Happy New Year!
I can’t quite believe that it’s 2018 already. I also can’t believe how fast the festive period has gone. I finished work on the 15th December, which feels like a lifetime ago, and SO much has happened since.
Time to be honest though – I felt a bit anxious coming back to blog today; I can’t really put my finger on why, but I guess this is the longest I’ve gone in the past few years without writing a post and I’ve managed put it off for the past few hours and found a million other things to do to procrastinate.
The last couple of weeks have been some of the best in my life (more to come on that) and I felt as though any words won’t do it justice, but I am determined to get back into the swing of blogging and get 2018 off to the best start.
But anyway, let’s dive right in, back to the start of Christmas week.
1. WE GOT ENGAGED
So you probably know this if you follow me on any form of social media (here on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you’d like a little nosey) but Jordan asked me to marry him whilst we were on holiday in France and caught me completely off guard. I’m going to do a whole post about it because it’s actually quite an amusing story, and start sharing some more wedding content this year, which I already can’t wait for so keep an eye out for that!
2. Starting Our Christmas In London
The last time I wrote a Weekly Love post, Jordan and I were in London, starting off the festive period. Whilst we were there we went to Covent Garden, Shoreditch and wandered around the shops taking in all of the gorgeous lights and sights – London definitely knows how to do Christmas.
The next day after we had explored London, we jumped on the Eurostar to Lille in Northern France for a few days away together (and being asked the biggest question of my life whilst we were there…) France is one of those countries that I would love to discover more of, and Lille was such a quaint little city that I would highly recommend going to – plus, it’s just over an hour on the train. The cheese and wine were a definite highlight for me!
Although we were only in France for 3 days, we thought we may as well try and do as much exploring as possible and headed over to Belgium for the day. If you read this post back in June last year, you will know that Jordan and I went on a trip to Brussels and Bruges in March, but one of the cities that we, unfortunately, didn’t get time to visit was Ghent so we decided to take the trip over. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of anything sweet, so I made it my mission to get a Belgian chocolate waffle within about 15 minutes of getting off the train and we wandered around the city and ate our way around the markets.
5. Festive Nails
Once we returned back to Manchester (newly and secretly engaged) I knew that I couldn’t be having chipped nails to show off my beautiful ring, so booked an appointment to get them done at Cheshire Beauty in Alderley Edge. Because it was a few days before Christmas, I went for a dark red with red glitter over the top – very festive indeed.
After having my nails done, I drove over to Lymm to see my friend, Dan, who was over from Dubai for Christmas. We went for a coffee and some lunch at a local coffee shop and it was so lovely to catch up with everything he’d been up to as I hadn’t seen him since April. It’s made me want to go to Dubai this year too!
On the Saturday before Christmas, I ventured into Manchester to try the newly refurbished 19 Cafe Bar in the Northern Quarter, with my favourite girl, Hannah. We both went for the same dish (full blog post coming soon) and it was one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. The lovely waitress also gave us cocktails to celebrate my engagement with, which was so lovely of her.
8. Wrapping Presents
After an incredibly hectic day trying to get the last few little bits from Manchester (don’t be fooled by thinking everyone might be organised and town won’t be busy on the Saturday before Christmas, because you will be wrong…) I went home, had a nice glass of red wine and wrapped all our presents in preparation for seeing all our family with The Holiday on in the background – bliss!
9. Christmas Eve Breakfast
On the morning of Christmas Eve, I met some of my oldest friends for breakfast at The Garden in Hale. We had so much to catch up on and chat about and the morning whizzed by so quickly; such a lovely way to spend the morning.
10. Surprising My Family and Friends
After a couple of hours at home, once I was back from breakfast, Jordan and I headed to my cousin’s house to see her and my Nan and tell them about the engagement. We also saw some friends on Christmas Eve evening for our annual tradition of drinking until the early hours of the morning. They were all over the moon, and it made me so happy that I had the chance to tell them face to face.
11. Celebrating Christmas Day
I can’t believe Christmas Day was only a week ago because it feels like so much longer. This year, as it was the first one in our new home, we cooked for Jordan’s parents (I say we, I mean him…) The day went by so quickly but it was such a lovely feeling entertaining and celebrating with them and it’s made me want to do it even more in 2018.
12. Chilled Boxing Day
After a pretty hectic few days, we decided to have a day of just pottering about at home and started looking into venues for the big day. Jordan bought me a gorgeous wedding planner from Paperchase for Christmas, so I started putting some potential plans in it. Having a day at home is just what the doctor ordered and I felt so calm and relaxed.
13. Giving Blood
Maybe a slightly strange one to put under a Weekly Love post, but I actually really enjoyed giving blood. I’d signed up to do this a the start of the month, after putting it off for the 12 months previous, and when the day finally came round, I was so nervous but Jordan came with me and the NHS staff were so amazing and really put my mind at ease. If its something you’ve been meaning to do for a while, NOW is your chance to sign up – don’t leave it to someone else, you don’t realise that it could save someone’s life.
14. Anniversary Walks
After I gave blood, my parents had us round for lunch, which also coincided with it being our 4 year anniversary. My Mum had some leftovers from Christmas day so we basically had another celebration. We also went for a walk along the Bollin too and it was such a beautiful and chilled day.
15. Making Our Engagement Facebook Official
I know I keep harping on about it, but putting our engagement on Facebook gave me such an overwhelming buzz, that I couldn’t not mention it on here. We kept it off social media for a week or so to tell our friends and family face to face (also… hardest thing ever to keep hiding my hand in photos) and when we finally made it Facebook official (because we weren’t really engaged until then right?) the comments and messages I got really made me feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life – so thank you if you were one of them!
16. Reunited With My Best Friend
You’ve probably heard me talk about my friend Africa on here if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, but for the last 6 months she has been volunteering in Burkina Faso in Africa (ironic hey?) and last week I was finally reunited with her. I drove over to her house in Littleborough and we went for a lovely walk around Lake Hollingsworth, and for dinner with her Dad and Grandma who are just the loveliest people.
17. Visiting Venues
As I mentioned, we had a look at a few different venues after Christmas, so we thought now would be the best time to have a look at them before we went back to work. I won’t say which we’ve seen yet (as you’re probably sick of me mentioning it anyway) as I’ll be writing up all my thoughts into more wedding content anyway.
As we had no plans for Saturday, Jordan and I fit in a fleeting visit to one of our favourite cities, York. We drove there early Saturday morning and had a lovely lunch there and wander around the city. It’s definitly become our second home over the years.
19. New Year’s Eve
I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve, so when a couple of our closest friends said they would host at their house, I was more than happy to have a chilled one, but unfortunately, they both got ill, which meant that they could no longer host. After umming and ahhing about whether we should go out or not, we decided to order a sushi take away and spend it indoors, which turned out to be the best plan.
20. Feeling Motivated Again
I mentioned in my last post that I won’t be setting myself specific ‘goals’ for 2018, and I’m still sticking by that, but there are a number of things I hope to achieve this year in my personal, career and blogging life, and I already feel really motivated to have some new plans in the pipeline.
I’ve realised after reading this back that it was basically a diary of everything I did each day over the Christmas period, but it will be lovely to look back on this in years to come and reminisce over the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
I hope you all had a wonderful festive period and a very happy and prosperous new year xx