tend to carry a back up, first port of call, supply for him.

4: Diary

My work diary is lugged around Monday-Friday and whilst huge (it’s A4) is, unfortunately, an essential during the week. The cover wasn’t very inspiring so I backed it with some pretty wrapping paper from Waterstones so it’s a little more aesthetically pleasing.

5: Notebook

There is ALWAYS a notebook in my handbag. Currently it’s this Moleskine that my teaching assistant bought me for Christmas although I generally prefer a trusty Leuchtturm 1917 number.

6: Pencil case

This Cath Kinston number is filled with highlighter pens, biros, pencils, and my USB (aka my work lifeline) and is really only in my bag for work. At the weekend I tend to just throw in a biro as a just in case.

7: Umbrella

Living in the North West of England an umbrella is an essential. This one, covered in cute little woodland creatures, was a Christmas present from my Mum 4 years ago and it’s lasted so well. Good work on M&S’s part there for not creating a flimsy brolly that pings inside out in the slightest breeze.

8: Lipstick/Lipbalm

My lips get dry so easily that it’s fairly essential for me to carry around a lip balm. This Bert’s Bees one is great and the smell makes me think of summer (which is no bad thing in the middle of winter!) The lipstick is a No.7 that I had coloured matched to my ghost skin and is my fail safe if I want to look a little bit more glam.

Items not pictured that are usually knocking around in this cavernous tote somewhere are snacks (I tend to take a range of fruit and nuts to work with me) a plethora of receipts (which I chucked in the bin before photographing) and a mini pack of tissues, although these have run out and need replacing hence their absence from the photo. My phone usually lives in my bag too but that was in use to take the photo.

So there you have it, the current contents of my bag that get hauled around with me on a daily basis. How do they compare to yours?

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k


I love a self-help book as much as the next wannabe Bridget Jones, but there was something about The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight that appealed. Honestly, the sweary play on Marie Kondo’s book was the factor that drew me in the most.

The tagline “how to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to with people you don’t like” sealed the deal.

Mum, you might want to stop reading now, I’m going to say ‘fuck’ a lot…

Being a people pleaser and someone who will worry about anything and everything, the idea of not giving a fuck about what people thought was incredibly appealing. I am, as Knight would say, one of life’s fuck givers.

In a nutshell, Knight works through the idea of creating a ‘fuck budget.’ You make a list of things that are worth giving a fuck about, and things which are not. She breaks this down into categories: things; work; friends, acquaintances and strangers; and family.

Always willing to try new things I wrote my own fuck budget. Here are a few highlights from the budget I came up with:


Worth giving a fuck: Planning decorating projects for the house.

Not worth giving a fuck: Worrying about the cost of replacing all our windows.


Worth it: Doing my very best to prepare my class for the big bad world.

Not worth it: The never-ending stream of little paperwork tasks. Get it done and stop worrying about it, it’ll probably be done in the time I’d waste worrying about it.

Friends, acquaintances and strangers

Worth it: What I think about myself.

Making the effort to see the wonderful friends I do have, more.

Not worth it: What people I know/don’t know think about me.

Worrying about not having a lot of friends.


Worth it: Making the effort for more visits/spending time together.

Not worth it: Worrying about political differences. Agree to disagree, there is nothing wrong with having a differing opinion to somebody else.

There are more things within each category which would have made for an almighty blog post. I’m going to see how this works, I could definitely do with a little less anxiety in my life. I’ll blog later in the year with an update on how I’m doing/if anything has changed.

What about you, have you tried Knight’s approach to life? Do you think a fuck budget will work?


Our Wedding Album

Admittedly I’ve been a little behind on the post-wedding organisation as we got married last April but during my Christmas break I finally got around to creating a wedding photo album.

We had the option to create an all-singing-all-dancing one through our photographer but I preferred the chance to design and make our own. I used the website Cheerz after some serious Googling for a wedding album that was a little different.cheerz-team-huck-wedding-album-3

cheerz-team-huck-wedding-album-4Cheerz, whilst still a little pricey (the finished album was over £60) was perfect. I was able to choose a bright yellow album to follow our wedding theme and then spent a couple of hours arranging our photos. I also chose to get a keepsake box to protect the album, although the thought of a row of brightly coloured photo books in future definitely appeals to me.

It’s hardback so something I can happily see lasting for a very long time, and something that (hopefully) our children and grandchildren will be able to look through as I have with my parents’ wedding album.cheerz-team-huck-wedding-album-5It was so lovely to go through all the photos again, reliving the day, accompanied by some happy tears! I’m so pleased with the finished photo book and can’t stop wasting time flicking through it.cheerz-team-huck-wedding-album-6

cheerz-team-huck-wedding-album-7The whole process made me think that I really need to create hard copies for my photos more, and that I really need to update my scrapbooks! What online services do you use to print/store photos? I’d love to find any other sites that offer something slightly different to the usual 6×4 prints.